According to WWF, current cotton production methods are environmentally unsustainable. Non-organic cotton has been dubbed the ‘world’s dirtiest crop’ as it accounts for 16% of global insecticide use – more than any other single crop. Traditional cotton production requires substantial amounts of water, so it depletes local water reserves, impacts wildlife and affects the health of farmers.
The GOTS certification means the cotton is farmed without the use of toxic, persistent pesticides or synthetic fertilisers and, in fact, sustains the health of soils and the environment. This supports cotton farmers, allowing them to grow additional crops alongside cotton, like food, which they can use themselves or as a source of income.
The move is Boots’ latest sustainability commitment after pledging to remove all wipes containing plastic fibres from its shelves by the end of 2022 and removing all unnecessary plastic from its Christmas gifting range.
John Sweeney, Head of Product Sustainability at Boots, said, “In total, Boots sells over 10 million cotton wool products across its beauty and baby ranges each year, so this is a really important move. It takes into account the entire supply chain and ultimately benefits the cotton farmers and in turn, their families and the local community. Even better, we’re doing this at no extra cost to our customers, helping make organic cotton wool easily accessible for anyone who wants to make this sustainable switch for the good of others and the planet.”
Organic cotton farming can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and deliver several other environmental, human health and social benefits.
Boots’ own brand of organic cotton wool is now available on boots.com and is expected to be available in most stores by the end of the year.
For customers wanting to be more sustainable in their habits, Boots has a ‘Be More’ edit on boots.com featuring over 400 eco-friendly products to help customers more easily make sustainable choices.
This pledge is the latest change Boots has introduced as part of its sustainability commitments:
- Boots will remove all wet wipes that contain plastic fibres from its shelves and boots.com by the end of 2022
- 100% of Boots’ seasonal gift range is free from secondary plastic this Christmas, removing over 2,020 tonnes of plastic.
- Boots operates plastic-free boots.com deliveries – equating to eliminating 157 tonnes of plastic per year*
- Customers using the innovative ‘Recycle at Boots’ scheme have deposited over one million hard to recycle beauty, health and wellness products. It’s the first scheme of its kind in the UK, accepting all products, including those not purchased at Boots, utilising Scan2Recycle technology to encourage more sustainable habits. Since September 2020, over 19 tonnes of plastics have been recycled.
*Figures as of 31 August 2022.