The Better Cotton Initiative: Making Cotton Sustainable!
By Dean Schwartz (SWAG Master): In our previous blog, we talked about the need to go green. There are all sorts of ways to be more environmentally conscious, from reducing your waste, to using products made from sustainable resources. SOBO is always looking for new ways to take care of the environment while still keeping the SWAG turned to 100! One great way to keep it green is to understand the raw materials that make up the products you use. One of those materials that show up, again and again, is cotton. Enter: the biggest cotton sustainability program in the world, the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI).
But can you really make cotton better? Isn’t it already natural?
Yes, cotton is a renewable resource. However, the production is vulnerable to poor environmental management and poor working conditions. Thankfully, there are efforts already in place to help make the cotton production process as green as possible.
What is the Better Cotton Initiative?
The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) is a global not-for-profit organization. They exist “to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in and better for the sector’s future.” What a great mission! In conjunction with their partners, BCI provides training on sustainable farming practices to “more than two million cotton farmers in 21 countries.” In fact, during the 2017-18 cotton season, licensed BCI Farmers produced more than 5 million metric tons of ‘Better Cotton’ – that accounts for around 19% of global cotton production. Talk about making a positive impact on the environment!
BCI complements other great standards like “organic” and “fair-trade”. Ultimately, efforts like these are all working towards improving our environment and ensuring production is done in a sustainable manner.
But in the end, how is ‘Better Cotton’ any different from organic cotton?
What Makes Better Cotton Better?
Organic cotton is made from natural seeds, and there is no use of pesticides or other harmful chemicals. The organic cotton standard is wonderful, but it is difficult to scale, which is why it still accounts for a small part of the global cotton production.
The BCI looks to make the cotton production process better and more sustainable as a whole. In fact, ‘Better Cotton’ can even be mixed with ‘regular cotton’, if you so choose. In the end, its about making the entire industry more sustainable to create a larger positive impact on the environment.
SOBO supports any suppliers or manufacturers using more sustainable practices. Manufacturers that support efforts like BCI are helping to create a demand for more sustainable resources. Again, this process cuts straight to the source of our growing environmental challenges, so supporting BCI is a no brainer. The more demand created, the greater the impact. What a great way to go green!
Help us ensure that the world is still a habitable environment for generations to come. To learn more about SOBO’s green SWAG initiatives give us a call at 888.752.0432 (or email firstname.lastname@example.org). And remember to always #SWAGwithStyle!