How we source the materials for our products can have a big impact on the physical environment and the livelihoods of people across the world.
For many textiles, the story begins with cotton and the fields where it’s grown. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), cotton is produced in 80 countries around the world, using 3 percent of global arable land and supporting hundreds of millions of people, including approximately 100 million farmers. Key challenges to achieving a more sustainable cotton supply include climate change and resource depletion. Recognising these challenges, George at Asda has been working with stakeholders across the industry to learn more about the issues facing cotton and ways to create systemic change all the way back to the cotton field.
By 2025, George will source 100% more sustainable cotton for George own brand clothing and soft home textile products.
“More sustainable cotton” means working to continuously improve environmental and social performance on the fields where cotton is grown, including but not limited to, factors such as:
Maximising land use efficiency/yield
Improving soil health
Optimising inputs like water and chemicals
Decreasing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions
Promoting conditions that are better for workers and farmers
To achieve our goal, George will work with our own brand suppliers to source more sustainable cotton, such as through the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). As the second biggest clothing retailer by volume in the UK, we believe our goal will help increase both the demand and supply for sustainably sourced cotton. Additionally, in support of our aspiration to help create a more circular economy, George will also work more with suppliers to include recycled cotton as a source of more sustainable cotton to achieve our goal.
We’ll be working with suppliers and industry partners like BCI to build a better understanding of conditions in key cotton sourcing regions globally and the sustainability risks arising in the face of climate change. This collaboration will help guide George’s approach to supporting improvements in cotton sustainability.