Sustainable cotton supply chain - IKEA experience

Updated : October 2020


  • National and regional policy makers
  • Retailers or wholesalers
  • Sourcing professionals
  • Textile and fashion designers
  • Textile fiber cultivation professional
  • Textile industry sustainability professionals

Managing sustainable supply chain is a challenge for many textile companies that produce and sell products made of cotton. This article shares the experience of IKEA who has been tackling this challenge since 2005.

Cotton is the second-most important raw material at IKEA, after timber. This commodity has several sustainability issues, such as the excessive use of water and pesticides, poor labour circumstances, and more. Hence IKEA partnered with similar retailers, organizations and other industry stakeholders to build a global platform called Better Cotton Initiative which would assist farmers in cultivating sustainable cotton. With an outreach to 120,000 farmers in India and Pakistan alone, IKEA and other brands have enabled sustainable cotton cultivation.

IKEA started its study on cotton production and its environmental impact in 2002 and since then it has been working with several NGOs such as WWF India and industry stakeholders to create a sustainable cotton supply chain. As an initial step, the company started incorporating organic cotton into its products. It involves in linking farmers, ginners and suppliers to ensure the reach of sustainable cotton to the end products. The company believes that partnerships with key players in the valuechain including state-level government organizations would enable farmers to move towards sustainable cotton cultivation.

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Sustainable cotton cultivation

Organic cotton

Better Cotton Initiative

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