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Mind the Gap: Towards a More Sustainable Cotton Market

Production of more sustainable cotton has never been higher - reaching 2,173,000 tonnes in 2014 or 8 percent of the total global supply - and is projected to rise to 13 percent in 2015. Yet, uptake is lagging behind: Only 17 percent of all sustainable cotton is being bought by retailers, while the remaining 83 percent is being sold to the conventional cotton market due to lack of demand from retailers and brands.

According to this research carried out for Solidaridad, WWF and Pesticides Action Network UK (PAN UK), international clothing brands and retailers have a crucial role to play in securing the future of the market for more sustainable cotton.

"Buying more sustainable cotton has never been easier," the Director of Market Transformation at WWF, Richard Holland, is quoted in the report. "Leading companies like IKEA and H&M are showing it’s possible to use 100% more sustainable cotton in their products within a couple of years."

In subsequent research and campaigns, the organizations have continued to make the ethical and business case for sustainable cotton by noting production and uptake trends, as well as by benchmarking companies.

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