Unveiled in March, the Directive on the Substantiation and Communication of Explicit Environmental Claims, commonly known as the Green Claims Directive aims to establish universal criteria for companies to substantiate environmental claims related to their products and services. As per the proposed law, businesses will be required to provide accurate and verifiable information about the sustainability credentials of their offerings.

Better Cotton’s feedback addresses the role of the Green Claims Directive in relation to other like-minded legislation, particularly the proposal for the Directive on Empowering Consumers for the Green Transition, which was introduced in the same period. The organisation calls for greater clarity and alignment between these directives to avoid confusion regarding the applicability of sustainability labels alongside environmental labels.

A key feature of the Better Cotton Standard System is its Claims Framework which empowers its members to communicate their commitment to sustainability accurately and credibly. Members can reinforce their dedication to the organisation’s farm-level programmes that foster social, environmental, and economic improvements for cotton farmers and farming communities.

Due to the nature of its operations, Better Cotton stands behind the EU’s decision not to limit claim substantiation to a single standard methodology, such as the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) or Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). While these methodologies can be effective, the organisation believes they fail to encompass the complexity and interconnected aspects of cotton production, potentially hindering a company’s ability to make credible claims about its commitment to more sustainable cotton.

Better Cotton commends the EU’s leadership in driving efforts to standardise sustainability communication requirements and expresses its willingness to support authorities in refining the proposed legislation based on their request for input.

Lisa Ventura, public affairs manager at Better Cotton said: “Flexibility will be instrumental to ensuring substantiation methods are adapted to the wide array of impact categories and practices covered by schemes, and the variability in operating contexts found across sectors and materials. Maintaining flexibility is the only way to favour a just transition across the world and enhance sustainable livelihoods.”

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The EU has introduced several legislative proposals to combat the harmful effects of the textile industry and protect both consumers and businesses from misleading practices known as ‘greenwashing.‘ The surge in greenwashing has created uncertainty among consumers about the authenticity of companies’ sustainability claims, making it challenging for them to make informed purchasing decisions.

Better Cotton and Cotton Egypt Association (CEA) recently partnered to preserve Egyptian cotton farming practices and ensure a sustainable future for the industry.