Cotton can change lives
The fact that all cotton used by the IKEA business comes from more sustainable sources, means lots of different things, for instance that our cotton is grown with less water and chemicals, helping areas that are subject to erosion and water scarcity. It also means increased benefits and wellbeing for the cotton farmers and a better quality of life for them and their families. It means education for their kids. In other words, any cotton choice you make when buying an IKEA product is a better one.
Seeing the difference responsible sourcing makes, being 100% committed to sustainable cotton is an easy choice. We ensure that this promise to our customers is being kept, by regularly checking that the cotton can be traced back to the spinner, the ginnery and the farmers that grew it.
The Better Cotton Initiative is a global game-changer
Since 2005, we have worked with WWF to make cotton farming more sustainable. Along with WWF, we helped set up the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), a non-profit organisation that aims to improve the lives of cotton farmers, make the cotton production more responsible and increase demand for sustainable cotton.
Today, the Better Cotton Initiative is the largest cotton sustainability program in the world, providing training on more sustainable farming practices to more than 2,000,000 cotton farmers in 21 countries. “We started using Better Cotton to meet IKEA requirements. But seeing the benefits for the people working with it and for the environment, we want to move all our production to Better Cotton,” says Venkatachalam Ashok Ram Kumar, Managing Director of Asian Fabricx.
Cotton at IKEA by numbers
About a quarter of all the cotton we use comes from Pakistan, which makes it our biggest cotton sourcing country. Other important cotton suppliers are India, China, USA and Brazil.
Sustainable cotton used by the IKEA business includes 80,5% cotton grown to the Better Cotton Initiative Standard, 14,6% recycled cotton, and 4,9% Towards Better Cotton, or other more sustainable cotton such as the e3 Cotton Program in the USA. Towards Better Cotton – on its way to becoming Better Cotton – is a standard we developed following the same principles and criteria as Better Cotton.
Each year, we use around 1% of the world’s cotton supply. Despite being a relatively small number, it’s enough to drive change.
Leading lasting change
As one of the leading global brands regarding sustainable cotton sourcing, our vision is that more sustainable cotton becomes a mainstream material – affordable and accessible to everyone. We continue to work in the field, expanding the scope of the initiatives to include water, biodiversity and soil management.
“We are committed to creating a positive change throughout the entire cotton industry. More sustainable cotton needs to become a mainstream material beyond our business and we continue to collaborate and work with our partners to create an even bigger positive impact on the industry, people and our planet,” says Rahul Ganju.