Better Cotton explained the initiative strives to highlight and reward the contributions of SMEs by collating and publicising their sustainability credentials on the UN’s Certified Business Registry – a centralised platform convening multiple supply chain actors.

It will provide the credentials of Better Cotton supplier and manufacturer members to have aligned with the new Chain of Custody Standard.

The standard outlines the requirements that supplier and manufacturer members must adhere to for trading Traceable Better Cotton, which Better Cotton pointed out was introduced to assist its farmers in gaining access to increasingly regulated markets.

Better Cotton shared that along with the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Textile Exchange, Oeko-Tex and Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP), it will collectively spotlight more than 60,000 SMEs via the certified business registry to help boost supply chain transparency and create opportunities for collaboration.

Credit: Better Cotton twitter page

Alia Malik, Better Cotton’s senior director for data and traceability said: “As COP28 gets underway, this commitment to showcasing businesses that source more sustainable materials is another positive step towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals.”

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Better Cotton believes SMEs benefit from enhanced market access, with scope to generate new business, while for retailers and brands, it is an opportunity to identify climate-smart suppliers from emerging markets.

Additionally, Better Cotton’s public affairs manager Lisa Ventura participated in an event at COP28, hosted by the ITC and the US Department of State, titled Just Transition Through Trade – Empowering Small Enterprises.

Last week, Better Cotton announced the launch of a framework aimed at helping farmers adopt integrated pest management.

This move is said to be in line with Better Cotton’s focus on protecting and restoring the environment, in particular through the reduction of synthetic pesticides in cotton farming.