Target, the US retailer recognized as a leader in innovation across the retail industry, following a year of research into the cotton industry has set out its vision for improvements into the way it sources cotton in its supply chain suggesting four main areas for progress.
Target has announced the introduction of a new policy to help guide and inform other companies on how best to implement sustainable cotton programmes. This sustainable cotton policy, is founded, in part, upon the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, a global effort they proudly support, said the company.
It has also outlined a new goal of sourcing 100 percent sustainable cotton by 2022 for use in its owned and exclusive national brands in apparel and homeware.
These include using water as efficiently as possible, especially important in areas where clean water is scarce; using chemicals and other inputs as efficiently as possible; improving soil health on the land where they farm; and promoting ethical working conditions â€“ making sure no forced labour is used during the process.
Target also states that one of the main barriers which has delayed more firms getting on board with such initiatives has been the lack of an â€œindustry standard definition for â€˜sustainable cottonâ€™.
In an attempt to remedy this, Target said that the first step will be partnering with their vendors to map the supply chain for each product containing cotton. This mapping will require considerable time and effort in view of the complex nature of the cotton industry.
Target believes that these changes can be implemented provided that companies work with vendors to map supply chains to improve transparency and its engagement of organisations such as the Better Cotton Initiative, Cotton LEADS and other industry partners is essential.
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