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Cotton, polyester and man-made cellulosic fibres are some of the most widely used fibres across Clothing & Home products. Their production can have detrimental environmental and social impacts contributing to issues such as deforestation, water stress and climate change. This, alongside a growing global population and increasing customer consumption is placing too much pressure on the earth’s natural resources – that’s why we’re working to play our part in improving things and sourcing more sustainably for the future.

Approach

At M&S, cotton, polyester and man-made cellulosic fibres represent 80% of the raw materials we use within Clothing & Home – and we are committed to replacing each of these core fibres with more sustainable alternatives by 2025 – sourcing from more sustainable sources with proven environmental and social impacts.

We are working hard to achieve this goal and have already made some real progress, allowing us to extend our focus to other raw materials used across our Clothing & Home range.

Cotton

In 2012, we set out to source more sustainable cotton – grown using less fertiliser, pesticides and water. We are proud that in 2019, we met our commitment of reaching 100% responsibly sourced cotton for all M&S branded clothing – which we continue to meet today. Our cotton sourcing requirements are set out in our M&S Cotton Sourcing policy, with the majority of our cotton meeting the Better Cotton Initiative standards, and the rest meeting Fairtrade, Organic or Recycled standards. Find out more about our approach to sourcing cotton.

Polyester

We’re committed to converting all polyester we use in our Clothing & Home products to more sustainable alternatives. We work with our suppliers to implement the requirements we set out in our M&S Recycled Material Sourcing Policy – as we know using recycled materials to make finished products has less environmental impacts than virgin materials.

To support the microfibre shedding problem being seen globally, we work with industry to reduce impacts – and we are currently a board member of The Microfibre Consortium and are a signatory member to WRAP’s Textiles 2030 voluntary agreement. Find out more about our approach to sourcing polyester.

Man-made cellulosic Fibres (MMCFs)

We set out our minimum standards for all of our suppliers in our M&S Man-Made Cellulosic Fibres Sourcing Policy, to ensure we positively effect sourcing risks like forest loss and degradation and we are working to reach 100% preferred fibre conversion. In 2019, to help achieve our ambition to achieve greater supply chain transparency, we published the locations of our MMCF suppliers on our M&S Interactive Sourcing Map.

We work across industry to support the sustainable sourcing of MMCFs. We are a partner in the CanopyStyle Initiative, committed to ending sourcing from ancient and endangered forests and habitats and support lasting conservation solutions; and are a signatory brand of the Changing Markets Roadmap towards responsible viscose and modal fibre manufacturing. Find out more about our approach to sourcing MMCFs.

Denim

We’re doing our bit to make sure our jeans are made with sustainability in mind, and in 2021 we launched our most sustainable denim range yet – using 100% responsibly sourced cotton, using 80% less water in the finishing process and starting to replace standard dyes with cleaner and more resource efficient alternatives. Find out more about our approach to denim.