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IKEA increases use of sustainable cotton in products

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2014-02-04 14:00:00 – New York

IKEA, a Swedish company registered in the Netherlands that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture (such as beds, chairs and desks), appliances and home accessories. In 2013, the Swedish furniture company in total used 110,000 tonnes of cotton in 2013, which uses around 0.6% of all cotton grown around the world, sourced 79,000 tonnes of cotton from more sustainable sources.

The increase comes from its work with WWF on the better cotton Initiative (bcI), an independent organization that sets social and environmental criteria for more sustainable cotton production, of which IKEA is a founding member.

IKEA's improvements stem from an increase in 'better cotton' (59.3% of the cotton from more sustainable sources), cotton grown to other sustainability standards in the US and cotton from farmers working towards the bcI standards.

Better cotton Initiative chair and IKEA co-worker guido verijke said that some people suggested IKEA should abandon cotton altogether and some said they should move their sourcing to 'safe' countries like the US. So, IKEA instead decided to work with WWF and do something about the problem.

The company is looking for ways to use cotton more efficiently. They have also launched a project to standardize the way it constructs fabric, which could reduce the amount of cotton IKEA needs for a piece of fabric by up to 15%.

IKEA has increased the use of sustainably sourced cotton in its products to 72%, up from 34% in 2012.

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