A record number of fashion brands sourced through the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) in 2018, increasing 45% on 2017.
More than one million metric tonnes of Better Cotton was sourced for 93 retailers and brands, enough to make 1.5 billion pairs of jeans.
The BCI, a non-profit organisation, provides training programmes for farmers on more sustainable agricultural practices, funded by demand for more environmentally-friendly cotton from brands. Better Cotton is produced to match demand claimed by BCI members.
For the 2017-2018 cotton season, more than €6.4m (£5.5m) was raised by retailer and brand members, public donors and the IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative for the programme. As a result, more than one million farmers across China, India, Mozambique, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey and Senegal received support and training.
Better Cotton now accounts for 4% of total global cotton production.
Member brands include Adidas, who only used cotton from sustainable sources in 2018, H&M group, who has pledged to use only sustainably-sourced cotton by 2020, and Gap.