Cotton policy

Kesko is committed to sourcing all of the cotton for its clothing and home textile brands as certified organic cotton, recycled cotton, Better Cotton or Fairtrade cotton by the end of 2025. Own clothing and home textile brands are K-Citymarket’s mywear clothes and myhome home textiles, Pirkka socks and K-Rauta’s PROF workwear and Cello interior textiles.

Cotton is the most widely produced natural fibre in the world. About half of all textiles are made of cotton.

Cotton production provides a livelihood for more than 250 million people. The majority of cotton farmers and people working in cotton production live in the developing countries. Cotton is farmed mostly on small farms with an area of less than 2 hectares, of which there are more than 100 million across the world.

Cotton production involves several risks related to environmental responsibility, social responsibility and economic responsibility. Cotton farming consumes a lot of water. If pesticides are used recklessly, they could harm the environment or endanger workers’ health. Human rights risks encountered in the production chain include the use of child labour and forced labour, overlong working hours, low pay and a lack of gender equality.

K Group aims to help its customers make sustainable choices. Our adoption of sustainable cotton will allow our customers to buy sustainable clothes and home textiles at K-stores.

Kesko is a member of Better Cotton since March 2020. Better Cotton exists to help cotton communities survive and thrive, while protecting and restoring the environment. Kesko is committed to improving cotton farming practices globally with Better Cotton. 

The cotton supply chain is complex. Better Cotton is not physically traceable; the cotton is sourced through the Mass Balance system. Even though Better Cotton is mixed with conventional cotton in its journey, its total content in the supply chain remains the same.    

The cotton policy was first published on 2 March 2020.

Progress of the objectives of the cotton policy in 2022

In 2022, 92.2% of the cotton sourced for our own clothing and home textile brands was more sustainable cotton.

Progress in 2019-2023:

  2023 2022 2021 2020 2019
Percentage of more sustainable cotton
sourced for our own brand clothing
and home textiles
  92.2 14.6 4.8 -
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