2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge

What is the Cotton Challenge?

Textile Exchange and its members believe that there is a necessity for cotton to be produced and used more sustainably, not only to reduce its burden on the environment, but also as a pathway to lift farmers and their families out of poverty. Cotton is also an important rotational crop for smallholder farmers and the cash income it creates is vital for farmers’ livelihoods, contributing to both improved living standards for themselves, their communities and to food security. Addressing the land, water, and social impacts of cotton supply chains will also move the textile industry closer to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge, challenges retailers and brands to champion the greater use of sustainable cotton by aiming for 100% of the cotton from their supply chains to come from the most sustainable sources. These sustainable sources are from the Textile Exchange list of recognized organic and sustainable cotton initiatives. These initiatives include Organic, Fairtrade, Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), Cotton Made in Africa and recycled cotton certified to an independently verifiable standard such as the Global Recycled Standard (GRS) or the Recycled Claim Standard (RCS). In addition, Cotton Connect’s REEL program and code provides a starting point for businesses aiming to for greater sustainability in their cotton supply chain.

Current brands that have accepted the 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge are:

History of the Challenge

In May 2017, thirteen of the world’s most renowned clothing and textile companies, signed up to the 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge in the presence of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales who’s International Sustainability Unit started the challenge. Over the following weeks and months, other companies also committed to the challenge of ensuring that 100% of the cotton they use comes from sustainable sources by 2025.

As of March 2018, it was decided that the International Sustainability Unit would close. Given this decision, it was decided that Textile Exchange would take over the role of the initiative’s Secretariat. Textile Exchange is thrilled keep this great momentum going.

How to Participate

This initiative is a catalyst to spur a shift in the market towards the use of more sustainable cotton. As stated in the original Communiqué, companies will be required to independently publish their progress from 2018 which will be collected by Textile Exchange.

If your company is interested in signing up for the 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge, please follow and fill out the Pledge link below. If you have any questions, please contact us.


To pledge, please fill out this form:

Facts About Cotton

Cotton is the most abundantly produced natural fiber and its production supports the livelihoods of over 350 million people. Despite its global importance, cotton production is beset by a number of environmental and social challenges that undermine the sustainability of the sector as a whole. Whilst cotton only covers 2.4% of the world’s arable land, it accounts for 6% of global pesticide use. With around 2,720 liters of water needed to make just one t-shirt, cotton production is highly dependent on water, and artificially irrigated areas can deplete local water sources. Higher temperatures and changing rainfall patterns caused by climate change are likely to cause severe water shortages in some areas, as well as increase the prevalence of pests and diseases, and in turn negatively affect yields. The challenges of the cotton sector are also social and economic, with cotton farmers and their dependents negatively impacted by the over-use of pesticides and petroleum based fertilizers, and rising costs of production and volatile market prices.

Cotton Resources

Visit Our Cotton Strategies Page

For information on cotton sourcing, webinars, and media. https://textileexchange.org/materials-z/planning-an-effective-cotton-strategy/

Preferred Fiber and Materials Benchmarking Portal

Register or Sign-In to the PFM Portal http://pfm.textileexchange.org/signin