Preferred Cotton Matrix

Sustainable Cotton Matrix


The Brazilian Association of Cotton Producers aims to increase the profitability of the sector through the union of its agents and seek strategic sustainability, acting politically, socially and economically with the public and private sectors, practicing management of results in four aspects: fiber quality, traceability, sustainability and commercialization.


e3™ is BASF CropScience’s more sustainable cotton option. It is grown in the U.S.A. with care by cotton producers striving to improve their sustainability in production of the highest-quality upland cotton for apparel and home furnishings.

Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)

BCI sets out to improve the sustainability of mainstream cotton production. Growers must meet minimum environmental and social requirements for their cotton to qualify as Better Cotton. Continuous improvement is a key element of the Assurance Programme.

Cleaner Cotton

The Sustainable Cotton Project works with Californian cotton growers to reduce the harmful impacts of pesticide use from cotton production on the air, water and soil in the region and to market the cotton they grow in the project as Cleaner Cotton™.


Conventional cotton has historic high pesticide use. In general, GMOs have reduced insecticide use but increased herbicide use. Also, resistance is developing leading to a rise in chemical use. Petroleum based fertilizers are utilized widely to boost production, as are fungicides, insecticides, growth regulators, and defoliants. Water is also an…

Cotton Made in Africa (CmiA)

Cotton made in Africa is an initiative of the Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) that helps African smallholder cotton farmers to improve their living conditions. Growers must meet minimum environmental and social requirements for their cotton to qualify as CmiA.


Evrnu purifies cotton garment waste, converts it to a pulp, and extrudes it as a pristine new fiber for the creation of premium textiles. Their process can create engineered fibers with a wide range deniers, shapes, and properties. The Evrnu process creates very little negative environmental impact. Pre-commercial bench scale…


Fairtrade changes the way trade works through better prices, decent working conditions and a fairer deal for farmers. The Fairtrade standards require farmers to organize in democratic producer organizations and environmentally sound agricultural practices. It ensures the Fairtrade Minimum Price and Fairtrade Premium.

Field to Market

Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture is a diverse, multi-stakeholder iniatitive working to create opportunities across the agricultural supply chain for continuous improvements in productivity, environmental quality, and human well-being. The Alliance provides a common framework for sustainability measurement that row crop farmers and the supply chain can…

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)

The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is recognized as the world’s leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibers. It defines high-level environmental criteria along the entire organic textiles supply chain and requires compliance with social criteria as well.


ISCC is applicable to all field crops, including cotton. ISCC ensures that crops are not produced on land with high biodiversity and high carbon stock, good agricultural practices are applied to protect soil, water, air, and that human, labour, land rights are respected. Supply chain traceability is ensured. There are…


myBMP is a voluntary farm and environmental management system which provides self-assessment mechanisms, practical tools and auditing processes to ensure that Australian cotton is produced according to best practice.

Organic Content Standard (OCS)

The Organic Content Standard (OCS) is a chain of custody standard that provides companies with a tool to verify that one or more specific input material is in a final product. It requires that each organization along the supply chain take sufficient steps to ensure that the integrity and identity…

Organic Cotton

Organic cotton is grown within a rotation system that builds soil fertility, protects biodiversity, and is grown without the use of any synthetic chemicals or GMOs. Growers must meet organic agricultural standards as set nationally, and by the importing country if export is carried out. Definition: landmarks/definition-organic-agriculture


re:newcell’s textile recycling technology transforms a high cellulosic portion fabric into high quality recycled dissolving pulp. The process does not require any environmentally harmful chemicals, and the re:newcell pulp can be fed into the commercial textile production chain. Pre-commercial bench scale concept proven - operational from 2017.


Recover® produces Mechanically Recycled Cotton Yarns. Recover® is known for offering the finest gauges, consistent quality, and precise color control. Recover® cotton is blended into accurate colors lot to lot without any dyestuffs applied to cotton fiber. Recently published LCAs indicate significant water, energy, chemical and CO2 savings.


The REEL Cotton Programme is a 3-year modular program for farmers with Sustainable Agricultural Practices (SAP) at its core. It has four key focus areas: - Agronomic training - Social mobility and engagement - Supply chain verification - Brand reputation

TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers with REFIBRA™ technology

Pioneering REFIBRA™ technology uses a substational portion of cotton scraps and the closed loop fiber production process to produce new virgin TENCEL™ x REFIBRA™ lyocell fibers. REFIBRA™ use innovative special identification technology to confirm fiber origin and improve supply chain transparency

Transitional Cotton

Transitioning production to organic certification usually takes place over a 36-month (three year) period, unless using virgin land. It is an ongoing cycle of shifting conventional farming practices to an organic management system until the land qualifies to be certified organic under national or international organic standards.

U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol

The US Cotton Trust Protocol is a voluntary farm-level sustainability program designed to document best management practices being used by American cotton producers. The program entails 4 key pillars: enrollment, completion of the best management practice questionnaire, use of Fieldprint Calculator, and verification. The program focuses on continual improvement and…

Worn Again

Worn Again has developed a chemical textile-to-textile recycling technology to separate and recapture polyester and cellulose from cotton from end of use textiles to be reintroduced into the supply chain as new, virgin equivalent raw materials. Pre-commercial bench scale - concept in development.

(1) Preferred Cotton Market share is calculated as a share of the program over the global aggregate cotton production reported by ICAC (source: ICAC Cotton World Statistics – May 2018 Update).
As there there overlapping production between initiatives, the sum of market share indicated here will not amount to 100%. For a proportional breakdown of the initiatives please refer to Textile Exchange Preferred Fiber and Market Report 2018)

(2) Pesticide use is under further review in many countries and evolving. As an example, the U.S. E.P.A. banned endosulfan after it was previously banned in other countries. This section allows each inititive to explain their positions.

(3) BCI Benchmark standards include: ABRAPA, CmiA and myBMP

(4) Find the full results at

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