Cotton

Our Challenge

Cotton is an important material for Target and supports the livelihoods of over 250 million people around the world. Although the cotton industry has achieved significant improvements in resource efficiency and sustainable farming practices in the past decade, there remain social and environmental challenges in some countries, such as high pesticide and water usage.

As a large cotton user we believe we have a responsibility to source cotton in a way that minimises impacts on the environment and have set a target to source 100 per cent of our cotton as Better Cotton, organic cotton or recycled cotton for our own brand clothing, towel and bedding ranges by July 2022.

As part of our commitment to reduce the risks of modern slavery in our supply chain, we have identified through our risk assessments and traceability activities that we have significant exposure to cotton growing regions and countries with risk of forced labour. As a result, improving visibility of the origins of our cotton fibre, and strengthening supplier awareness and compliance with our ethical standards all the way down to raw materials level, is a priority for our business. For more information, please refer to the modern slavery section of our website.

Our Approach

Better Cotton

As part of this commitment, we’re partnering with Better Cotton to improve cotton farming globally.


Better Cotton exists to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in and better for the sector’s future, by developing Better Cotton as a sustainable mainstream commodity. The program achieves this by encouraging continuous improvement in cotton farming practices – such as water usage and land management - by applying best practice standards, training, monitoring and assurance.

Better Cotton is sourced via a mass balance system which allows cotton from Better Cotton farmers to be mixed with other types of cotton on its journey from field to final product. No matter where the Better Cotton ends up, the cost of Target sourcing cotton as Better Cotton goes directly back to field level activities including training and monitoring. Mass balance plays an important role in driving demand and reaching many more farmers, quickly. The Better Cotton logo on our product therefore indicates that by choosing Target’s cotton products, you’re supporting our investment in Better Cotton’s mission. The product may not contain Better Cotton.

You can learn more about mass balance here.

Better Cotton is growing rapidly – accounting for over 20 per cent of global cotton production and sourced by over 200 brands and retailers around the world. It is truly a shared effort, encompassing people and organisations all the way from farms to fashion and textile brands.

Through our partnership with BCI and our relationships with our suppliers, we’re working together to ensure a brighter future for the cotton industry and those whose lives depend on it in countries including Brazil, India, China, Bangladesh and Australia.

For more information please visit bettercotton.org

Organic Cotton

Our wide range of products made with organic cotton provides you with assurance that the cotton has been grown without the use of harmful chemicals and in a way that builds healthy soil and ecosystems.

Target organic cotton products are made with a minimum of 70% organic cotton and are certified to global best practice certification standards such as the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and the Textile Exchange Organic Content Standard (OCS).

For more information, please visit GOTS and Textile Exchange

Recycled Cotton

We're working hard to ensure our denim is made with responsibly sourced materials and are incorporating recycled fibres where we can. For our range made with a minimum of 20% recycled cotton, textile waste is shredded, spun and woven back in with virgin cotton and elastane to make your new favourite jeans.

Our recycled cotton is certified to the Textile Exchange Global Recycling Standard or Recycled Content Standard. For more information, please visit Textile Exchange

Our Progress

Approximately 99% of the cotton we source for our own brand clothing, bedding and towels, is now ordered as Better Cotton, organic or recycled. This is largely achieved through sourcing cotton as Better Cotton, but also includes a wide range of organic cotton products and selected denim products made with a minimum of 20% recycled cotton.

*Excluding footwear, accessories and all functional trims (e.g. zips) and decorative details (e.g. lace or ribbons).

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