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Person with cotton ball in hand

Cotton

Our Approach

Cotton accounts for the majority of all fibres used in the garments and household textiles offered by ALDI. Whilst cotton is a renewable natural resource that is fully biodegradable, it is also linked to human rights and environmental risks in the countries where it is grown. Together with our business partners, we are committed to standards that achieve long-term sustainable improvements in the cultivation of cotton.

By 2025, all our ALDI-exclusive garments and household textiles products will be of either recycled, sourced or certified according to internationally recognised sustainability standards. We also exclude cotton from countries where cultivation and harvesting are systematically associated with human rights violations in any of our products.

Our Actions

Certification

We want to provide our customers the highest quality at the best possible price. To do this, we use systems with proven reliability and suitability for market-wide implementation. The use of independent third-party certification schemes when buying cotton is one example. These schemes promote social and environmental standards in cotton cultivation and processing.

Textiles

It is important to us that garment and household textiles, which are a regular component of our weekly special buys, are produced in an environmentally and socially sound way. Our goal for the future is to further expand our range of sustainable textiles and create even greater transparency in ALDI’s supply chain.

Most of our textile products are manufactured in production facilities in Asia. Our Corporate Responsibility (CR) team works closely with our textile business partners to support them in the implementation of our CR standards. Additionally, our colleagues based in Hong Kong and Bangladesh are frequently in the production facilities to assess the conditions on the ground. While we strive to improve working conditions in our production facilities, we also look at other stages of our supply chain, from cotton production over spinning to dyeing and finishing of garments.

Launched in 2013, the ALDI Factory Advancement (AFA) Project delivers change in factories that produce our garments in Bangladesh. Its core principle is the promotion of dialogue and cooperation between workers and managers. To date, approximately 85,000 workers and their managers have experienced positive changes in their day-to-day working environment.

Our Goal & Performance (2019)

Our Goal: We will use 100% sustainable cotton for our own-brand garments and household textiles by 2025. 

25%

of sustainable cotton tonnage

Our Projects

Four women around sheet full of cotton
© Fairtrade / Didier Gentilhomme
Project in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan
Fairtrade project on cottonseed

Since 2018, ALDI SOUTH Germany has been supporting the Fairtrade project in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The project aims to empower smallholder farmers and to improve the quality and supply of cotton from Central Asia.

To reach the project goal the following measures are implemented:

  • Training for farmers on seed production and multiplication
  • Actions to combat GMO-contamination
  • Enlargement of cultivable acreage for organic cotton and yield
  • Knowledge management and sharing
© Fairtrade / Didier Gentilhomme

 

More in 'Fairtrade Germany'
Asian garment fabric workers at work stations
CR Supplier Evaluation
Sustainable textiles

It is important to us that garment and household textiles, which are a regular component of our weekly special buys, are produced in an environmentally and socially sound way. Our goal for the future is to further expand our range of sustainable textiles and create even greater transparency in ALDI’s supply chain.

Since 2018, we have been annually evaluating the CR performance of all our international garment textiles business partners.

The Corporate Responsibility Supplier Evaluation (CRSE) is a comparable and transparent evaluation based on quantitative and qualitative indicators. The indicators focussing on our business partners’ social and environmental compliance management systems as well as their production facilities’ CR performance are derived from our CR Requirements, which form part of every contract.

The results of this evaluation increasingly influence our buying decisions. The CRSE supports long-term relationships with those business partners, who demonstrate a strong CR record and provides incentives for continuous improvement.

More on 'Textiles'
Logo of Partnership for Sustainable Textiles
International project
‘Partnership for Sustainable Textiles’ Initiative on living wages

In the context of our membership in the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, we actively work on the topic of living wages by being a member of the Partnership Initiative on living wages since 2019.  Within this initiative, we are working on the improvement of our purchasing practices as these can have an immense impact on the working conditions and wage payments in production facilities used for ALDI production.

As a first step, we conducted a purchasing practices self-assessment, involving our international buying, design and quality departments. Based on this gap analysis, we have developed a comprehensive roadmap together with our buying colleagues with concrete measures aiming at responsible purchasing practices. Together with other brands we have now established a peer learning group to find solutions for challenges and share best practices.

More on 'Partnership for Sustainable Textiles'
Women holding empty pesticide containers
Project in Mozambique
Cotton made in Africa recycling project

In 2019, Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) and the local cotton company SAN-JFS developed a recycling project in Mozambique. This project supports women from local farming communities who operate eco-collection points. Over 72,000 empty pesticide containers were collected and sent for recycling in the first year and benefitted up to 20,000 farmers. With the exclusive support of ALDI, the project is able to continue into a second phase and benefit even more farmers.

© Cotton made in Africa

 

More about 'Cotton made in Africa'

Sustainable Development Goals

1 No poverty 8 Decent work and economic growth 12 Responsible consumption and production 15 Life on land 17 Partnerships for the goals

UNGC

Human Rights

Principle 1

Support and respect the protection of human rights

Principle 2

Not complicit in human rights abuses

Labour

Principle 3

Uphold freedom of association and recognition of right to collective bargaining

Principle 4

Elimination of forced and compulsory labour

Principle 5

Abolition of child labour

Principle 6

Elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation

Environment

Principle 7

Precautionary approach to environmental challenges

Principle 8

Promote environmental responsibility

GRI references

GRI 103: Management approach 2016

Global Reporting Initiative 103-1 Global Reporting Initiative 103-2 Global Reporting Initiative 103-3