13 major brands commit to use sustainable cotton

Image courtesy of Fairtrade.org.uk

Image courtesy of Fairtrade.org.uk

ASOS, Nike, H&M and Levi Strauss & Co are four of the 13 brands who have committed to using 100% "sustainable cotton" by 2025.

The major textile and clothing brands signed up to the Sustainable Cotton Communique, organised by the Prince's International Sustainability Unit (ISU).

This pledge means brands moving to the use of organic cotton, which has considerably less impact on the environment than traditional cotton. Organic cotton, a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) found, uses 91% less water and has a 46% reduction in global warming potential compared to non-organic cotton.

“Switching to organic cotton supports a way of farming that directly benefits both the local and global environment," Peter Melchett, Soil Association policy director, said.

"Organic cotton farming has been proven to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and water use and virtually eliminates the use of pesticides. Organic cotton farmers grow a variety of crops to minimise pests and diseases and to maintain healthy soils, which means farmers have the additional benefit of a more secure livelihood, and secure access to food." 

The 13 companies, who together use more than 300,000 tonnes of cotton per year, must publish information of their progress towards reaching the target by 2018.