We are aware that the textile industry can have a negative impact on the local and social environments where they are made. That is why it is our aim to ensure that 100% of the fabrics we choose to make our products with will be sourced responsibly and sustainably by 2030.
Cotton is the biggest raw material we use which affects thousands of cotton farmers around the world. To help those cotton farmers, we are working to ensure that our cotton has a minimal impact on the environment and that the people producing it get a better deal.
In 2017, we signed the “Sustainable Cotton Communique”, recently renamed the 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge (2025 SCC) to source 100% more sustainable cotton by 2025, along with many other brands and retailers.
The purpose of the 2025 SCC is to increase the uptake of organic and preferred cotton, which has the ability to increase the income of smallholder farmers, eliminate highly hazardous pesticides, eliminate or reduce the amount of pesticides and synthetic fertilizer used, reduce water use and improve water quality and soil health.
It is our goal that sustainable cotton simply becomes the new standard for cotton growing. Our customers can be confident that any cotton product they buy from us is made from responsibly sourced cotton.
We source the majority of our cotton through the Better Cotton Initiative*.
Producing Better Cotton has real economic, social and environmental benefits and last year, our investment enabled BCI to reach almost 14,750 farmers.
*Better Cotton is not physically traceable to end products. However, BCI Farmers benefit from the demand for Better Cotton in equivalent volumes to those we ‘source.’
Sustainable Cotton Ranking 2020
The Sustainable Cotton Ranking report, created by Pesticide Action Network (UK), Solidaridad and WWF, assesses companies who have significant cotton use, and therefore, will have a prominent role in influencing sustainable cotton practices. Of the 77 companies assessed, Tesco ranks 13th. For more information, please see the results here.
Organic Cotton Farming Programme
In March 2021 we partnered with Cotton Connect, who are an enterprise that helps global brands source more fairly and sustainably by creating more robust, resilient and successful cotton and raw material supply chains.
Cotton Connect have helped us to set up our very own organic cotton farming programme in India. We are working with over 10,000 small holder farmers to produce around 6,000 metric tonnes of cotton for our products. Our first harvest will be in October 2021, with the first products heading into Tesco stores for the Spring/Summer 2022 season.
US Cotton Trust Protocol
In March 2021 we also became members of the US Cotton Trust Protocol (USCTP) who have set a new standard for sustainably grown cotton. It brings quantifiable and verifiable goals and measurements to sustainable cotton production and drives continuous improvement in six key sustainability metrics.
USCTP enables brands and retailers to better track the cotton entering their supply chain and to further quantify and report on their individual sustainability goals and objectives.
Man-made Cellulosic Fibres (MMCF)
To ensure the viscose that goes into our F&F clothing is sourced sustainably in 2016 we signed up to the CanopyStyle initiative. This is an industry-wide pledge that has been signed by over 160 fashion brands and retailers and supported by viscose producers that represent 75% of global production to end the use of endangered and ancient forests in the MMCF supply chain.
We have also pledged to support the Changing Market Foundation- Roadmap towards responsible viscose and modal manufacturing since 2018. We've worked closely with stakeholders in the industry on different platforms to develop tools which can support the industry to move towards responsible manufacturing best practices in the man-made cellulosic sector. We support transparency and encourage our producers to publish their progress and we have also included our key MMCF producers list in our master supply chain disclosure list.
F&F is a signatory brand contributor to ZDHC, we also required our MMCF producers to adapt and implement all the MMCF responsible fibre production, wastewater and air emission guidelines as an industrial best practice.
In 2020, we increased our use of recycled polyester and by doing this we have saved the equivalent of 52 million plastic bottles*.
Currently, the formal uniforms worn by our store colleagues are all made from 100% recycled polyester, which has a lower environmental impact than virgin polyester.
In April 2021, we signed up to the Textile Exchange and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action’s 2025 Recycled Polyester Challenge and have committed to increasing our uptake of recycled polyester to 45% by 2025.
*based on a 20g plastic bottle weight