Our cotton story
Cotton is a natural fibre grown all around the world by millions of farmers. We depend on the world’s natural resources to craft high quality products, therefore addressing sustainability issues surrounding cotton agriculture is important to us. We want to ensure that our raw materials are sourced responsibly.
Openness and transparency throughout the supply chain play a vital role in modern, sustainable manufacturing and – as part of our sustainability strategy – our goal is to increase the amount of sustainable cotton we use, while improving its traceability.
In 2019 we began introducing sustainable cotton by becoming members of the Better Cotton Initiative and in 2020, we added organic cotton into our collections. These substitutions will contribute to our target of sourcing 80% sustainable cotton by 2025.
We know we must do more. Our future vision will focus on traceability, enabling us to directly participate in the chain of custody throughout the supply chain, delivering transparency from farm to product.
We are proud members of the Better Cotton Initiative, committed to improving cotton farming practices globally.
The Better Cotton Initiative connects people and organisations across the cotton sector, from field to store, to promote measurable and continuing improvements for the environment, farming communities and the economies of cotton-producing areas.
The Better Cotton Initiative also trains farmers to use water efficiently, care for soil health and natural habitats, reduce use of the most harmful chemicals and respect workers’ rights and wellbeing.
Sourced via a system of mass-balance, Better Cotton is tracked by volumes through the supply chain. While Better Cotton is not physically traceable to end products, BCI Farmers benefit from the demand for Better Cotton in equivalent volumes to those we source. See bettercotton.org/massbalance for details.
Whistles is committed to sourcing a minimum of 60% of our cotton as Better Cotton by 2025.
As part of our commitment to increase the amount of sustainable cotton we source, we have begun to craft our products using organic cotton, starting with our organic cotton denim range.
There are many benefits associated with organic cotton; from reducing environmental footprints to promoting safe work and bettering livelihoods.
Organic cotton farming promotes healthier soil because it substitutes synthetic pesticides and chemicals with natural composting as fertiliser, using 62% less energy.
As well as guaranteeing a safe working environment for farmers, the majority of organic cotton is rainfed, using 88% less water.
In many cases, by growing other crops alongside organic cotton, farming families and their communities are afforded a more stable, accessible, abundant and diverse food supply, as well as another source of income.
By introducing organic cotton within our collections at Whistles, we are furthering our efforts to source more responsible and sustainable raw materials. We aim to create a positive impact for cotton farmers, our industry and the environment.