For fashion brands and retailers, cotton is still one of the most used raw materials. There are multiple sustainability initiatives that address the many challenges in the cotton industry. The traditional cultivation of cotton has a serious impact on both the environment and people, such as highly hazardous pesticides, working conditions, water consumption and threats to biodiversity. Sustainable cotton initiatives address these issues through collaboration with cotton farmers, textile processors, local communities and governments. Although around 13 per cent of the global supply of cotton is sustainable cotton, uptake by brands and retailers remains an issue.
Child labour is unfortunately endemic in many industries. Two of these industries are, for example, the apparel and cocoa industries. What is striking is that in the apparel business, child labour is a hot and quite widely publicised topic. Consumers are increasingly aware of these issues, and risks to brand reputation are high. But in the cocoa industry, consumers are much less aware of the existence of child labour.
It is expected that within a few years, or even maybe this year, India will overtake China as the largest cotton producing country in the world. The growth that India has shown over the last years is impressive. It is estimated that around 45 million people work in the larger textile industry in India, with an additional 35 million joining them over the next 5 years.
The number one fibre used to produce textiles is still cotton with an approximate 48% share. The cotton supply chain starts with cotton farmers and this is already the point where challenges are faced in the textile supply chain.
The cotton supply chain starts with cotton farmers and this is already the point where challenges are faced in the textile supply chain. Cotton is one of the most used fabrics in fashion, but how can cotton become more sustainable and support sustainable fashion?
Using software solutions such as ChainPoint, both NGOs and brand owners in the textile and apparel industry can face the challenges ahead. They benefit from full traceability, centralized information gathering, monitoring and sharing, advanced reporting and analytics. With ChainPoint, they can measure the impact and the sustainability of the supply chains, whilst reducing costs and risks.
In this infographic, we highlight some current developments within the cotton supply chain and also a number of interesting facts.
Responsibly sourcing your textile raw materials can be quite a challenge. You need to be sure your raw materials are sustainable and that working conditions are fair and safe. You need to be absolutely sure you’re sourcing from the right places.
At ChainPoint, we often hear a number of questions from the textiles and apparel sector…