Other programmes – Further information

Other programmes – Further information

Having explored sustainability programmes and codes individually in detail on the previous page, you may find a direct comparison of these programmes useful as you consider how to incorporate sustainable cotton into your supply chain.


The table below provides in-depth information about other programmes and codes, covering key facts and figures, and details about their programme’s emphasis on different sustainability issues. It should help you choose which would align best with your goals and brand values.

The information in this table has been provided and verified by Textile Exchange and is republished in the CottonUP guide with their permission. Production data refers to 2015/16 and will be updated annually.

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To create a more sustainable American landscape.

To create more sustainable, traceable cotton.


e3™ is Bayer CropScience’s more sustainable cotton option. It is grown in the USA with care by cotton producers striving to improve their sustainability in production of the highest- quality upland cotton for apparel and home furnishings.

The REEL Cotton Programme is a 3-year modular program for farmers with Sustainable Agricultural Practices (SAP) at its core. It has four key focus areas:
– Agronomic training
– Social mobility and engagement
– Supply chain verification
– Brand reputation

Producing Countries (2015/16 unless otherwise stated)


China, India, Peru

Fiber Production 2015/16 (MT)



Market Share of Total Cotton Grown (2015/16)



Growth in production (2014/15 - 2015/16)

410% increase

76% decrease

Projected growth in production

Projected increase

Projected increase

Yield (see accompanying “TE Position” notes)

No data

Claims 16% avg. yield increase among REEL farmers compared to control.

Rainfed/ Irrigated


Mostly irrigated

Water Management

Aims to reduce irrigation water use.

Promotes water efficiency. Claims 16% avg. reduction in water use.

Water Consumption (m3/ 1000kg fiber*) or best practices used to conserve water

No LCA data

No LCA data

Soil fertility

No specific criteria on soil fertility. Activity is assessed on various factors including land use and soil carbon. The concept is to improve one’s performance on these parameters.

Promotes soil health and nutrient management through crop rotation and composting.


No specific criteria on biodiversity. Activity is assessed on various factors including conservation. The concept is to improve one’s performance on these various parameters.

Promotes biodiversity conservation.

Eutrophication (kg of phosphate- eq/1000 kg fiber *)

No LCA data

No LCA data

GMOs Permitted?


Yes – regulated and carefully managed


Use of Hazardous Pesticides

Pesticide use is not a parameter assessed in the e3 methodology. However, IPM is encouraged and precision application and variable rate technology is also promoted. US producers are held to
US regulations regarding pesticide use.

REEL farmers are trained in pest management and reduction of harmful chemical use. Training is provided on organic pesticides e.g. neem spray. Claims 43% avg. reduction in chemical pesticide use among REEL farmers.

Use of Synthetic Fertilizer

Fertilizer use is not a parameter assessed in the e3 methodology.

REEL farmers trained on crop rotation, composting and reduction in use of chemical fertilizers. Claims 20% reduction in chemical fertilizer use among REEL farmers.

Primary Energy Demand MJ/1000 kg fiber *

No LCA data

No LCA data

Global Warming (kg of CO2-eq/ 1000kg fiber*)

No LCA data

No LCA data

Social considerations/regulations

US cotton growers are all held to high standards by law for worker health and safety.

Provides training to produce cotton with respect for Human Rights principles for decent working conditions: no child labor, application of health and safety principles, gender inclusion. Focus on women empowerment.


e3 farmers are paid a small per bale incentive to reinvest in sustainable improvement practices.

REEL farmers receive training to improve yields and profits. Claims 41% avg. increase in profit compared to control farmers.

Verification / Certification (farm level)

Self-evaluation and 3rd party audits.

Developed and verified by Flo-Cert (3rd party)

Chain of Custody (supply chain)

CoC to the mill (for further content claims use).

Bale preserved – procurement links to supply chain provided if required.

LCA available?



Product marketing/labeling

No data

In store and on product marketing.

Consumer recognition

No data

Primarily B2B but in-store marketing.

Cost implications/ impacts

Small price differential paid to farmers, negotiated with individual brand/ retailer.

Brand/ retailer pays for service.

Quality perception/ implications

No known quality implications.

No known quality implications.

In future versions of this guide, we will include more information on recycled cotton standards and options. In the meantime, please visit the Textile Exchange website 

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