Raw Materials

2022-04-28

Better Cotton is mainstream: 10% of world cotton sourced as Better Cotton in 2021

© 2022 Better Cotton
Better Cotton launched its ambitious 2030 Strategy and the first of five impact targets at the end of 2021. Climate change mitigation and adaptation, smallholder livelihoods, soil health, women’s empowerment and pesticide use are critical focal areas where Better Cotton aims to deepen impact over the next decade.

Achieving measurable change at field level will require continued collaboration and commitment from all Better Cotton Members and Programme Partners from across the cotton sector. While all members play their part in contributing to more sustainable practices in cotton farming, Better Cotton Retailer and Brand Members drive progress through increased sourcing of more sustainable cotton.  

In 2021, 260 of the world’s best-known retailers and brands collectively sourced 2.5 million tonnes of Better Cotton – a record for Better Cotton and the industry. This accounts for 10% of global cotton production1 and represents a 47% increase on 2020 sourcing volumes. This result also marks the end of Better Cotton’s mainstreaming development phase, and transition to its transformation phase. 

Better Cotton’s demand driven funding model means that retailer and brand sourcing of Better Cotton directly translates into increased investment in training on better farming practices for more than 2.7 million cotton producers around the word. By integrating Better Cotton into their raw material sourcing strategies, Better Cotton Members are driving demand for more sustainable farming practices worldwide. 

"IKEA is one of the founding members of Better Cotton and has been investing in the Better Cotton programme since its inception in 2005. We were able to meet our goal of only sourcing cotton from what we classify as ‘more sustainable’ sources in 2015 mainly by sourcing cotton through the Better Cotton programme. We are pleased to continue to support Better Cotton as they aim to achieve deeper impact for cotton farmers and farming communities and seek to make more sustainable cotton the fiber of choice for growers and buyers. Together with other Better Cotton Members, we have been delivering on our sourcing commitments, and today with joint and concerted efforts of everyone, Better Cotton represents 10% of cotton sourced in supply chains, globally. This is a great launch pad for even bigger achievements by 2030, a journey we look forward to being a part of and helping develop even further."

Arvind Rewal, Global Cotton Development Manager, IKEA – Better Cotton Retailer and Brand Member

"Our commitment to better social and environmental practices, as well as demand from our customers, is driving us towards our goal of sourcing more sustainable raw materials for our products. Being a Better Cotton Member is helping us to achieve that goal, as through our membership we are contributing to reducing the environmental impact of cotton farming, as well as improving the safety and well-being of cotton farmers. In 2020, in our first year as a Better Cotton Member, 15% of our cotton came from more sustainable sources, in 2021, that figure was 60%, including Better Cotton."

Valesca Magalhaes, Executive, Sustainability, Riachuelo – Better Cotton Retailer and Brand Member





Whether new to the Better Cotton network, or long-standing members, thousands of organisations across the cotton sector, including retailers and brands, are contributing to transforming cotton: supporting cotton farming communities and driving sustainability in cotton farming. Find all Better Cotton Members.   

"Since 2010, we have been demonstrating the power of public-private partnerships to garner action towards achieving more sustainable development in the cotton sector. The results we see at Better Cotton strengthen our conviction that we, and our members and partners are well placed to continue supporting cotton communities to survive and thrive while protecting and restoring the environment."

Lena Staafgard, COO, Better Cotton

To learn more about the impact of the Better Cotton programme, please see our latest Impact Report. 

1 With global cotton production (ICAC) in 2020-21 cotton season at 24,303,000 MT, Better Cotton Retailer and Brand Member uptake is 10% of global production.


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