The companies in the Textiles Partnership alone purchase more than half of the organic cotton available worldwide. This is shown by the 86 recently published progress reports. According to their own statements, the members procured around 800,000 tonnes of cotton in 2018, of which 83,000 tonnes was organic cotton. In 2016/17 around 118,000 tonnes of organic cotton were grown worldwide. Since the areas under organic cotton were already in transition at that time, the total quantity of organic cotton was probably already higher in 2018.
Common target for cotton
Since 2018, each member of the Partnership that procures cotton has been obliged to set itself an individual annual target to increase its production of sustainable cotton. The achievement of the target must be set out in the progress report in the following year. The target relates to increasing the proportion of organic cotton and other sustainable cotton (see Standards Systems for Sustainable Cotton). The members thus contribute to achieving the overarching objective for cotton:
By 2020, the Partnership members want to increase the proportion of sustainable cotton to 35 percent, of which at least 10 percent should come from organic farming or conversion to organic farming. By 2025 this share is to be doubled, i.e. to 70 percent sustainable cotton, 20 percent of which is organic cotton or cotton under conversion.
The progress reports show: Of the almost 800,000 tonnes of cotton procured by the Partnership members in 2018, around 10.5 percent already came from organic cultivation and 21.7 percent from other sources recognised as sustainable.
How much organic cotton is there worldwide?
In his Market Report 2018 Textile Exchange states that in 2016/17 out of 22,000,000 tons of cotton grown worldwide, 118,000 tons of organic cotton were produced - just 0.5 percent.
Textile Exchange is a global not-for-profit association that is a leader in the sustainable fiber and materials industry. Through a strategic cooperation between Textile Exchange and the Textiles Partnership, the international harmonization of fiber-related sustainability requirements and standards is to be promoted and the use of sustainable materials promoted.