Our Responsible Cotton Sourcing Policy

Our Responsible Cotton Sourcing Policy

By Alex Guerrero>

We’re a product-led company. Design is integral to what we do. Choosing the best materials we can is a huge part of that and we take advantage of nature’s technical fibres. We source them responsibly, but what does that mean?

A Brief Overview

  1. What is Responsible Cotton?
  2. Better Cotton Initiative
  3. GOTS
  4. Modern Slavery Statement
  5. Our Cotton Sourcing Policy

What is Responsible Cotton and Why Do We Need It?

woman bouldering in organic cotton trousers

300 million farmers across 80 countries rely on cotton for their livelihoods. But there are extensive ethical and environmental issues to consider in the production of cotton.

There is a widespread use of toxic pesticides across cotton production. Cotton is also associated with a high water footprint, costing around 10,000 litres of water per kilogram. It has been and continues to be associated with unethical working standards, including slavery and child labour.

This is where responsibly sourced cotton comes in. We’re proud to only use cotton from certified sources: the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS). Both BCI and GOTS are hugely influential, but they have different spheres of influence. There’s more than one problem to tackle so we’re making the best decisions we can.

Better Cotton Initative

organic cotton a-frame tent

The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) was set up in 2005. They want better, more ethical cotton. But they don’t just focus on organic cotton, which makes up only 25% of the cotton grown globally. BCI want to effect change from within and improve workers’ rights in mainstream cotton farms. They’re an initiative aiming to reduce the water and pesticides used to grow cotton. They also implement the highest ethical and labour standards, monitored by third parties. Nearly a quarter of the world’s cotton is produced according to the Better Cotton standard!


Growing organic cotton is said to produce about half the emissions of conventional cotton! The global gold standard for certifying cotton as organic is the Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS). It’s a standardised set of requirements for ecological and labour standards in the production of sustainable cotton. It means that, no matter where they are or who they’re buying from, consumers know what they’re getting. These standards include avoiding the use of toxic, persistent pesticides or fertilisers as well as respecting labour conditions.

Modern Slavery Statement

Alpkit is committed to continually developing and improving its practices to combat abuse including slavery and human trafficking.

We stand against all forms of modern slavery and human trafficking. No matter where they are in the world, this applies to the businesses and people we work with too.

We undertake thorough due diligence of all potential partners and factories and review carefully a range of their policies including Modern Slavery statements, safeguarding and whistleblowing to determine that their commitment to work proactively to prevent slavery in all its forms matches our own.

We require that all factory sourced cotton is not harvested, produced, or processed in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan or the Xinjiang Region of China.

Our Cotton Sourcing Policy

Cotton is a relatively low use material for us. However we only use GOTS or BCI certified cotton in our products and we prohibit the use of cotton sourced from known risk areas such as Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan or the Xinjiang Region of China.

We’ve been working hard to offer a natural fibre alternative to everything we sell. We’re firm believers in natural fibres and modern designs. We sell everything from accessories to tents, legwear, T-shirts and hoodies made from responsibly sourced cotton.

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