Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)
The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) pursues the goal of reducing the damaging effects of global cotton production on people and the environment. Specified criteria for cotton production are intended to ensure that cotton is produced not only in a way which protects water, soil and the environment but also in a way that is socially fair and economically viable.
Besides non-governmental organizations such as WWF, renowned companies such as Ikea, H&M, Marks & Spencer and Adidas are also members of the initiative.
Cotton Made in Africa (CmiA)
Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) is an initiative to promote sustainable cotton production in Africa. The developmental approach of the initiative uses training programmes to teach small African farmers about environmentally friendly farming methods that will lead to higher yields and will help them to improve the living conditions by themselves. In addition, the initiative – together with its partners – supports educational projects. Textile companies that use Cotton made in Africa support the aims of the initiative through their demands. In line with the motto of “aid through trade”, about 20 international member companies – among them the Otto Group, C&A, Puma, Tchibo and Anvil Knitwear – are at present deliberately asking for sustainably produced. African cotton on the world market.
Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the world’s leading textile standard for organic fibres which independently evaluates and certifies both ecological as well as social criteria. The standard further encompasses all phases of production: from the production of the raw material, e.g. cotton, to processing and distribution. The certificate applies to fibre products, yarns, fabrics, garments and household textiles. They are produced and processed by means of a defined catalogue of criteria. Thus, for example, the use of a series of chemical substances is prohibited and bleaches must be based on oxygen.
Textile products that carry the GOTS Label with the “organic” label-grade contain at least 95% certified organic fibres. Products that have the GOTS label with the “made with X% organic” label-grade contain at least 70% certified organic fibres.
The charitable organisation Transfair awards the “Fairtrade certified cotton” mark to textiles that have been produced according to fair and social commercial and working conditions. The standards apply to all steps of production – from planting to the finished cotton product.
By paying fair market prices, producers in developing countries are able to build up a life of dignity by themselves, thereby improving people’s quality of life.