Sustainable cotton sounds good. But what does it mean exactly?
The term “sustainable cotton” refers to cotton that has been grown and processed in a way that is kind to people and the planet. This type of cotton includes Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) and organic cotton. In 2017, we use sustainably farmed cotton for over 40 million of our products, or 80% of our cotton items. But that’s not enough for us. By 2020, we want to produce 100% of our cotton garments using only sustainable cotton. That’s approximately 50 million products at present, which represents around 50% of all our apparel.
Sustainability feels good – both for you when you wear our garments and for the people who help product them. And for the environment too.
Obviously “Cotton made in Africa” comes from Africa. But what else does it mean?
Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) is 100% sustainably produced cotton from Africa. CmiA is an initiative by the Aid by Trade Foundation founded in 2005 by Dr Michael Otto, Head of the Otto Group’s supervisory board of which bonprix is a member. Thanks to the programme, over 780,000 smallholder farmers from countries like the Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Uganda, Ethiopia, Zambia and Zimbabwe are rewarded with much more than just cotton. They learn about more efficient, eco-friendly cultivation methods.
In concrete terms – unlike conventional cotton, no genetically modified seeds or hazardous pesticides are used. Sustainable cotton is also farmed using 2000 litres less water per kilo than its conventional counterpart, and with a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions. What does increase is the quality of the cotton and the farmers’ earnings. The initiative also encompasses programmes to prevent child labour, provide education and promote gender equality.
We are proud to support the CmiA initiative and wand to extend it. By 2020, we aim to produce 100% of our cotton garments using only sustainable cotton. Yes, that’s right. Every single one of them.
That’s why we support „Cotton made in Africa”
In addition to organic cotton, what other sustainable materials do you use?
New sustainable alternatives to traditional materials are booming. We already use a range of sustainable options and are working towards a continual increase of these alternatives in our product ranges.
In addition to organic cotton and Cotton made in Africa, we also use Repreve® recycled polyester. Within the Repreve® process, polyester fibres are derived from recycled PET bottles. The bottles are collected, chopped, ground, melted, and reformulated into a new chip. This Repreve® chip is then processed into recycled fibres. One pair of jeans or one jacket can be made from every eight recycled bottles.
The advantages of using recycled polyester are obvious: in contrast to the production process of new polyester, the Repreve® process requires less oil. CO2 emissions are also reduced and fewer chemicals applied. The carbon footprint of garments produced using the Repreve® process is substantially lower than garments made using virgin polyester fibres.
Recycled cotton is taken from pre-consumer off-cuts and post-consumer waste, like old clothes. The material is cut into smaller pieces and then spun to new cotton yarn.
Our collections also feature TENCEL®. TENCEL® is a new, sustainable fibre developed by the Lenzing brand. The fibres are extracted from raw wood taken from sustainable forestry. A closed loop system means fibre production is extremely eco-friendly. TENCEL® textiles are especially soft to wear.
What wood do you use for sustainable furniture?
The wood we use needs to carry one important logo: FSC®.
Every time you purchase a FSC certified product you contribute to the conservation of forest resources. The FSC® label shows the wood used to make the product comes from well-managed forests and has been certified in line with the strict environmental, social and economic standards of the Forest Stewardship Council®.
By 2020, we want all of our wood furniture to carry the FSC® logo.