Our goal of sourcing 100% sustainable cotton by 2020 is well within reach.
Cotton is a great natural resource but conventional cotton production has serious environmental and social consequences. The cotton industry is responsible for 24% of the world’s insecticide use and 11% of pesticides.
We’re on track to meet our goal of sourcing 100% sustainable cotton by 2020. In 2017, we reached 74% — up from 59% the year before and 38% in 2015.
We source a mix of organic, Fair Trade, recycled cotton and cotton sourced through the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) to make up our sustainable cotton mix.
Better Cotton Initiative: a better way
Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) makes up the largest part of this portfolio. BCI is a global initiative that aims to find more sustainable solutions for farmers, for the environment and for the future of the sector.
Kathmandu is one of the top 10 Better Cotton retailers when measured as a percentage of total cotton consumption.
The BCI program began implementation in 2010. By the 2015/6 season, it had reached 1.5 million cotton farmers across 23 countries in five continents. Better Cotton was grown on 3.4 million hectares of land, accounting for 12% of global production.
BCI’s results show that in the 2015/16 season, BCI farmers in India used an average of 9% less pesticides whilst achieving 20% higher yields than those not using BCI techniques. These results really are better — better for farmers, better for the environment.
Five million farmers by 2020
The initiative aims to have 5 million farmers producing 8.2 million metric tonnes of Better Cotton by 2020. That’s around 30% of global cotton production. Organic cotton, by comparison, makes up around 1% of global cotton production.
Kathmandu became the first Australasian member of the Better Cotton Initiative in March 2015. BCI will be an important part of our plan to have 100% sustainable cotton by 2020.