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LONDON – Uptake of Better Cotton by global apparel brands and retailers increased by 40 per cent during 2019 as 150 retailers and brands collectively sourced more than 1.5 million metric tonnes of Better Cotton.

The volume of BCI cotton sourced in 2019 represents 6 per cent of global cotton production. In the second half of 2019, BCI says it welcomed more than 210 new members across its membership categories.

New members in the second half of 2019 included 32 retailers and brands from 13 countries, 179 suppliers and manufacturers and three civil society organisations.

Long-standing BCI member Decathlon shared its thoughts on BCI and Better Cotton. Said Nagy Bensid, director yarns and fibres, Decathlon: “While physical Better Cotton is not traceable to the end-product, what matters is that the funds channelled through BCI end up contributing to farmer training and expanding the network of cotton farmers who are improving their livelihoods, while protecting and restoring the environment.

“Decathlon has a target to source 100 per cent more sustainable cotton by 2020 – this is a combination of Better Cotton together with organic and recycled cotton. This commitment has generated a high level of motivation internally at Decathlon. The BCI Team has also always been supportive of our journey, listening to our needs and quickly responding to any challenges we met.”

In the 2018-19 cotton season, retailer and brand members, public donors, and IDH (the Sustainable Trade Initiative) contributed more than €11m to field-level BCI projects, covering more than1.3 million cotton farmers in China, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Tajikistan and Mozambique.

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