Cotton, in both its virgin and recycled forms, is a staple fiber in Target products and is vital to our business. It is used in a diverse array of fabrics and materials, which in turn are incorporated into a diverse range of products. Cotton farming is critical to the economic wellbeing of communities around the world and several methods are used to grow it. For these reasons, Target is committed to leveraging our scale to drive positive change in working conditions and environmental impact within the cotton industry. One of the challenges for Target in achieving this commitment is the lack of transparency throughout the growth and production process of cotton.
Target’s sourcing commitment for cotton products
Target is committed to sourcing cotton more sustainably for our owned brand and exclusive national brand products by meeting the following goals:
- Ensure the cotton used in our supply chain is not cultivated or harvested using underage or forced labor.
- Ensure working conditions in our supply chain are both ethical and compliant with applicable laws.
- Optimize production practices to minimize environmental impact, such as water use and pollution, and chemical use.
We believe the first step in meeting our goals is achieving full visibility to where the cotton our vendors use to produce our products is grown. Full visibility allows us to assess the environmental and employment practices of that region and implement improvements with our vendors that address the unique needs, issues, or challenges of that region. We aspire to continuous improvement within the interconnected supply chain through collaboration with farmers and brands, as well as other retailers and organizations who share our commitment. As we implement work toward this commitment, we will monitor our progress and share in our annual Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report.
To create the positive change we believe the industry and broader market requires, we will collaborate with supply chain partners and industry stakeholders to leverage our collective scale, influence, and expertise throughout the supply chain.
Target participates in several notable programs that promote, measure, and provide education around the responsible production of cotton:
- Better Cotton Initiative
- Target is a member of the Better Cotton Initiative. Its mission is to help cotton communities survive and thrive, while protecting and restoring the environment. Better Cotton uses a mass balance chain of custody approach.
- Learn more about BCI >
- Cotton LEADS™
- Target is a member of Cotton LEADS which is a program born out of partnership between the Australian and U.S. cotton industries. The goal of the program is to engage and connect businesses across the global supply chain with the leading efforts in sustainable cotton sourcing and production.
- When practical, Target uses cotton that is grown using organic production methods.
Target will rely on these programs to help fulfil our commitment. We will use a combination of these that best suit the varied geographies, supply chains and practices that Target relies upon. As we are making a long-standing commitment, this may include standards that have not yet been developed or our own programs. We aim to incorporate these more responsible methods of cotton production into our assortment by the end of 2022.
Learn more about our labor and human rights policies