Sourcing cotton responsibly for our range of babywear
At M&S we are dedicated to meeting our Plan A commitment to source 100% of our cotton as more sustainable cotton by 2019 (as of March we are at 77%). As a team we are passionate about giving our Kidswear customers the best quality and value, safe in the knowledge that we are working hard to ensure the planet and the communities we work with are treated fairly. M&S supports responsibly sourced cotton through a number of partners including the Better Cotton Initiative, which exists to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment and better for the sector’s future.
Within the Baby category, we use a high percentage of cotton across the range, as we know it’s often a preferred option for parents. Supporting responsible sourcing is therefore a key focus for us, and we’re really proud of the amount of more sustainable cotton we source. Every time you choose cotton at M&S, such as products from our babywear category, you can be confident you’re making a good choice.
Baby’s skin is soft and sensitive, and so it’s important for us to give our customers not only the best quality fabric to be gentle on their little one’s skin, but also the knowledge that they are buying garments from a brand who is committed to protecting the environment and the welfare of workers.
Building true partnerships with our suppliers is essential for us, as we have to trust that we will be developing fantastic quality clothing that we can offer to the customer at a great price. One of our longest-standing supplier relationships is with an eco-factory in South India that offers only organic cotton or cotton that supports the Better Cotton Initiative. Whether our customers are buying from our organic range of babywear – which is produced from 100% organically grown cotton – or from the rest of the range, they are buying garments that support the responsible sourcing of cotton.
We are always looking for ways to improve upon our designs and so we make sure to gather, and listen to, customer feedback regularly. For example, a customer came forward to us asking for our bodysuits and sleepsuits to go up to bigger sizes for her disabled grandchild. Not only were we able to work with our supplier to provide this, but we went on to develop our hugely successful adaptive range which has grown and is now extending into daywear, meaning getting dressed is much easier and less stressful for both parent and child.
Over the years, we have worked with our suppliers to develop a wide range of innovations across Kidswear, from our everyday essentials through to school uniform. On Baby, a priority for us is the safety of our garments, and as well as comfort and practicality – for example, we incorporate Baby Safe Toes™ on our sleepsuits which ensure delicate feet are safe from any loose threads that could potentially otherwise work their way around babies’ toes. Flat seams are also built into clothes to make sure little ones are comfortable as possible no matter which way they lay, while innovative Perfect Poppers mean that getting a wriggly baby dressed can be made quicker and easier for mums and dads.
All of our products go through rigorous testing above the industry standard to ensure that we’re happy with the quality and functionality of every single item before it lands on the shop floor. From the way we work with our suppliers through to the designs we offer, we are committed to giving the customer and their children the best we can and achieving the Plan A target to source 100% of our cotton as more sustainable cotton by next year will be a great milestone for the team.