Our approach

Always looking ahead

Sustainability is part of ECOM’s core values. It motivates us to constantly innovate and find new ways of securing cotton’s future. Our roots in cotton go all the way back to 1849, when the company was founded in Barcelona, Spain. Today, we’re building on close to two-centuries of experience not simply to meet, but to anticipate, the industry’s challenges. We have a diverse range of people worldwide working on finding solutions to concerns such as soil restoration, efficient water management, farmer support, climate-smart practices, gender equality, and child labour across every part of the supply chain. ECOM’s goal is for farmers to produce more and better products and for cotton farming to provide opportunities for dignified and profitable livelihoods for generations to come.

At its most fundamental level, sustainability at ECOM means ensuring an orderly business environment, where valued relationships and the sharing of information reduces supply chain risks, costs, and inefficiencies. Our sustainability work should lead to better business results through better supply chain relationships, lower risk and lower supply chain costs.

ECOM is continuously developing internal capacities and systems to maintain the pace of its innovation and also foster collaboration within its networks and across markets.

To find out more about our programmes, get in touch at contactcotton@ecomtrading.com.


Our sustainable cotton offerings

Our innovative approach means we can offer our mills and brands several sustainable cotton options. Each has its own certification, to give our partners and the end consumer confidence that they’ve made a choice they can trust.

Certified Cotton

We work with a variety of international cotton programmes and certificates such as Better Cotton (BC), regenagri®, Responsible Brazilian Cotton program (ABR), US Trust Protocol (USTP), my Best Management Practices (myBMP), Regenerative Organic (ROC), Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Organic Content Standard (OCS) and Cotton made in Africa (CMiA), amongst others.

Sustainability at ECOM 

We are at the forefront of sustainability and leverage our experience and diversity to foster responsible sourcing and farmers’ empowerment. ECOM focuses on promoting market-driven solutions to systemic challenges of  cotton production: soil health, water management, and resilience to climate change. This includes capacity building, impact management, technology platforms, experimental plots, and traceability.

Together on traceability

Traceability is key to the success of cotton’s sustainability.

ECOM is committed to working with all the industry bodies that are improving traceability in cotton.

Data is key – our data management tools mean farmers can collect data on-site, whilst a pilot programme for geolocalisation data gives even deeper insights into impact, allowing it to be measured, managed and transparently reported. It all adds up to a fully traceable finished product that gives everyone, including the end consumer, confidence in its origin.

The following list consists of traceability  tools that we can provide to clients on request: 

  • 1.  Blockchain-based traceability platform
  • 2.  Geolocation data and satellite imagery
  • 3.  Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tracking systems


Traceability in Cotton’s Value Chain

Our programmes

Our vision is to promote good practices in how cotton is grown, sourced and used. We’re innovating and collaborating across every part of the supply chain, with a focus on people and the planet.

Our programmes include training and education initiatives on natural resource management, carbon offsets, soil management and regenerative agriculture, eradicating child labour, setting up financial solutions  and making communities more resilient. At field level, we’re exploring climate-smart growing, improving biodiversity, and restoring ecosystems.



Where we operate

Key programmes

Our programmes are aligned with international sustainability and regenerative agriculture standards and certifications in various origins, covering the 3 pillars of sustainability (social, environmental and economic). Therefore, we’re exploring climate-smart cotton, amending soil health and biodiversity, improving water management practices, rescuing wild varieties and promoting endangered species. To make sure our programmes have the impact we want to achieve, we work on data management, transparency and traceability as well.


Sustainable Cotton in Northern Mexico

In Mexico, we are developing our own program and verification process, built on Sustainable Management Services (SMS) experience.

We are currently working with farmers in Northern Mexico to incentivize the transition towards regenerative farming and sustainable cotton production. The program is focused on water management, soil remediation, biodiversity and labor rights.


US climate-smart cotton

“ECOM – Climate-Smart Cotton through a Sustainable and Innovative Supply Chain Approach” promotes the adoption of sustainable and regenerative practices for cotton production by US farmers, providing technical and financial assistance, as well as traceability and data management strategies. This will allow farmers to go through certification processes for regenagri, Better Cotton (BC) and Transitional Organic Cotton (TX Dept. of Agriculture). The project offers inclusive enrollment opportunities to U.S. cotton producers. This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, under agreement number NR233A750004G043.


Cotton 163, our impact investing gin in Brazil

Beneficiadora de Algodao Cotton 163 S.A. was established in 2018 in Brazil, by EISA Empresa Interagricola S.A. and a group of local farms. EISA financed the project as an impact investment while the farmers own the rest.
It is through this gin that we can now provide certified bales that are 100% traceable from farm to mill.


Blockchain traceability

We have been working with several options to develop traceability solutions for our value chains.
Product DNA (respect code) has been our main partner and tech supplier. This works through blockchain, QR codes, and data. Respect Code® by Product DNA helps us and our supply chain build trust, optimize our value chains, control information, tell stories, and communicate on the origin and production stages.
We also run projects with other platforms, and we currently have different pilots with brands to track from field to garment, using diverse blockchain-based solutions.

Climate-Smart Cotton through a Sustainable and Innovative Supply Chain Approach 

This program deploys funding from the USDA's Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities alongside resources from ECOM USA and program partners to scale the production and consumption of climate-smart cotton. 

ECOM USA is now accepting inquiries from cotton growers in the states of Arkansas and Texas for participation in this program for the 2024/2025 crop year. 

This program promotes the adoption of sustainable and regenerative practices for cotton production by US farmers. With support from project partners, it provides technical support and impact payments along with traceability and data management strategies.