Cotton is a renewable material and the cultivation and production of cotton creates jobs and improves the lives of millions of people globally. However, it also has a significant impact on the planet and people engaged depending on the farming method.

For this reason, we have committed to source 100 percent certified and branded cotton – such as organic cotton, recycled cotton, In-conversion cotton, CmiA (Cotton made in Africa) and Better Cotton – by 2022.

To support achieving our Fashion FWD goal regarding 100 percent cotton with reduced environmental impact by the end of 2022, Better Cotton has been set as a minimum requirement for all suppliers. This prerequisite has also been added as a minimum onboarding requirement for new suppliers.

While we expect to reach our goal, especially the organic cotton market has, however, been challenged the previous years and we anticipate that this will continue. There’s limited amount of organic cotton available due to industry wide integrity issues, traceability of organic cotton and inflationary pressures on the global supply chain.

Therefore, we continue to increase our direct-to-farm approach as a response to the severe imbalance between global demand and supply of organic cotton and to make sure the investments benefit the farmers directly through a premium payment.

With our relatively high cotton footprint, we have a big opportunity to use our influence to promote change in the industry and to stimulate both demand and supply of certified and branded cotton which include organic cotton, recycled cotton, In-conversion cotton, CmiA Organic cotton (Cotton made in Africa) and Better Cotton.

These are important standards for the industry that we must continuously adjust in partnership collaborations to support enhanced traceability, integrity and continuous improvement.

Our approach focuses on actively supporting cotton farming practices through investments and our sourcing policies. We’re official partners of both the Organic Cotton Accelerator (OCA) – the only multi-stakeholder organisation fully dedicated to organic cotton – as well as Better Cotton, which is the largest cotton sustainability programme in the world.

In-conversion - Organic - recycled - CmiA - Direct-to-farm - Better Cotton -

Organic cotton is grown using methods and materials with a reduced environmental impact. 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.

As organic cotton is one of the most low-impact ways of producing cotton, we want to ensure that this is a priority sourcing option within our commitment for 100 percent branded and certified cotton by 2025. Therefore, we have set a target for sourcing at least 30 percent of our overall target from organic cotton.

Cotton can be recycled from pre-consumer waste, which comes from any excess material produced during the production of yarn, fabrics and textile products, or post-consumer waste, which comes from discarded textile products (e.g. used apparel and home textiles).

There is a technological challenge when recycling cotton as these fibres are shorter than the original fibres, making them more difficult to spin. Therefore, recycled cotton is often blended with virgin cotton fibres to improve the quality of the yarns.

BESTSELLER has been an active member of Better Cotton since 2011, and we are committed to improving cotton farming practices globally with Better Cotton.

Better Cotton’s mission is to help cotton communities survive and thrive, while protecting and restoring the environment. Farmers are trained to use water efficiently, care for soil health and natural habitats, reduce use of the most harmful chemicals and respect workers’ rights and wellbeing.

Better Cotton is sourced via a chain of custody model called mass balance. This means that Better Cotton is not physically traceable to end products, however, Better Cotton Farmers benefit from the demand for Better Cotton in equivalent volumes to those we ‘source.’

BESTSELLER has been sourcing Better Cotton since 2012 and we support strategic investments into Better Cotton projects to increase the volume of Better Cotton.

To support achieving our Fashion FWD goal regarding 100 percent cotton with reduced environmental impact by the end of 2022, Better Cotton has been set as a minimum requirement for all suppliers. This prerequisite has also been added as a minimum onboarding requirement for new suppliers.

Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) aims to sustainably improve the living conditions of smallholder cotton farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa by helping them help themselves through trade (the aid by trade principle).

The farmers are trained in better cultivation methods, and an international alliance of textile companies source the CmiA raw material and pay a licensing fee to use the seal.

The proceeds from licensing fees, in following with the workings of a social business, are reinvested in the project regions of Sub-Saharan Africa. BESTSELLER uses CmiA’s ecological standard, CmiA-Organic, guaranteeing a holistically sustainable raw material with an African footprint.

Less than one percent of the world’s cotton is grown and certified using organic practices. 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 our portfolio of branded and certified cotton.

The cotton is grown using the methods and materials allowed in organic production during a typically three year conversion period. Enrolling in-conversion cotton is a way to support and reward farmers for their commitment to getting their organic cotton certification.

We’ve invested in farmer programmes to support this transition period. In-conversion cotton will also support BESTSELLER’s strategy of a direct-to-farm sourcing model in collaboration with partners such as CmiA and OCA.

The direct-to-farm approach ensures a 100% traceable cotton and a verified premium for the farmers. When sourcing through direct-to-farm, we know where our raw materials come from and the communities that grow it, what impact our investment has, and how our pre-financing of seeds has helped.

We continue to increase our direct-to-farm approach markedly as a response to the ongoing severe imbalance between global demand and supply of organic cotton and to make sure our investments benefit the farmers directly.

Go to certified and branded materials overview

Man-made cellulosics (MMC) more commonly known as Viscose, Lyocell and Modal, and are made of dissolved pulp, usually sourced from wood.

We’re partnering with the environmental organisation Canopy, developed a Forest Protection Policy and are tracing the wood pulp sources in our supply chain.

Learn more.

The polyester fibre is important for many of our current collections. It's a versatile synthetic fibre that is easy to care for. But it also uses large amounts of energy to produce, is based on non-renewable petroleum and it is non-biodegradable.

These characteristics mean that we need to make every effort to minimise its negative impacts as well as investigate alternative fibres for long-term viability.

Learn more.

In order to become more circular, we are exploring and already using alternative fibre options. Innovation in textiles is strategically important for BESTSELLER and through Invest FWD and our involvement in Fashion for Good, we will explore innovative material solutions and help bring them to scale.

Learn more.

At BESTSELLER, we have taken a strong stance on Animal Welfare. Animals must not be harmed for the manufacturing of our products.

Learn more and download our Animal Welfare Policy.

We’re continuously evaluating, testing and adopting innovative solutions within textile recycling. Meanwhile our brands are working to increase their sourcing of recycled fibres.

Learn more about our goals and projects.

Climate Impact Preparing for a circular future Supporting the people in our supply chain Certified and branded materials