These companies rank highest for the use of sustainable cotton

There are many differences between “conventional” and “sustainable” cotton. Here we help you to understand the best type of cotton to look out for when you are buying new clothes, in order for you to become a conscious consumer. We include a list with supporters of sustainable cotton and some tips in order to take a more environmentally friendly approach to your purchases.

The Sustainable Cotton Ranking 

Organisations such as PAN UK, Solidaridad and WWF created the Sustainable Cotton Ranking (SCR) to accelerate the demand and uptake of more sustainable cotton by clothing and home-textile retailers. 


Whilst “Conventional” cotton causes environmental and socio-economic issues, “sustainable” cotton helps to minimize them. The infographic below shows the issues associated with the use of conventional cotton.


However, sustainable cotton is still a niche product, which makes it more expensive and therefore only available to a specific consumer group. 

How can we encourage sustainable cotton to be a more accessible resource? 

By demanding more!

When you decide to buy a new t-shirt, you could make the difference by just checking the label! 

Here are some of the cotton production standards which are credible according to PAN UK, Solidaridad and WWF : Better cotton, Organic cotton, fairtrade cotton, Cotton made in Africa.

Today we can sacrifice a few euros more, by buying less and buying a higher quality. By making these changes in our buying habits we can help drive the price down for sustainable cotton, so that hopefully in the future we will have more accessible prices. This ultimately contributes to a more sustainable planet, which is a big advantage for everyone!

We are already one step forward!

As we can see from the graph below, the journey towards increased use of a more sustainable cotton has already started.


Source: Sustainable cotton ranking, Market update

Sustainable cotton % of global cotton production

The share of sustainable cotton increased to 21% of the global production in 2019. In 2020 it is projected to amount at least 30% of the global production. From the past years’ growth rate, we believe that finding sustainable cotton products will be easier than we think!

Who is selling sustainable cotton products?

Don’t be surprised when you discover the list of the top brands using more sustainable cotton. It is no longer a trade-off between your style and being sustainable! We are all loyal to our favourite brands, indeed those we all see in our daily lives are already committing to solve such environmental issues.

Following, are the top  10 companies using sustainable cotton for their products. 

  1. Adidas

  2. IKEA

  3. H&M Group

  4. C&A

  5. Otto Group

  6. Marks and Spencer Group plc

  7. Levi Strauss & Co.

  8. Tchibo GmbH

  9. Nike, Inc.

  10. Decathlon Group

Check the complete rank on Sustainable Cotton Ranking 2020 to know all the company’s performances.

Does your company use large volumes of cotton?

The growth of the sustainable cotton market depends on everybody who works in this industry . “Free riding is not an option anymore” and everybody, both consumers and organisations, should take their responsibility to encourage a sustainable use of cotton.

The sustainable cotton ranking organization provides some recommendations for companies to encourage their step towards success: 

  • Adopt measures to include sustainable cotton usage and to address issues of highly hazardous pesticides, water, biodiversity, labour conditions, and recycling;

  • Map cotton supply chains down to at least the country of cultivation. Remember you can learn together with other entities in your sector, why not build a partnership to win the sustainability challenge?

  • Set goals for more sustainable cotton sourcing, including the percentage of Better cotton, Organic cotton, fairtrade cotton, Cotton made in Africa and recycled cotton;

  • Report your strategies, targets and performances annually. Only when you do that are you able to be in the sustainable cotton ranking! It is a very easy way in order to be transparent in your operations.

Learn from a front runner

The Global Environment Manager at H&M Group, Harsha Verdhan, stated that “Sometimes it is fine not to meet short-term targets, in order to fulfil long-term vision”. 

The company is considered a front runner when it comes to sustainable cotton sourcing: they set their ultimate goal to source 100% sustainable by 2020 while at the moment uses sustainable cotton for a total of 43% of all their cotton use! 

Here you can find all the recommendations of H&M  from their journey to the sustainable cotton supply chain!

Do not waste

Kleiderly commits to convert the production of textiles in a circular economy, so that all efforts are not ending in landfill or incineration. What do you think about creating something unique, with a unique material? Write to us for more information! 



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