For calendar year 2023, BESTSELLER’s biggest menswear brand JACK & JONES ups direct-to-farm cotton in their extensive replenishment programme. Pre-season commitment is key to secure traceable organic cotton.
For 2023, JACK & JONES expects to increase their direct-to-farm cotton usage significantly. Most of the amount will be used for their NOOS (Never Out Of Stock) programme which covers approximately half of JACK & JONES’ total turnover and which focuses on styles that can be used season after season.
“Of course, there are still lots of areas where we can improve, but a development like this one in a difficult market is not something we should simply downplay,” says Anders Gam, JACK & JONES’ Brand Director.
Direct-to-farm cotton represents more than 25 % of JACK & JONES’ expected total amount of cotton for the coming year. The menswear brand is thus well on its way to reach BESTSELLER’s Fashion FWD target of sourcing 30% of its entire cotton supply from organic or in-conversion cotton by 2025.
“It’s a great commitment, and it signals that this is the way forward. One of our main environmental impacts lies within the materials we use, so moving from conventional cotton to direct-to-farm has a substantial impact,” says Anders Gam.
18 million cotton t-shirts
Last year, JACK & JONES booked lint from various direct-to-farm programmes corresponding 1,500 MT of cotton lint for different NOOS styles.
“We estimate that the total number will increase to more than 6600 MT lint in 2023. That is the equivalent to 18.5 million cotton t-shirts,” says Gregory Simsick, JACK & JONES’ NOOS Supply Chain Manager.
Support where it matters
Direct-to-farm is a sourcing model used by BESTSELLER to create a secure market for organic and in-conversion cotton as well as a premium payment for the farmers. In 2022, BESTSELLER saw a decrease in its overall organic cotton percentage – from 21 % in 2021 to 11 % in 2022.
Organic cotton sourcing has been challenging the past years, especially through conventional sourcing methods where there have been industry wide integrity issues. The drop demonstrated the need for a dedicated direct-to-farm approach to move the numbers for this year.
“The approach – where we book cotton lint before harvest season – can help us to secure the future supply of genuine organic cotton, with long-term planning and multi-year agreements with farmers. Simultaneously, it’s a more attractive business case for the farmers,” says Danique Lodewijks, Senior Project Specialist at BESTSELLER.
“When sourcing through direct-to-farm, we know where our raw materials come from and the communities that grow it, as well as what impact our investment has.”
“We see observable benefits to crop and soil health, and the environmental impact from cotton production is lowered through farmer education programmes, reduced use of agrochemicals and promotion of water-efficient growing practises.”
Responding to severe imbalance
BESTSELLER has decided to continue to increase its direct-to-farm approach with different partners, such as the multi-stakeholder organisation Organic Cotton Accelerator (India) and CmiA Organic (Africa) as well as long-standing suppliers such as Bossa (Turkey), Calik (Turkey) and Artistic Milliners (Pakistan). This is a response to the severe imbalance between global demand and supply of organic cotton and to make sure the investments benefit the farmer communities directly.
- Organic cotton is grown using methods and materials with a reduced environmental impact compared to conventional methods. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, expand biologically diverse agriculture, and prohibit the use of synthetic toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilisers, as well as genetically engineered seed.
- Third-party certification organisations verify that organic producers meet strict federal regulations addressing methods and materials allowed in organic production.
- Only around one percent of the world’s cotton is grown and certified using organic practices.
- As organic cotton is one of the most low-impact ways of producing cotton, BESTSELLER sees organic as a priority sourcing option within the commitment for 100 percent branded and certified cotton by 2025. Therefore, BESTSELLER has set a target for sourcing at least 30 percent of its overall target from organic cotton.
- To encourage more farmers to convert to organic cotton farming, BESTSELLER has enrolled cotton in the process of becoming organic – called in-conversion cotton – in its portfolio of branded and certified cotton.
- Learn more about BESTSELLER’s approach to cotton sourcing here.