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ECO-NEWS

Textile Exchange Releases First Annual 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge Report

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A catalyst to spur a shift in the market toward the use of more sustainable cotton.

The 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge serves as a cornerstone for change in the apparel and textile industry by encouraging brands and retailers to commit to source 100% of their cotton from the most sustainable sources by the year 2025.

The Challenge was formed in 2017 when His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales convened a group of CEOs through the work of his International Sustainability Unit that existed to address critical challenges facing the world.

Those original 13 CEOs committed to work together to accelerate the use of sustainable cotton, which paved the way for other industry leaders to follow – resulting in 39 companies now committed to sourcing 100% sustainable cotton by 2025.

This first annual report provides information and statistics on the achievements and impacts these programs are having on water, communities, soil quality, biodiversity and social considerations and regulations. By committing to use cotton from these initiatives and standards, the brands are ensuring that the intentions of their sustainable sourcing strategies are maintained and the integrity of their commitments are uncompromised.

KEY FINDINGS

Of the 39 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge signatories, 30 participated in the 2018 Preferred Fiber and Materials Benchmark program to report on their progress towards their goal of 100% cotton being sourced from the approved initiatives by 2025:

  • 10% of 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge signatories have achieved their 2025 target of 100% preferred cotton usage, all of which are organic.

  • 37% have achieved a preferred cotton share of between 75-99%.

  • 23% have achieved a preferred cotton share of between 50-74%.

  • 7% have achieved a preferred cotton share of between 25-49%.

  • 17% have achieved a preferred cotton share of less than 24%.

  • 6% of cotton is not tracked yet.

  • From the niche to a market share of 19 percent, preferred cotton is gaining ground.

“The tide is turning on traditional supply chains, with demands for greater transparency generating a change from transactional relationships to transformational partnerships,” said Alison Ward, CEO for CottonConnect. In order for sustainable cotton to become standard business practice, the amount of sustainable cotton grown and bought must increase significantly. The 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge pledge sends a signal to millions of producers that there is a real demand for a more sustainable approach to cotton production that reduces the environmental and social costs. Liza Schillo, Manager of Global Product Sustainability at Levi Strauss & Co. said, “Greater transparency across the supply chain and stronger, more strategic relationships between supply chain partners will be critical to the much-needed widespread adoption of sustainable farming practices around the world.”Get more information and join the 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge today: