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LUBBOCK – Textile Exchange has published the first annual 2020 Sustainable Cotton Challenge Report, as part of an initiative that aims to encourage brands and retailers to source 100 per cent of their cotton from a list of approved environmental standards.

It was found that nearly half (47 per cent) of the current signatories to the programme have already achieved a preferred cotton share in their supply chains of between 75 – 100 per cent.

The standards by which sourcing ‘preferred cotton’ is measured includes organic cotton, Cotton made in Africa, Better Cotton Initiative, Fairtrade and certified recycled cotton.

Initially launched back in 2017 after The Prince of Wales convened a group of thirteen CEOs through the work of his now defunct International Sustainability Unit – the number has now risen to 39 companies that have committed to source “100 per cent sustainable cotton by 2025.”

Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable Business at M&S, which sits on the advisory panel, said, “There is growing recognition of the enormous social and environmental impact of the global fashion industry. The 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge shows how by working collaboratively the sector can scale rapidly solutions that are good for farmers, the environment and consumers alike.”

Textile Exchange says that today, “19 per cent of the world’s cotton is more sustainable. By 2025, it is the vision of this Challenge that more than 50 per cent of the world’s cotton is converted to more sustainable growing methods.

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