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Better Cotton’s Claims Framework is a set of guidelines which provides guidance and rules to ensure its members can make claims about their commitments to Better Cotton in a credible and positive way.

The organisation explains its updated 3.1 version simplifies the document for improved usability, including a quick reference table for better clarity on which claims are available to which member audiences.

It adds new claims translations apart from clarifications on contexts in which claims can be used and the monitoring process Better Cotton follows.

However, Better Cotton points out the most significant update is the fact it now mirrors the Cotton Consumption Independent Assessment requirements, which will be in place from January 2024.

The organisation explains Independent Assessments will bolster claims and ensure sourcing thresholds are more meaningful, making reporting on volumes of Better Cotton sourced and On-Product Mark use more robust and credible.

The On-Product Mark (OPM) is any Better Cotton claim used at a Point of Sale, or in a location that directs customers to shop for a product or a range of products. This includes channels such as swing tickets, point of sale, ecommerce, social media and printed materials.

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From January 2024 the Independent Assessment will be a requirement for any retailer or brand member wishing to make advanced claims or use the Better Cotton On-Product Mark. 

Better Cotton adds that the Claims Framework is one component of the Better Cotton Standard System created through a multi-stakeholder consultation process and is subject to an annual update.

However, the organisation says the framework not only outlines the approval process for making a claim but also includes the corrective action plan process and steps taken by Better Cotton when misleading, unauthorised claims are found.

Better Cotton adds the next complete revision of the Claims Framework (version 4.0) will be released in 2024. It will accommodate Better Cotton’s move towards traceability and further reflect updates to industry best practices and legislation for sustainability claims.

In July, Better Cotton stood in support of the EU’s proposed Green Claims Directive, emphasising the need for clear guidelines to standardise industry practices and eradicate greenwashing.