Our view on cotton
Conventional cotton farming techniques still use large quantities of chemical fertilisers, 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. At IKEA we do not, as of September 2015 source from the conventional cotton industry. Today, more than 110,000 farmers have adopted more sustainable farming practices within IKEA projects. In these projects, we work with partners on the ground to improve the standards of the cotton industry, towards eliminating the use of Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHP), water reduction, and to implement fair and equal working conditions for farmers and people throughout our supply chain.
All IKEA products are produced in accordance with the IKEA IWAY Standard, our Supplier Code of Conduct. It sets out the minimum environmental and social standards expected from our suppliers, including compliance with local laws. We do not accept any form of forced labour, child labour or treatments in breach with our supply chain requirements. At IKEA, we work with suppliers who share our values and follow our IWAY standards.
Cotton teams working across the globe are responsible for ensuring that all cotton used in IKEA products meet the demands of compliance in our supply chain. By having teams on the ground in areas where it has previously been challenging to work responsibly, we can challenge the traditional ways of working and improve the industry.
Our compliance culture and values are what guides us in the work we do. If we are acting in places where we, despite our efforts and ambitions, cannot ensure our requirements are being met due to non-transparent supply chains, or if we recognise that our initiatives can’t create the impact we aim for, we will always investigate alternatives. We follow-up on the ground and make changes, at times, even divert our supply chains.
We want to create a positive impact in the world of cotton, and we know that with our size and volumes, we have the possibility to make a difference. IKEA will continue to work towards improving the cotton industry from within and create a movement towards better cotton and better working conditions for those working in the industry. We acknowledge that in some areas and at some times, this is a challenging journey. This makes it even more important to continue to work towards making things better. By using CMSS, prioritising compliance, working with partnerships and initiatives on the ground, we believe that we can contribute to a better global cotton industry.