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Used in many of our products today, cotton is Burberry’s most significant raw material. 


It is also the fibre used to make gabardine, the iconic fabric invented by our founder Thomas Burberry in 1879. Tightly woven in Burberry’s Yorkshire Mill, this breathable and lightweight fabric has been used in our trench coats for over 100 years.

 

Cotton production and global demand have significantly changed since we first manufactured gabardine. Today, conventional cotton farming can have significant environmental and social impacts due to the amount of water, fertilisers and pesticides used in cultivation, as well as the energy-intensive processes of spinning, weaving and dyeing cotton. 

We aim to procure 100% of our cotton more sustainably by 2022 by using a portfolio approach. Over 78% of our cotton was sourced more sustainably in FY 2020/21*. This compares to 75% in the prior year*. This year, we also formalised our ambition around organic cotton, with a target to source 100% certified organic cotton by 2025. Certified organic cotton is traced through the supply chain and has many environmental and social benefits, promoting soil health, supporting biodiversity and safeguarding farmers.

In addition, we support Cotton 2040, a cross-industry partnership convened by Forum for the Future to address long-term resilience in cotton supply chains.

* Where cotton is the product's main material