Web Exclusive | February 2019
TE’s 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge Report
Textile Exchange has released its first annual 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge Report. The 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge serves as a cornerstone for change in the apparel and textile industry by encouraging brands and retailers to commit to source 100 per cent of their cotton from the most sustainable sources by the year 2025. The Challenge was formed in 2017 when His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales convened a group of CEOs through the work of his International Sustainability Unit that existed to address critical challenges facing the world.
Those original 13 CEOs committed to work together to accelerate the use of sustainable cotton, which paved the way for other industry leaders to follow – resulting in 39 companies now committed to sourcing 100 per cent sustainable cotton by 2025.
At the time of its inception, the 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge was known as the “Sustainable Cotton Communiqué” and its purpose was, and still is, to increase the uptake of organic and preferred cotton, therefore increasing the income of smallholder farmers, eliminating highly hazardous pesticides, eliminating or reducing the amount of pesticides and synthetic fertiliser used, reducing water use and improving water quality and soil health, which includes positive carbon impacts as a result of more sustainable practices.
Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable Business at M&S said, “There is growing recognition of the enormous social and environmental impact of the global fashion industry. The 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge shows how by working collaboratively the sector can scale rapidly solutions that are good for farmers, the environment and consumers alike.” Today, 19 per cent of the world’s cotton is more sustainable. By 2025, it is the vision of this Challenge that more than 50 per cent of the world’s cotton is converted to more sustainable growing methods.