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WAKEFIELD – A new 15-page white paper on the potential impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on cotton supply chains has been published today by MCL News & Media. This new briefing aims to help retailers, brands and those involved in cotton production to strategise their way through the economic and social crisis caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Written by Simon Ferrigno and edited by John Mowbray, the founder of Ecotextile News, the 7,000 + word pdf document features interviews with key cotton industry players and takes a look back up the supply chain to see how the impacts of Covid-19 in cotton growing regions could have an unforeseen impact on cotton supply in the coming 18 – 24 months.

What are the ramifications for retailers, brands and other buyers of cotton textiles and clothing? And how can they improve the resilience of their supply networks going forward?

This special briefing notes how the immediate focus for the apparel sector during the virus outbreak has been on the immediate impacts of the global economic shutdown on brands, retailers, textile mills and their workers. But what about the livelihoods of impoverished communities that depend on the cotton fibre itself? And what about sustainability? How will Covid-19 impact on cotton availability over the next few years and what can brands, retailers and textile mills do to mitigate risk and help the cotton supply network to become more robust in future?

With contributions from several key cotton organisations such as Fairtrade, ICAC, Cotton Connect, Bremen Cotton Exchange, Cotton Inc., Cotton made in Africa, among others, the ‘Impact of Covid-19 on global cotton supply’ includes a set of recommendations for a fairer and more resilient cotton sector going forward, it talks about immediate impacts, sustainability, long-term futures, the ICAC response, the power of inertia and 'how to remake the cotton world post-Covid.'

“In Less Developed Countries (LDCs), the short- and medium-term impacts will be on the incomes of smallholder cotton farmers with expected delays in payments and lack of cashflow as a knock-on effect across the textile supply chain. There is also a risk of changing supply chains and near shoring, but we still need to wait and watch,” says Subindu Garkhel from the Fairtrade Foundation.

“Resilience is essential,” says Ferrigno, “With Covid-19, our 10-year window to prevent the worst of climate change may well have become even narrower. The difference now is that we have a choice that was not available to previous generations during earlier pandemics.”

The Impact of Covid-19 on global cotton supply’ is available free to everyone who orders a copy of our 160 page Inside Guide to Cotton & Sustainability – or you can order the pdf for a nominal fee HERE.

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