Increasing our Use of Sustainable Cotton with the Better Cotton Initiative
At Wrangler, we use a lot of cotton. Traditional cotton production requires extensive use of water, fertilizers and pesticides – practices that are costly to farmers and can have significant environmental impacts. To address these impacts, Wrangler has partnered with the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), an organization dedicated to making global cotton production better for the people who produce it, for the environment in which it grows, and for the sector’s future. As a leading Fast Track member of BCI since 2013 along with industry peers such as Ikea, Marks and Spencer and Tesco, VF has invested more than $500,000 through 2015 to build the supply of BCI cotton.
Each year, Wrangler increases the volume of sustainable cotton purchased – from 700 MT in 2014 to 1,500 MT in 2015.
To boost the global supply of sustainable cotton, Wrangler and other brands are supporting a three-year, farm-level project to create a sustainable cotton supply from smallholder farmers in Hebei Province, one of China’s leading cotton producing areas. Cotton farmers in that area farm less than one hectare per household and the project aims to increase their incomes while protecting the environment. This collaborative effort with international NGO Solidaridad, Wrangler and other brands will utilize the BCI production principles to help reduce use of pesticides, fertilizers and water while also addressing community development needs.
Closer to home, Wrangler also initiated a sustainable cotton pilot project with approximately 20 cotton farmers in North Carolina in 2016. By 2020, we aim to leverage collaborative training and improvement programs for our cotton farmers to enhance the sustainability of our fiber supply.