What’s so special about certified cotton? And why should you choose to use it?
Certified cotton as best practice
When it comes to cotton it is relatively easy to identify current best practices. Certified organic cotton that is fairly traded and processed to internationally recognized standards is the result of decades of thinking and practical experience. It is readily available to incorporate in your supply chain, allowing you to immediately take meaningful steps towards greater sustainability.
What do these terms mean ?
“Organic” is about growing cotton according to legal standards that do not permit synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides and require soil fertility measures, animal welfare, etc.
“Fair trade” is about meeting standards for minimum living wages and social equality, in any or all steps from from primary production to finished product.
“Certified” means that an independent party inspects regularly and rigorously if standards are being followed.
Are these standards perfect?
No. What is? They are the best globally available and are continuously upgraded. Valuable but lesser alternatives include:
IPM: Integrated pest management uses more natural pest management to reduce chemical pollution. Many worthwhile practices are called “IPM”. However, there are no standards nor certification.
Better Cotton Initiative: This young global initiative hopes to help reduce the worst impacts of current cotton production. BCI is not based on standards or certification and aims at global bulk cotton production.