Cotton Papers

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Cotton Ranking

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A Sustainable Cotton Hub

The Sustainable Cotton Hub seeks to lay out the sustainability challenges in cotton production, looking at economic, social and environmental sustainability factors through a series of papers.

Our first paper in June 2023 was on Corporate Responsibility in the cotton sector. The Cotton and Climate Paper was published on 23 November 2023. More Papers on inequality and biodiversity are planned in 2024.

The Papers are accompanied by concrete recommendations for the various actors across the cotton value chain, offering realistic ways forward to make a real change.
Read the cotton papers here

Ranking Retailers and Brands

The root cause of unsustainability in the cotton sector is a lack of investment in producers. The solution is in the hands of retailers and brands. Sourcing 100% of cotton from certified sources is a bare minimum that too many companies are failing to achieve.
Only 9 of the 82 largest cotton-sourcing companies in the world are found to be doing the bare minimum of sourcing 99% or more of their cotton from certified sources. All other companies are failing to achieve even this bare minimum, with 30 companies scoring zero.

Telling It How It Is

“In reality, given the resources available to big brands, unsustainable cotton is a choice. A bad one. But it doesn’t have to be one we live with. Brands and retailers can make new decisions. They can choose to be more transparent in their operations, and about their suppliers. They can choose to take on the complex question of fair pay, rather than use it as an excuse. And they can choose to engage with all actors along their supply chain, rather than hiding behind intermediaries.” says Tamar Hoek of Solidaridad Europe.
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Who is the Sustainable Cotton Hub for?

The Sustainable Cotton Hub is a home for supply chain actors in the cotton sector. Expert voices from the cotton field will provide new insights into the sector’s persistent sustainability problems, supported by new research and hard data. It will ultimately provide a broad overview of sustainability developments in the sector, along with recommendations for actions that they can take today. 
Stakeholders include:
  • Retailers and brands
  • Standards/certification organisations
  • Farmers and farmer organisations
  • Traders
  • Governments in producing countries
  • Governments in consuming countries
  • Multi-stakeholder initiatives
  • Civil society organisations and
  • Consumers
Recommendations for stakeholders