Some of the UK’s biggest retailers have signed up to the Prince of Wales’ International Sustainability Unit, promising to ensure 100 percent of their cotton will come from sustainable sources by 2025.
Representatives from ASOS, Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Sainsbury’s have joined the likes of Nike, H&M, Levi’s, luxury retail group Kering and other fashion and textile brands recently met in London to discuss and sign the Sustainable Cotton Communiqué.
The pledge aims to act as a catalyst to shift the market towards the use of more sustainable cotton as well as help reduce the industry’s environmental impact.
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As part of the pledge, all brands must independently publish their progress on moving to more sustainable cotton options from 2018.
“Switching to organic cotton supports a way of farming that directly benefits both the local and global environment,” Soil Association policy director Peter Melchett said.
“Organic cotton farming has been proven to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and water use and virtually eliminates the use of pesticides.
“Organic cotton farmers grow a variety of crops to minimise pests and diseases and to maintain healthy soils, which means farmers have the additional benefit of a more secure livelihood, and secure access to food.”