Better Cotton Trials for Traceability Solutions in India


India is the second-largest cotton producer in the world, following China. The country has been growing cotton for Fabric suppliers in India and overseas for centuries. Presently, the crop is one of the country’s most important agricultural products, providing a primary source of livelihood for approximately 6 million farmers and creating job opportunities for tens of millions of people in India.

What is the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)

Better Cotton is a Global Non-Profit Organization that brings together cotton farmers and manufacturers, leading brands and retailers, and civil organizations with an aim to make cotton production more sustainable. This will ultimately improve farmers’ income, catering to the growing demand for Better Cotton as consumers seek sustainable products.

The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) achieves sustainable cotton by training and supporting registered cotton farmers to adopt eco-friendly farming practices that reduce harmful chemicals in production and promote water conservation and efficient working conditions.

In addition, a significant objective of the BCI is to promote transparency and traceability in the cotton supply chain, enabling consumers to buy more fabric online from India made from sustainable cotton.

Better Cotton has started piloting advanced technologies developed by Haelixa, Tailorlux, TextileGenesis, and Retraced within India’s cotton supply chain to determine the most efficient way to improve traceability across the supply chain.

Why India is a Better Cotton Standard Country

India is one of the first countries to be enrolled in the Better Cotton Programme, with the largest population of farmers participating and growing Better Cotton. The first Better Cotton was harvested in 2011.

India also comprises the world’s largest area for cotton cultivation – approximately 13 36 606 (12, 607 million) hectares.

However, since most Better Cotton farmers are smallholders managing not more than 20 hectares of land for cotton production, they are constantly challenged by various harvesting and production issues. BCI and Implemented Partners come together to help the smallholders get better yield and quality fiber.

Innovative Traceability Solutions Trial in India

With the solution’s successful implementation, consumers will be able to trade cotton fabric wholesale online confidently.

The trial (2021) is carried out in collaboration with ten leading retailer brands and fabric suppliers in India and overseas, including Target, Walmart, and Marks & Spencer.

Each technology solution will track the entire supply chain of cotton as it navigates the supplier networks of the participating retailers and brands. The project was established based on Better Cotton’s continuous efforts to evaluate its Chain of Custody (CoC) model and transform traceability across complex cotton supply chains.

Stakeholders worldwide are seeking more clarity over the cotton supply chain associated with environmental and social challenges. Meanwhile, policymakers are demanding that greige yarn sellers show greater transparency in their standard business practices.

This project will give textile companies an opportunity to gain greater visibility of cotton’s journey from farm to fashion and test advanced solutions at a limited scale.

The solutions will be deployed digitally and physically in discrete cotton supply chains to assess the performance anonymously. The report will inform Better Cotton Initiative’s traceability program’s scaled direction.

Retraced and TextileGenenis are providing digital traceability solutions. Haelixa and Tailorlux have offered two more additive tracers, which are also being deployed simultaneously to make an informed and unhasty decision.

The domestic supply chains in India are the most complex in the world and far more fragmented than the rest of the regions globally. The advanced traceability systems promise to offer holistic insights into the supply chain and go beyond the capabilities of existing systems.

The traceability will help Better Cotton verify the origins of certified fabrics accurately. The trial will expand upon the CoC framework that incorporates the widely-used volume tracking system – mass balance.

Mass Balance allows traders or spinners to mix Better Cotton with conventional cotton for trading, ensuring the amount of Better Cotton sold never exceeds the amount of Better Cotton produced. If you are looking for Better Cotton fabric suppliers in India and need to buy cotton fabric wholesale online, connect with India’s oldest textile trader, DMI.

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