More than 70 per cent of the cotton being sourced for Marks & Spencer (M&S) products is now grown using more sustainable methods, says its annual progress report. This makes M&S one of the biggest users of more sustainably sourced cotton and has put it on track to meet its commitment to hit 100 per cent next year to improve people, planet and health.
83 per cent of M&S products now have an eco or ethical quality above the market norm and 30 million items of clothing reused or recycled with Oxfam, said its Plan A report. M&S uses around 50,000 tonnes of cotton a year. Unless it is grown sustainably, growers can use too much water in areas that are often short of water. They can also misuse pesticides and it can be hard for farmers to make enough money, the report stated.
“Across our business we’re delivering better value for our customers, cutting prices and improving our products. Plan A plays a vital role in this transformation as Better Cotton equals better value because our customers care about where products come from and how they are produced. That’s why customers are at the heart of Plan A and why we’re helping to democratise sustainability by placing an eco or ethical quality into every product,” Mike Barry, director of Plan A and sustainable business at M&S, said.
“Since joining Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) as a pioneer member in 2009, M&S has been committed to making more sustainable cotton, at scale, a reality. Their commitment is not only demonstrated in the increasing volumes of cotton they source as Better Cotton, but also in the time, energy and strategic input they invest in BCI’s growth, across the various advisory capacities in which they have participated. Critically, over the years, M&S has invested funds that directly benefit smallholder farmers through their membership of the Better Cotton Growth and Innovation Fund,” Lena Staafgard, chief operating officer at BCI, said. (RR)Source: fibre2fashion