What Is Better Cotton?

April 22, 2018

Earth provides the ingredients, and we transform them into the jeans you love. The main ingredient is cotton. A lot of it.


The apparel industry uses three-fourths of the world’s cotton, and 90% of Levi’s® materials come from this plant. That means your jeans are literally made from the ground up.


Cultivating any plant takes a lot of effort. Tens of millions of farmers rely on cotton for their livelihood. The world’s cotton also requires billions of tons of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and billions of gallons of water. It creates quite a large environmental footprint. That’s why we’re aiming to change the system and ensure the cotton we source is grown more sustainably.

Enter the Better Cotton Initiative. This method teaches millions of farmers smarter farming practices, such as how to grow more cotton while using less water and less harmful chemicals. They learn to grow more from less, which enables increased pay. And better pay for farmers means they can invest more toward things such as more in education for their kids and food for their families.


As a founding member of the Better Cotton Initiative, Levi’s® is one of many companies catalyzing a revolution that aims to make cotton a more sustainable commodity. Large-scale positive industry change? That’s something we can get behind.


Today, more than 1.5 million farmers benefit from the Better Cotton Initiative. By 2020, more than 5 million farmers will grow Better Cotton, making up 30% of the world’s cotton supply.

Levi’s® products mirror this transformation. Today, we source more than 30% of our cotton more sustainably. By 2020, 100% will be more sustainably sourced, most likely from farms producing Better Cotton. (Recycled cotton and organic cotton are in the mix, too). Our goal is to keep sparking change, that way our production and sourcing methods become better for farmers and better for the planet.


Check out some of the other ways we’re helping people and the planet, and learn more about the Better Cotton Initiative on our sustainability page.


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