• Submitted by: H&M
  • Topic: Industry
  • Keywords: organic cotton, recycle, Agriculture, aquaculture and forestry; Children, youth and family welfare
  • Location: Sweden, worldwide
  • Date of completion: 2020
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Deliverables & Resources
Action network
  • This voluntary initiative came from Global Compact
By 2020 we aim for all our cotton to come from more sustainable sources



Description/achievement of initiative

By 2020 we aim for all our cotton to come from more sustainable sources that require less water, pesticides and fertilisers and also helps farmers and communities to improve their standard of living.

Implementation methodologies

Better Cotton Initative is a multi-stakeholder initiative that includes NGOs like WWF, clothing companies, cotton producer groups and trade and industry bodies.

H&M have been involved with the BCI since its inception in 2004 and are an elected member of the organisation's council.

H&M invests in farmer training in the BCI system. H&M and other project members have committed to using the Better Cotton from the 20092012 implementation phase as well, even though the minimum requirements might not yet be met. The BCI follows a strategic implementation plan until 2012, after which the system will be reviewed. It follows 10 major goals to be achieved during this period. Among them is the aim to produce 300,000 tonnes of cotton lint as Better Cotton, in Brazil, India, Pakistan and West and Central Africa.

Up to this stage H&M have invested approximately 20 million SEK into Better Cotton Initiative.

We will continue to support increases in global production of organic cotton, but we do expect growth rates to normalise (our average growth from 20072010 amounted to 130%). In 2010 we became the number one user of organic cotton worldwide, according to Textile Exchange`s Global Market Report on Sustainable Textiles. In 2011, we further increased our use of organic cotton by more than 20%. It now represents 7.6% of all the cotton we use.

We expect the amount of Better Cotton we use to increase considerably in the coming years. For 2012, our target is for
Better Cotton to represent about 5% of our total cotton use. It is one of the key initiatives towards achieving our goal of using more sustainable cotton only by 2020. As a member of the council of the Better Cotton Initiative we are actively engaged in working towards its success.

The success of this committment requires internal collaboration between different functions within H&M such as our sourcing organisation and sustainable department.

Deliverable Date
100% of our cotton should come from more sustainable sources, i.e. a combination of organic cotton, re-cycled cotton and better cotton. 2020
Type Details
Financing (in USD) $3,017,220
Copyright United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs