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Published on Monday, 02 October 2017

Fashion brands urged to source more sustainable cotton

Written by John Mowbray

UTRECHT – A report published today by WWF, Pesticides Action Network (PAN) UK and Solidaridad says many of the apparel industry’s leading brands and retailers need to significantly increase their uptake of ‘sustainable cotton’ if the sector is to become more environmentally friendly.

The report ranks IKEA, Tchibo, C&A, Marks & Spencer, and H&M as some of the leading apparel brands when it comes to their cotton sourcing strategies and the reporting of sustainable cotton use. But it also identifies what it says are top brands that are still failing on cotton sustainability such as Walmart, S. Oliver, Amazon, Footlocker and Giorgio Armani who all scored zero in the new report.

This latest ranking report follows on from the first one published in 2016, and is based on a questionnaire sent out to 75 companies, which assesses each business based on its policies, amount of sustainable cotton uptake and levels of transparency.

However, critics say the report – although welcome – is based largely on desktop research, could take brand replies to its questionnaire at face value, despite some validation, and say it lacks advice on how brands can access practical, immediate support in terms of matching demand to available cotton supply.