WAKEFIELD – The new 160-page updated version of MCL News & Media’s authoritative Inside Guide to Cotton & Sustainability has gone to press today – warning that the cotton industry is running out of time to reduce its environmental impact.
Researched and written over six months by cotton expert Simon Ferrigno, and edited by Ecotextile News editor John Mowbray, it provides in-depth, expert analysis and guidance on how to tackle the issue of sustainability in global cotton supply chains.
First published in 2012, the Guidebook is considered a seminal reference source for apparel brands, retailers and the whole textile supply chain, providing expert analysis and guidance on how to tackle environmental and social issues in global cotton supply chains.
In his introduction to the new edition, Ferrigno explains how the cotton industry is facing a pivotal moment, saying: “Cotton is a complicated crop with an ancient history and a very uncertain future.
“We now have a decade to stop runaway climate change, and global soil degradation is worsening. Nor does cotton operate in isolation. It sits in an agricultural economy under multiple pressures: environmental, social, commercial and political. Humankind will need to be very fleet of foot to stave off serious problems in future.”
Ferrigno adds that sustainability claims for different types of cotton have been complicated by the use of poor or misleading data and a lack of consistency in how impacts are assessed and asks if existing cotton standards and schemes are still fit for purpose: “They are, after all, a decades old response in a world that is now fully digital, which makes a more flexible due diligence approach possible,” he says.
Completely updated to include the latest, accurate production data on cotton, a brand new section on technology that looks at the role of blockchain, robotics and artificial intelligence in cotton farming, Ferrigno has produced a thorough analysis of the cotton sector that will help retailers and brands to navigate their way through complex challenges.
He outlines potential pitfalls of current and future global cotton sector strategies and addresses how cotton fits into the circular economy, examining cotton’s perceived ‘bad reputation’ in terms of pesticide use, water conservation and other challenges, including the misuse of statistics and data, as well as the latest regulatory responses that impact on cotton.
There is a dedicated chapter on what exactly ‘sustainable cotton’ actually means – and gives independent progress reports on organisations and standards in this space.
Other topics covered include a brief history of cotton, cotton and modernisation, global production, the new regulatory and monitoring environment, due diligence and rounds off with various sector recommendations.
The production of the guide has been supported by Cotton Inc., GOTS and Laudes Foundation.
To order the second edition of the Inside Guide to Cotton & Sustainability please follow this link.