Can the Better Cotton Initiative transform the global textile industry?

The Better Cotton Initiative, which is backed by companies such as Levi Strauss, Marks & Spencer, IKEA, H&M and Adidas, believes it can transform the textile market and make it more sustainable.

The Gap retail empire was a founder member but pulled out in the early stages and attempts to bring it back on board have failed. System changers The job: That is perhaps where a bunch of global brands working together could have their biggest impact. Matching charity and social enterprise job seekers with roles in our recommended network of amazing organisations. The BCI is taking a top down and bottom up approach.

The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) is a not-for-profit organisation stewarding the global standards for Better Cotton, and bringing together cotton’s complex supply chain, from the farmers to.
Jobs at The Better Cotton Initiative The Better Cotton Initiative works with over million licensed BCI Farmers and 1, individual members to transform cotton production worldwide. Their work is focused on improving the environment, farming communities and the economies of cotton-producing areas around the World.
The Better Cotton Initiative, which is backed by companies such as Levi Strauss, Marks & Spencer, IKEA, H&M and Adidas, believes it can transform the textile market and make it more sustainable.
About BETTER COTTON INITIATIVE. Background. Cotton is one of the most important and widely grown crops in the world, and with more than 90% of cotton farmers living in developing countries, cotton production is fundamental to the livelihoods of millions of farmers and workers.
Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, Better Cotton Initiative - BCI is a not-for-profit organization that works to find better and more sustainable ways to grow cotton, one of .

Jobs at The Better Cotton Initiative The Better Cotton Initiative works with over million licensed BCI Farmers and 1, individual members to transform cotton production worldwide. Their work is focused on improving the environment, farming communities and the economies of cotton-producing areas around the World.

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Cotton growing also demands huge amounts of water and the BCI model has seen significant reductions in irrigation needs. They also lack knowledge of the hazards around them. There are still instances in Africa where farmers are doing tongue testing to assess the right concentration of pesticides. The initiative helps them to understand their crops and pests and give them the ability to do more with less.

This has reduced pesticide use in developing countries. So if it's such a great idea, will it catch-on in the same way the iPad transformed the market for computers? Unfortunately, the answer is likely to be no.

The analogy with Apple is unfair in many regards, but it serves to prove a point. The iPad's proof of concept was all done in its labs, Apple was in control of its supply chain, the product was exciting and captured consumers' imagination, and it has the power of Apple's finances and brand prowess behind it.

Plus, of course, Apple sees it as the next evolution of its market dominance and therefore central to its strategy. The BCI has none of these advantages.

It is having to show proof of concept in the field, which takes time, and it has little control over the supply chain, given the global nature of the commodity. So far it has engaged , farmers in four countries, which is a fair start, but itwill struggle to meet the demands of the retailers who have already signed up. Lack of funding for expansion also poses a problem.

While the retailers are putting in some seed corn funding, matched by the Dutch government, it is not nearly enough to support a major scale-up. BCI's corporate backers do not have a direct and immediate economic benefit from the scheme. So while in general terms, they want to secure production of cotton and prevent farmers from switching to other crops, they are unlikely to pay considerable amounts of money into a scheme that may well benefit competitors at their expense. One way around this is to sign up new members to the consortium but this is also facing difficulties.

The Gap retail empire was a founder member but pulled out in the early stages and attempts to bring it back on board have failed. There are also issues with the supply chain. It takes a while for them to understand how everyone can benefit from the initiative.

Interested in becoming part of the Better Cotton Initiative's dynamic and enthusiastic team? Take a look at our careers page. The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) — the largest cotton sustainability programme in the world — aims to reach 5 million farmers worldwide with more sustainable agricultural practices, and account for 30% of global cotton production by Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, Better Cotton Initiative - BCI is a not-for-profit organization that works to find better and more sustainable ways to grow cotton, one of .

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