Retailers commit to Prince of Wales sustainable cotton initiative

Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images.

Thirteen of the world’s biggest clothing and textile companies have thrown their weight behind a new sustainable cotton initiative launched by the Prince of Wales.

Through the initiative, organised by The Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit in collaboration with Marks & Spencer and the Soil Association, these companies have committed to ensuring that 100% of the cotton they use comes from sustainable sources by 2025.

Signatories to the communiqué are: ASOS, Eileen Fisher, Greenfibres, H&M, IKEA, Kering, Levi Strauss & Co., Lindex, Marks & Spencer, Nike, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Woolworths Holdings.

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The pledge encourages retailers and brands to work with existing standards including organic, Fairtrade, and the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), to certify their sustainable cotton.

There have been substantial gains made over the past few years in scaling the production of more sustainable forms of cotton, with production higher than ever before. But, companies are only actively sourcing less than a fifth of more sustainable material, according to The Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit.

“Companies that use cotton therefore have a significant role to play in correcting this disparity by building demand for more sustainable cotton,” the organisation said.

Signatories will be required to independently publish their progress from 2018.

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