The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) has reported a record year in 2018, with 93 retailer and brand members sourcing over one million metric tonnes of sustainable cotton, enough to produce approximately 1.5 billion pairs of jeans.

The initiative promoting the sourcing and purchasing of more sustainable cotton in supply chains has seen an increase of 45 per cent over the previous year: retailer and brand member sourcing of Better Cotton accounted for 4 per cent of global cotton consumption by the end of 2018.

Amongst the participating brands, H&M sourced the largest volume of sustainable cotton for the third year running in 2018, while 100 per cent of Adidas cotton was Better Cotton by the end of last year.

Better Cotton
Credit: BCI

Whilst BCI allows that Better Cotton may be mixed with or replaced by conventional cotton in its journey from field to product, the volumes of sustainable claimed by members on the online platform never exceeds the volumes physically procured by spinners and traders.

BCI aims to reach and train 5 million cotton farmers and have Better Cotton account for 30% of global cotton production by 2020. The organisation extended its plea to the fashion industry at large, claiming that it needs the next wave of sustainability leaders to come on board to close the gap between supply and demand.