• 07-JUN-2016

Cotton from more sustainable sources

Cotton

Cotton is used in many IKEA products - from sofas and cushions to bed sheets and curtains. From September 1, 2015, all cotton in our products comes from more sustainable sources*. Each year, IKEA uses around 0.7 per cent of all cotton grown around the world. While this may seem like a relatively small number, it is still enough to drive significant change in the industry.

An important industry
Most cotton is harvested by hand on small farms in countries like India and Pakistan. Conventional farming techniques use large quantities of chemical fertilisers and dangerous pesticides, and waste large amounts of water in areas where clean water is scarce. Many cotton farmers struggle to make a profit, and the situation often results in health risks to the farmer, soil erosion and water scarcity.

Making cotton better for all
For almost a decade, IKEA has been working with WWF and other partners to transform cotton farming and set social and environmental standards for cotton production. IKEA is also a founding member of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), a multi-stakeholder organisation that sets social and environmental criteria for more sustainable cotton.

This initiative has led to more efficient farming methods, as cotton growers are trained in sustainable farming techniques that use less water, chemical fertilisers and pesticides, while simultaneously cutting costs and boosting the farmers' profits.

Making a difference
Today, more than 110,000 farmers have adopted more sustainable farming practices within IKEA projects. From September 1, 2015, all cotton in our products comes from more sustainable sources. IKEA is also developing new methods for more efficient use of cotton, by blending it with other textiles and replacing it with alternative materials, such as cellulose fibres.
PramodSingh, Cotton Leader at IKEA, is one of the advocates of more sustainable cotton. He wants to make IKEA a leader in improving the social and environmental standards in cotton production:
“We have been working to improve standards in the cotton supply chain for over ten years. Today, we are really seeing results, where cotton production gets better for the people, the environment and business at no extra cost to the customer.”

* Includes the following schemes: Better Cotton (as defined by BCI), cotton from farmers working towards the BCI standard and sustainably grown cotton from USA.

FACTS

  • More than 110,000 farmers are involved in IKEA cotton projects.
     
  • In 2014 farmers growing cotton from more sustainable sources in India improved their yields by 14 per cent compared with farmers growing cotton with conventional methods.
     
  • IKEA has invested almost €4.5 million in cotton from more sustainable sources since 2005.