We work with partners to advance sustainable cotton production
From sourcing certified cotton to promoting industry-best practice within and beyond our value chain, we work proactively to integrate sustainability into our everyday cotton operations
As a natural fiber, cotton has significant sustainability advantages over synthetic alternatives such as polyester. Cotton supply chains, however, are not without challenges. These relate to decent work and economic development, human rights and gender equality, responsible production and water scarcity.
Since these challenges mostly arise in agriculture, a stage of the supply chain that we do not directly manage, we partner with others to address them, particularly with the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Association of Cotton Merchants in Europe (ACME) and Cotton Made in Africa (CMiA).
Promoting the BCI’s comprehensive sustainability standards, working with partners to improve supply chain practices through local projects, and purchasing more BCI-certified cotton are the main ways in which we influence production methods.
Training 15,000 Farmers in India
Our joint project with the Better Cotton Initiative and Puneet Enterprises began in 2018 and has since supported some 15,000 farmers to address some of the social, economic and climatic challenges associated with cotton production, such as dependence on credit, unpredictable weather, lack of technical information and market access, as well as gender inequality.
Participants acquire knowledge on sustainable farming techniques, such as intercropping to improve yields and productivity, proper application of fertilizers and effective pest control methods, as well as the key role of women in agriculture and how to engage their active participation in cotton farming.
Training 114,500 Farmers in Zambia
Since 2015, we have worked with Cotton Made in Africa (CMiA) to train Zambia’s cotton farmers in good agricultural practices (GAPs).
In 2020, as a result of the pandemic, LDC recorded a 25% reduction in the overall number of farmers growing cotton in Zambia, compared with the previous season. Furthermore, because of contact restrictions put in place by the government, only approximately 70% of these farmers received full training in GAPs and general sustainability issues.
Despite these setbacks, by the end of 2020 our project with CMiA had trained a total of just over 114,500 farmers, exceeding our target set in 2018 by almost 15,000.