The first report on the 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge has been released by the Textile Exchange and it serves as a cornerstone for change in the textiles industry.
Providing statistics and information on achievements and impacts which the programmes do have on water, communities and biodiversity to name a select few; this challenge is in a sure way encouraging brands and retailers to commit to the sourcing of 100% of their cotton from the most sustainable sources by the year 2025.
The challenge got its inception in 2017 when the Prince of Wales convened a group of CEOs through the work of his International Sustainable Unit. This unit looks into addressing the challenges being faced by the world in a changing environment.
At present, around 39 companies commit to source 100% sustainable cotton by 2025. The 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge was known as Sustainable Cotton Communique during its foundation. Its major objective remains to increase the uptake of organic and preferred cotton which would in a way lead to the increase in farmers' income who have small landholding. The highly hazardous pesticides would also be eliminated therein and the amount of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers used will also be reduced to a great extent. Thus the water use will reduce and the quality of water and soil health will be improved in the long run. Such sustainable practices are sure ways of targeting positive carbon impacts.
It has been shown by the 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge that collaborative efforts can lead to rapid results and scalable solutions. The environment and farmers both get to benefit through a joint initiative like this.
At present, 19% of world's cotton is more sustainable and this challenge projects to increase it to 50% by 2025. This would require greater transparency across the supply chain and stronger and more strategic relationships between the supply chain partners. Also, the amount of sustainable cotton grown and bought must increase significantly to make sustainable cotton a standard business practice.
Sources listed on the Textile Exchange's list of recognised organic and sustainable cotton initiatives can be referred for choices by the brands and retailers who are inspired to join the challenge and commit to source more sustainable cotton.
Fairtrade, Field to Market, Organic, Cleaner Cotton, Fairtrade Organic, ISCC, ABRAPA, Better Cotton Initiative are some of the initiatives working on this pathway.
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