Cotton 2040 Launches CottonUP Guide


Multistakeholder initiative Cotton 2040 recently launched CottonUP, a practical guide to sourcing more sustainable cotton. The guide was created with the vision of a cotton industry that is a force for good for workers, and the environment along the entire supply chain.

Cotton 2040 brought together representatives of cotton standards, such as Fairtrade, The Better Cotton Initiative, Cotton Made in Africa, my BMP, and Textile Exchange in a non-competitive collaboration to create the CottonUP guide.  The guide will ease retailers and brands entry into sourcing sustainable cotton and therefore will maximize and increase initiatives in the sustainable cotton industry.

In the fashion industry, 30% of the fibres used are cotton. Current models of producing cotton have a large social and environmental footprint, as conventional cotton requires high amounts of water, pesticides and fertilizers, that are damaging not only for the environment and bio-diversity but for the lives and health of farmers. Most cotton is produced by small farms, located in the global south, who are already vulnerable to price fluctuations and climate change. When brands and retailers commit to sourcing sustainable cotton it positively effects both the environment and the health and livelihoods of farmers, as it requires less water, pesticides and fertilizers.

The CottonUP guide is a neutral resource, aimed towards brands and retailers that are interested either in taking the first step in sourcing sustainable cotton, or increasing the amount they source.  The guide attempts to address the biggest hurdle for entry into the sustainable cotton industry, the time and resources required to research and introduce the most effective sourcing methods.  The guide also includes case studies from brands, so that others may learn from their experience navigating the complicated sourcing process and build their own sourcing strategy.

Through Cotton 2040 and the CottonUP guide, key industry players are making a united effort to pull brands and retailers towards more sustainable cotton and make it easier for them to source across multiple standards.”

 – Anita Chester, Head of Sustainable Raw Materials, C&A Foundation

With the CottonUP guide, Cotton 2040 aims to increase the amount of sustainable cotton produced from “15% to 30% and beyond from 2020”. Supporting the increase in sustainable cotton production, is not only good for the environment but also positively impacts the lives of the farmers. 

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