Cotton Bale USA

The Better Cotton Initiative, a not-for-profit organization stewarding global standards along cotton’s complex supply chain, said Monday it had achieved its goal of reaching 700 members in 2015.

It marked the fifth consecutive year that BCI posted an increase in new members of at least 50 percent. The recruitment rate continues to progress at an average of 20 new companies a month, said the group, which has as its mission to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, for the environment it grows in and for the sector’s future.

For five years, BCI has worked to convene actors across the supply chain, facilitating uptake of Better Cotton and developing it as a sustainable mainstream commodity from farm to retail.

“In our sixth year, BCI and Better Cotton have reached a level of maturity that the entire sector can be proud of,” said program director Ruchira Joshi. “We could not have done this without our members.”

BCI said its retail and brand members, now totaling 46, “have played an important part in this journey, so far.”

Their investments in farmer capacity building generate supply of Better Cotton at field level and their work with suppliers creates a more transparent and trustworthy supply chain, the group noted.

BCI’s retailer and brand members remain committed to the uptake of Better Cotton, helping BCI move toward its 2020 goal of 5 million farmers and 30 percent of global cotton production. The Geneva-based BCI had about 1 million Better Cotton farmers producing more than 2.5 million metric tons last year, representing about 9 percent of global production.

New members to have recently signed up include London-based retailer C&A; Singapore-based textile firm PT Indorama; Mexican denim manufacturer Manufacturas Kaltex SA de CV, and the U.S. Fashion Industry Association, a Washington, D.C.-based lobby group.

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