Unlock Premium Data: Up to 50% Off InvestingProCLAIM SALE

Zara owner Inditex demands clarity from cotton certifier accused of standard breaches

Published 10/04/2024, 11:24
Updated 10/04/2024, 13:32
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A woman carries a bag from Spanish multinational retail clothing chain Zara, the flagship brand of the Inditex clothing company, in the Gran Via of Bilbao, Spain, March 12, 2024. REUTERS/Vincent West/FILE PHOTO

MADRID (Reuters) -Zara owner Inditex (BME:ITX) demanded more transparency from a certifier that vets some of the cotton used by the Spanish fashion giant following an investigation that found evidence of malpractice by two Brazilian certified cotton producers.

Inditex sent a letter dated April 8 to Better Cotton CEO Alan McClay asking for clarity on the certification process and progress on traceability practices after the NGO Earthsight informed the retailer that producers with Better Cotton certifications were involved in land grabbing, illegal deforestation and violent acts against local communities, according to a copy of the letter seen by Reuters.

Inditex said it had waited more than six months for the results of an internal investigation by Better Cotton that was promised for the end of March and began in August 2023, according to the letter.

The allegations "represent a serious breach in the trust placed in Better Cotton's certification process by both our group and our product suppliers," Inditex said in the letter. "The trust that we place in such processes developed by independent organisations, such as yours, is key to our supply chain control strategy."

The contents of the letter was first published by Modaes, a fashion business news site. Inditex confirmed to Reuters it had sent the letter.

Inditex does not purchase cotton directly but its providers are audited by certifiers such as Better Cotton to ensure good practices when obtaining their raw materials.

Geneva-based Better Cotton, one of the world's largest certifiers of sustainable practices in the cotton industry, told Reuters it would provide more information in the coming weeks once it had analysed the results of the audit it had commissioned.

Better Cotton said in an April 4 statement that it would not publish its findings until it had seen the full NGO Earthsight report, which was due to be published on Thursday.

Better Cotton said its strategic partner in Brazil, the Brazilian Association of Cotton Producers, was revising elements of its standards to align with those of Better Cotton.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A woman carries a bag from Spanish multinational retail clothing chain Zara, the flagship brand of the Inditex clothing company, in the Gran Via of Bilbao, Spain, March 12, 2024. REUTERS/Vincent West/FILE PHOTO

Created by companies and several nonprofits including the World Wildlife Fund, Better Cotton says it aims to support improved practices in areas like water and soil stewardship and to promote better working standards.

Fashion retailers face increasing pressures from consumers and activist groups to sell products with less environmental impact and made in safe labour conditions.

Latest comments

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
© 2007-2024 - Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.