We’re embracing all things natural, and cotton is one of our primary resources: we buy more than 25.000 ton of cotton every year. About 70% of the material used in our products is cotton.
However, we also know that ‘natural’ does not always mean environmentally friendly.
That's why 100% of the cotton we used in our AW2021 season came from sustainable sources (organic, recycled, or part of the Better Cotton Initiative).
A NEW, IMPROVED COTTON INDUSTRY
Cotton is grown on just 3% of farmland but is responsible for 24% of insecticides and 11% of pesticides used worldwide. Chemicals used in the cotton-growing process cause damage to both farmers and local communities, and what’s more, the process also consumes vast quantities of water and fertilisers.
But there is another option: sustainable cotton can be ethically grown while drastically reducing harmful chemicals to the point of total elimination. This approach also uses much less water (-90%), improves land quality and promotes better working conditions for the people involved in the supply chain.
Promoting sustainable cotton-growing practices also involves a significant investment in educating farmers, so that they can utilise specialised expertise to champion positive improvement processes in the management of farmland and crops, all while growing their businesses.
At OVS, we are strongly committed to purchasing sustainable cotton, aiming to promote cotton farming without compromising people or the environment.
We are the first Italian company that started supporting Better Cotton, the world’s leading sustainability initiative for cotton. Better Cotton Farmers are farmers who use water efficiently, care for soil health and natural habitats, reduce use of the most harmful chemicals and respect workers’ rights and wellbeing. OVS is committed to sourcing 100% of our cotton as Better Cotton or from organic farming.
Better Cotton mission is to help cotton communities survive and thrive, while protecting and restoring the environment.
Among other activities, Better Cotton trains cotton farmers around the world on how to grow Better Cotton in their unique environment and context. Better Cotton is sourced via a chain of custody system called mass balance. This means that Better Cotton is not physically traceable to end products, however, Better Cotton Farmers benefit from the demand for Better Cotton in equivalent volumes to those we ‘source.’ Mass balance is a volume-tracking system that allows Better Cotton to be substituted or mixed with conventional cotton by traders or spinners along the supply chain while ensuring that the amount of Better Cotton sold never exceeds the amount of Better Cotton purchased. Click here to learn more.
“We used to carry out four to five pesticide sprays a day to keep pests at bay, but by applying the trap method, my pesticide expenditure has decreased significantly. By adopting BCI’s best practices, my net profit has improved significantly.”
Muralindhar, BCI farmer, India
We also support organic farming as our preference above all for children’s garments. In the 2020 collections we produced more than 70 million garments in certified organic cotton.
We actively support recycling processes to further reduce our impact and to ensure that worn-out fabrics get re-used. For example, we have been working to lessen the impact of our denim products without compromising on quality and we are also developing solutions for the large-scale use of recycled cotton in our knitwear collections.
100% OF COTTON PURCHASED BY OVS IN 2021 IS MORE SUSTAINABLE (BCI, ORGANIC OR RECYCLED)
We are aware of the role that we can have in taking care of a more sustainable future for the environment.
With this inaugural sustainability report, OVS begins an important journey of sharing.
Shops are our window onto a better world, built on respect for the environment and care for the people around us.