The world’s largest cotton sustainability programme, Better Cotton, has signed the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) sustainability pledge to ensure transparency and traceability throughout the supply chain.

Through policy recommendations, standards and guidelines, the pledge aims to establish a verifiable way of guaranteeing sustainability in the clothing and footwear industries.

Alia Malik, Senior Director of Data and Traceability at Better Cotton, says: “We are signing UNECE’s Sustainability Pledge not only to affirm our commitment to improving traceability and transparency in Better Cotton supply chains, but also in support of traceability and the use of more credible sustainability claims across the industry.”

The aim of the framework is to track and trace products throughout the supply chain, from field to factory to shop floor, states the UNECE website. By signing up to the pledge companies will be able to vouch for their ethical values and make verifiable sustainability claims that consumers, governments and regulators can trust.

“Once we know the provenance of the clothes that we buy, and the path they have travelled in global value chains, then we can make informed decisions as consumers about the sustainability claims of those goods,” says Elisabeth Türk, Director Economic Cooperation and Trade at UNECE. “We welcome Better Cotton’s pledge and call on other players to join and make traceability and sustainability the new normal in the textile industry.”

Better Cotton counts more than 2,500 members throughout the world and is currently developing its Traceability Solution, which is due to launch at the end of this year. This has been formulated after consultation with more than 1,500 stakeholders, including members, suppliers and industry consultants.

More than 90 companies have committed to the UNECE Sustainability Pledge so far.