Origin and traceability of cotton

Cotton is used in many products of the Stockmann Group’s own brands. These include Lindex’s clothes and accessories and the clothes, apparel and household products of Stockmann’s own brands. In addition to cotton, the products also contain many other materials, including viscose, wool and Tencel. Lindex’s share of own brand clothes is substantial, some 85%. In our own brands we prefer Better Cotton and organic cotton, which have the best traceability.

There are risks involved in the cotton supply chain that concern the entire textile industry. Cotton is grown in countries that have a high risk of human rights violations and conventional cotton is difficult to trace. What makes it difficult is the common practice of mixing cotton from different source at trade centres.

However, we work actively to improve the traceability of materials. Approximately 80% of the cotton used in the Stockmann Group’s own brand products is from responsible sources, meaning it is either certified organic cotton, Better Cotton or recycled cotton. Most of these are Lindex's products. We prefer organic cotton and Better Cotton because they have the best traceability that extends all the way to the farmer.

We respect human rights and do not accept the use of child labour or forced labour in any form. These principles have been encoded in Stockmann’s Code of Conduct and the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) principles, which Stockmann and our suppliers and their production facilities are committed to following. We do not accept cotton from Uzbekistan because of the human rights and environmental risks associated with the country’s cotton production. This has been included in all of our supplier contracts. We work to ensure a responsible supply chain on a long-term basis and take all suspicion of human rights violations very seriously.

Where does our cotton come from?

The cotton used in Stockmann’s own-brand products comes mainly from India. The raw material’s transaction certificate follows the material from one production level to the next, from the yarn supplier to textile manufacturing and the final product, which allows us to trace the cotton accurately all the way back to the plantation where it was grown. All of our organic cotton has been approved in accordance with the standards of the Textile Exchange or the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).

Most of our own-brand cotton clothes are made in Bangladesh and China. In Bangladesh, traceability is made easier by the verticality of the production chain where the same supplier performs most of the different stages from textile manufacture to dyeing, cutting and sewing. This comparatively short supply chain makes the monitoring of production easier and improves access to information on the cotton’s origin. Suppliers source the cotton yarn and/or fabric. In the case of products made with Better Cotton or organic cotton, the source of the material can be traced to the farmer. In Bangladesh, farmers source cotton fibre from India, China and Pakistan. Cotton fabrics are made in India, Pakistan, China and Turkey and the countries of origin of the cotton are India, Pakistan, China and Australia.

90% of all cotton products in Lindex’s collection and all Newborn collection products are made with responsible cotton, ie. organic cotton, Better Cotton, or recycled cotton. Our goal is that by the year 2020, 100% of the cotton used by Lindex will be BCI, organic or recycled cotton. The share of organic cotton will also be increased in Stockmann’s own-brand clothes. In the spring 2017 collection, NOOM’s women's wear and Bogi, Cube&CO and Bel children's wear will contain organic cotton products. We are also investigating the use of Better Cotton in Stockmann’s own brands.

Further information: csr@stockmann.com