Better Cotton launches Traceable Better Cotton

Non-profit organization Better Cotton has launched a new traceability solution for the fashion and textile industry called Traceable Better Cotton, developed over the course of three years. It is intended to make the journey of cotton through the supply chain visible by recording the contributions of everyone involved on the Better Cotton platform.

According to the organization, it has worked closely with a network of retailers and brands such as H&M Group, Marks & Spencer, Walmart, Target, Bestseller, Gap Inc and C&A to ensure that fashion companies accurately trace, disclose and so on the origins of raw materials comply with new regulations.

“At Marks & Spencer, 100 percent of the cotton we source for our clothing is responsibly sourced. However, the industry’s global supply chain remains particularly complex. Since 2021, we have been proud partners with Better Cotton to improve cotton traceability and we are pleased to be part of this first-of-its-kind solution that allows us to track our cotton along the supply chain at scale.” says Katharine Beacham, Head of Materials and Sustainability at Marks & Spencer.

Using the Better Cotton platform operated by the software company ChainPoint, suppliers can log transaction data from the cotton gin to the retailer or brand, allowing them to understand where Better Cotton comes from and how much of it is contained in a product.

“Fundamentally changing” supply chains

“Cotton traceability at scale will fundamentally transform our industry’s supply chains. Better Cotton’s traceability solution is positioned to support the industry in this transformation. Transparency has never been more important than it is now for our retail and brand members. We are grateful to all the organizations that have contributed to the development of the Better Cotton Platform and are committed to its continued improvement,” said Better Cotton CEO Alan McClay in a press release.

Not to mention, companies are increasingly expected to verify the origin of raw materials in their products in order to increase transparency and take into account the possible negative impact of their activities on human rights and the environment.

“Traceable Better Cotton gives participating retailers and brands the confidence that they are sourcing products from a specific country and provides greater transparency in the supply chain so they can incorporate insights into their own supply chain due diligence,” it said it further in the press release.

In the coming years, Traceable Better Cotton will serve as the basis for an “Impact Marketplace” that compensates farmers for progress in their fields. In addition, life cycle analyzes at country level should make it possible to calculate the environmental impact of Better Cotton in comparison to conventional cotton and to make credible statements for consumers and companies.