Underworks is proud that it currently sources 100% of its cotton from sustainable cotton sources. By 2021, in under a year we managed to transition away from conventional cotton altogether and assured that all of our cotton was either Better Cotton or GOTS certified organic and thus preferred more sustainable cotton, according to the Preferred Fibre and Materials Market Report. Both these types of cotton use significantly less water, energy and chemicals than conventional cotton. This makes Underworks a pioneer as the global average for companies sourcing sustainable cotton was 25%.
We know the impact of cotton farming is quite substantial, however it also provides a livelihood to millions of people worldwide. Therefore, we have partnered up with Better Cotton (formerly BCI) to improve global cotton farming practices and assure sustainable and safe livelihoods to families, dependent on this resource. This non-for-profit organization teaches farmers more responsible farming techniques emphasizing efficient land use, chemical and water reduction, and fair working conditions. As Better Cotton is not traceable to the final product and the system allows for blending with conventional cotton, we acknowledge that this system is not perfect and are therefore constantly innovating to do even better. Our roadmap to 2030 outlines our cotton transition strategy in which we seek to source at least 50% of our cotton from organic, transitional or recycled sources by 2030.
Organic cotton uses substantially less water than both conventional and BCI cotton and utilizes organic farming practices without harmful chemicals, pesticides or overirrigation Organic cotton is breathable, comfortable, and super soft to the skin. Its sustainable farming practices have a positive impact on communities. We use organic cotton that is certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard. This globally recognized framework uses rigorous testing methodologies and strict standards to assure no harmful chemicals are being used and cotton is farmed using regenerative methods that aid healthy soil generation to help ecosystems thrive once more. Organic cotton products must contain at minimum 70% organic fibres. We acknowledge that it takes up to 3 years for farmers to transition to become an organic cotton farmer and therefore encourage businesses to set this process is motion as soon as possible. This also explains why the global supply of organic cotton is much lower than total demand. Strong industry collaboration and support for organic cotton farming may speed up the global cotton transition. Initiatives such as the Organic Cotton Accelerator and the Textile Exchange Organic Cotton Roundtable are bringing together global stakeholders to act and set this transition in motion.