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Boots will switch 10 million units of cotton wool to be 100% organic this year

15 November 2022
News CSR

Boots will switch its own brand cotton wool products to GOT (Global Organic Textiles Standard) certified organic alternatives in its bid to help customers make simpler, more sustainable choices – at no extra cost.

According to WWF , current cotton production methods are environmentally unsustainable. Non-organic cotton has been dubbed the ‘world’s dirtiest crop’ as it accounts for 16% of global insecticide use – more than any other single crop. Traditional cotton production requires substantial amounts of water, so it depletes local water reserves, impacts and wildlife and affects the health of farmers.

The GOTS certification means the cotton is farmed without the use of toxic, persistent pesticides or synthetic fertilisers, and in fact sustains the health of soils and the environment. This supports the farmers of cotton, allowing them to grow additional crops alongside cotton, like food, which they can use themselves or as a source of income.

The move is Boots’ latest sustainability commitment after pledging to remove all wipes containing plastic fibres from it’s shelved by the end of 2022 and removing all unnecessary plastic from its Christmas gifting range.

John Sweeney, Head of Product Sustainability at Boots, said, “In total, Boots sells over 10 million cotton wool products across its beauty and baby ranges each year, so this is a really important move. It takes into account the entire supply chain and ultimately benefits the cotton farmers and in turn their families and the local community. What’s even better is that we’re doing this at no extra cost to our customers, helping make organic cotton wool easily accessible for anyone who wants to make this sustainable switch for the good of others and the planet.”

Organic cotton farming can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as delivering a number of other environmental, human health and social benefits.

Boots own brand organic cotton wool is now available on and is expected to be available in most stores by the end of the year.

For customers wanting to be more sustainable in their habits, Boots has a ‘Be More’ edit on featuring over 400 eco-friendly products to help customers to more easily make sustainable choices.

This pledge is the latest change Boots has introduced as part of its sustainability commitments:

  • Boots will remove all wet wipes that contain plastic fibres from its shelves and by the end of 2022
  • 100% of Boots seasonal gift range is free from secondary plastic this Christmas, removing over 2,020 tonnes of plastic.
  • Boots operates plastic free deliveries – equating to eliminating 157 tonnes of plastic per year* 
  • Customers using the innovative ‘Recycle at Boots’ scheme have deposited over one million hard to recycle beauty, health and wellness products. It’s the first scheme of its kind in the UK, accepting all products including those not purchased at Boots, utilising Scan2Recycle technology to encourage more sustainable habits. Since September 2020 over 19 tonnes of plastics have been recycled.



*Figures as of 31 August 2022.


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Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer with over 52,000 team members and around 1,900 stores, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores.*

Boots serves its customers and patients for life as the leading provider of healthcare on the high street and the UK’s number one beauty destination. It offers an unrivalled depth and breadth of products, which incorporates its extensive own brand range and innovative portfolio of brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle Beauty and Sleek MakeUP.

2024 marks Boots’ 175th anniversary year. Founder John Boot opened a herbalist store in Nottingham in 1849 to offer an affordable alternative to traditional medicines. His son Jesse expanded the business to become a modern retailer and the biggest chemist in Britain. Throughout its history, Boots has listened, learned and innovated, and it continues to challenge itself to improve its products and services every day.

Boots is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, which is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail.  More company information is available on

*Figures accurate as of 31 May 2024