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Quality Cotton is Definitely Sustainable

Dion Vijgeboom

Dion Vijgeboom

By Dion Vijgeboom, Independent Advisor To The Denim Industry Amsterdam, Netherlands

Quality Cotton

Physical parameters are no longer the only indicators for the quality of cotton. New characteristics have come into play when referring to quality. Sustainability, transparency and social compliance are increasingly important to the end consumer today although the definitions and understanding of these terms can vary considerably. During my 10 years of working in the jeans industry, critics often question how clean our supply chain is. Those brands and retailers that are motivated to continuously reduce their environmental impact are a strong force. Both governmental and non-governmental organizations are pushing toward this continuous improvement. Governments are imposing legislation, standards and controls, while activist groups launch media campaigns to point at non-compliant industries, companies and products.

A supply chain that provides transparency, traceability and facts is the best evidence for quality.”
– Dion Vijgeboom

Setting The Standard

The public opinion gets shaped, and the industry is rightfully forced to take action. Consumers then start to pull by buying products from those companies that show their clients they care about the quality of their supply chain. Besides the push and pull, there is the drive of the industry itself. A supply chain that provides transparency, traceability and facts is the best evidence for quality. There is no better way to answer critics, authorities and consumers than by allowing them into the kitchen. The innovations in technology have helped develop the Field Print Calculator used in Bayer’s e3 cotton program. Together, with the physical excellence of FiberMax and Stoneville, this makes a showcase of the new standard for quality cotton.

In the years to come, the industries involved in cotton have to focus on further innovation and integration of links in the chain to optimize traceability and transparency. Not only will this contribute to a higher quality product, it will create economic benefits and opportunities.