Cotton Traceability Nearly Impossible Say Sustainability Experts

cotton bailer

As more brands start to enter the traceability ring, they can see clearly the challenges ahead, especially with cotton.

Epoch Times writes: “Cotton is a key input to the apparel industry and producing it accounts for 2.6 percent of global water use. For just one T-shirt made from conventional cotton, you need 2,700 liters (713 gallons) of water, and a third of a pound of chemicals. With sustainability becoming increasingly important, particularly to millennials, some designers want to make garments that are truly sustainable. The only problem is, they don’t know where the cotton comes from.

“Of course nobody can really tell you who the cotton farmers are,” said founder and CEO of Sourcemap Leo Bonanni. ‘That’s because there’s hundreds of thousands of them,’ he said of the farmers.”

Brooklyn Fashion+Design Accelerator founder Deb Johnson wrote on the same topic last year and said when it comes to the complexities of deeming a product organic, most people don’t take into consideration what goes into making an organic apparel certification.

“Most people don’t even know that when something is certified organic, it doesn’t mean that the carbon footprint has been reduced or that workers were treated ethically. The point of origin for a finished product is what’s deemed the most important and does not include the processing, manufacturing and finishes.”

Read the full article (including our very own Venture Fellow Boerum Apparel) here.

Image: tpsdave