Cotton 2040: Global coalition set to make sustainable cotton the mainstream choice

Leading international brands and retailers, cotton standards and other stakeholders across the supply chain have come together to form Cotton 2040 – an initiative aiming to maximise and accelerate current sustainability initiatives in the global cotton industry and help to make sustainable cotton a mainstream commodity.

CottonConnect is proud to be a founding member of the unique cross-industry initiative, which is convened by sustainability non-profit Forum for the Future with support from the Laudes Foundation (formerly C&A Foundation). Leading retailers, organic standards, industry standards and initiatives such as M&S, Target, Better Cotton Initiative and CottonConnect, in addition to Centre for Sustainable Fashion at London College of Fashion are also involved.

Through research and close consultation with cotton stakeholders across the industry over 2015-2016, the following priority areas for action were identified with the potential to create a systemic shift in cotton:

  1. Building demand for sustainable cotton: Enabling an increased demand for sustainable cotton within the fashion and apparel industry;
  2. Closing the loop on cotton: Scaling up cotton recycling and circularity;
  3. Traceability: Building greater visibility and transparency throughout the cotton value chain and across standards;
  4. Upskilling for resilience: Creating a cross-industry forum to build resilience among smallholder cotton farmers in a changing world.

Working groups will be developing best practice in workstreams across these areas to share with the wider industry over the next two to three years.

Cotton 2040

“At CottonConnect our mission is to transform the sector; and we see the Cotton2040 platform as providing a much needed collaborative space where brands, retailers and cotton interventions can work together to address critical issues for the cotton supply chain. The work of Cotton2040 will not only provide solutions to scale current commitments but ensure that as a sector we prepare for and address future challenges.” Alison Ward, CEO at CottonConnect.

Cotton 2040 has been running since November 2016 with the aim of increasing uptake of sustainable cotton from the industry to drive production from 13% to beyond 30% from 2020. Several key resources and guidance on sourcing more sustainable cotton are currently in development and will be tested and piloted by coalition members, before sharing with the wider textile industry in October 2017.

“Cotton 2040 is not a new platform, but a smart way to accelerate the many good initiatives out there working to mainstream more sustainable cotton. Together, we can be more than the sum of our parts and jointly tackle the effects of one of the world’s thirstiest crops.” Leslie Johnston, Executive Director of Laudes Foundation (formerly C&A Foundation)

Cotton 2040 members include Forum for the Future, Laudes Foundation (formerly C&A Foundation), Target, M&S, BCI, Cotton made in Africa, Textile Exchange, Fairtrade Foundation and Cotton Australia, and Cotton 2040 is now looking for additional partners with resources, expertise and drive to take action in one or more of the four areas together.

Read the Cotton 2040 proposals for further details.

Join CottonConnect on our mission to transform the world’s cotton for good. For more information about how we can help you, please get in touch or visit our website.

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