China will soon launch its own version of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) standard, according to state media reports.
A Beijing-based cotton service provider, Zhongnong Guoji, which is also responsible for the Xinjiang Digital Cotton Research Centre, is leading the initiative, in co-operation with the China Fashion Association and the Ministry of Finance-backed Modern Seed Industry Development Fund.
“After years of living with pressure under BCI standards, we just want to build our own cotton brand to have a far greater say in the cotton and textile industry,” said Luo Yan, secretary-general of the Xinjiang Digital Cotton Research Centre.
According to Luo, the cotton programme will mainly focus on “improving production efficiency through digitalisation, a fully traceable cotton production process, low-carbon production and high-quality cotton farming.”
BCI withdrew from China’s Xinjiang region in 2020, citing persistent allegations of forced labour, and BCI affiliation has led a number of international fashion brands to be the target of boycotts in China over the past month.