Every year 85 countries worldwide produce more than 25 million tons of cotton. While cotton is important to many economies, it can also have a harsh impact on the environment. For instance, about 10% of all agricultural chemicals used go to the cotton sector. Currently organic cotton only makes up 1% of the total global cotton supply chain.
The Better Cotton Initiative has become a standard for farmers to follow that reduces the environmental impact. The principle is “continued improvement.” But many leading brands aren’t waiting and are switching their supply chains to more sustainable sources already. The following brands are showing the possibilities of sustainable cotton:
Last year Adidas sourced 43% of its cotton as Better Cotton. They are one of the founding members of the Better Cotton Initiative and aim to source 100% of its cotton as sustainable by 2018.
Patagonia has been using organically grown cotton as far back as 1996, before sustainability was a hot issue. As part of the company’s organic cotton program, hundreds of employees took tours of cotton fields to learn firsthand the dangers of pesticide use and the benefits of organic farming.
H&M is a world leader in purchasing organic cotton, as well as an active member of the Better Cotton Initiative. Their ultimate goal is to source 100% of its cotton from sustainable sources by 2020.
Synergy offers a range of handmade womenswear from Nepal, made according to fair trade practices. They are also committed to sustainable material sourcing, using only organic cotton from India. There is a strong focus on low-impact, low-toxicity dyes.
This fair trade label claims it can trace every product in its line from the farm level to the manufacturing stage. All garment workers are paid a living wage, and PrAna was one of the first major apparel companies to offer Fair Trade Certified products. They use only organic cotton, as well as hemp, recycled wool and polyester, and repurposed down.
Bank & Vogue takes pride in embodying the values of sustainable practices, Fair Trade, and environmental responsibility. To learn more about what we do and how you can work with us, click here.