Supply Chain

Ikea and suppliers in India, some good stats, and cotton sustainability numbers/case studies

According to this article Ikea’s work on sustainability continues to gather pace.

Amidst the gloom of stories about how badly some large companies are treating their suppliers, despite ethical protestations when in trouble, or in their CR reports, it’s nice to see a bit of better news about a supply chain.

Pinched from the above article, which took the details from IKEA’s sustainability report, are these wee nuggets, which made me feel chirpier this Monday morning. Along with coffee.

Ikea / Fibe2Fashion reports that:


“Asian Fabrics, a textiles supplier in India, achieved 100 per cent energy independence after installing a 1.5 MW PV array and four turbines that generate 20 MW wind energy.


Jansons, an Ikea textiles supplier based in Erode, Southern India, inspired by Ikea’s People and Planet Positive strategy implemented more than 15 measures.


These include a system to recycle wastewater for printing, a new dyeing process which uses less water, and a way to save energy.


Janson’s have been able to save over 285 MWh of energy and 69 million litres of water through this initiative.”

So that sounds quite substantial. Well done Ikea and a couple of suppliers. I used to do some work with Steve Howard, who is Ikea’s chief sustainability officer, and was always impressed with him. He clearly has a good team and some senior level support at the company.

On cotton specifically, Ikea / Fibe2Fashion reports that:

“Ikea in India associated with WWF and other partners to support over 100,000 cotton farmers in India. They are helped with skill development, seed selection, harvesting, water management, less use of chemicals & pesticides and marketing.


In India, Ikea currently has 48 suppliers with about 45,000 direct employees and about 400,000 people in the extended supply chain.”

400,000 people in the extended supply chain. That’s a big number. Not compared to India’s population of course, but still, for one company, that must feel like a large number to have partial responsibility for.

In other cotton related news, this trade press piece says that via the largest cotton initiative in Africa, “…approximately 5,400 smallholder farmers from Uganda are now benefiting from the Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) and its Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) initiative.” More on that here.

Finally, for any cotton folks out there, my Google alerts turned this case study up this morning which may be of interest. Here’s M&S and WWF, reporting on their Better Cotton India project.

There’s plenty of up to date sustainable cotton analysis on our new website at: http://innovation-forum.co.uk 


The latest edition of our weekly brief covers cotton and sustainability and can be found here.

And executives from both Ikea and Marks & Spencer will be joining folks from Aid by Trade and lot of brands such as Nudie Jeans, Gina Tricot, John Lewis, Primark and many others at our cotton event in London next month. Take a look at it here

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