- Better Cotton represents over a fifth of global cotton production, allowing Traceability Solution to be delivered at scale
- Traceability Solution provides retailers and brands with better insight into their supply chains
- Marks & Spencer and Walmart – in addition to more than 1,500 organizations – were consulted and informed about the development of the solution
- Traceable Better Cotton will lead to the launch of an Impact Marketplace, allowing retailers and brands to offer cotton farmers financial rewards
Better Cotton has officially launched a unique traceability solution for the fashion and textile sector.
Developed over three years, the solution will provide visibility to cotton’s journey through the supply chain by capturing stakeholder input on the Better Cotton Platform.
The organization has worked closely with a network of affiliated retailers and brands, including H&M Group, Marks & Spencer, Walmart, Target, Bestseller, Gap Inc and C&A, to ensure that fashion companies can accurately trace and reveal the origins of raw materials, and comply with emerging regulations.
Companies are now increasingly expected to verify the origin of raw materials in their products and leverage greater transparency to address the potential negative impacts of their activities on human rights and the environment.
Traceable Better Cotton will give member retailers and brands the confidence that they are sourcing products from a specific country, and create greater visibility into the supply chain, allowing them to incorporate insights into their own supply chain due diligence activities.
Related article: The Armani Group announces a new regenerative cotton project in Italy
Over the coming years, Better Cotton will scale up the availability and granularity of sourcing of traceable Better Cotton to:
- serve as the basis for an Impact Marketplace that would compensate farmers for progress at the field level;
- Enable country-level life cycle assessments (LCAs) to calculate the environmental impact of Better Cotton compared to conventional cotton;
- provide credible claims for consumers and businesses.
Traceable Better Cotton is defined as the ‘physical’ Better Cotton within a cotton-containing product that has been tracked through the supply chain. It differs from Better Cotton’s long-standing Mass Balance Chain of Custody model, which tracks the volume of cotton produced and ensures it never exceeds the volume of cotton sold.
Better Cotton launched one Chain of custody standard Earlier this year, requirements were set out that suppliers who want to trade traceable cotton must meet.
Using the Better Cotton Platform – managed by software company ChainPoint – suppliers can record transaction information, culminating in visibility into where Better Cotton comes from and how much is in a product. Traceability extends from the cotton ginning stage to the retailer or brand.
Large-scale traceability for cotton will create a seismic shift within our industry’s supply chains. Better Cotton’s traceability solution is ready to help the industry make that shift. Never before has transparency been as important as it is now for our retail and brand members. We are grateful to every organization that helped shape the development of the Better Cotton Platform and are committed to its continued improvement.
Alan McClay, Managing Director of Better Cotton
At M&S, 100% of the cotton we buy for our clothes comes from more responsible sources, but across the sector the global supply chain remains extremely complex. Since 2021, we have been proud partners working with Better Cotton to improve cotton traceability and we are happy to be part of this unique solution that will allow us to track our cotton at scale around the world. supply chain.
Katharine Beacham, head of materials and sustainability at Marks & Spencer