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Building trust in US Cotton

Bringing quantifiable and verifiable measurements to production.

8th November 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Memphis, TN, USA


In its first year, the US Cotton Trust Protocol, based in Memphis, Tennessee, has welcomed more than 465 brands, retailers, mills and manufacturers as members and secured 950,000 bales of cotton into the system.

The farm level, science-based programme’s aim is to bring quantifiable and verifiable goals and measurement to sustainable cotton production and drive continuous improvement in six key sustainability metrics – land use, soil carbon, water management, soil loss, greenhouse gas emissions and energy efficiency.

The initiative also launched the Protocol Consumption Management Solution (PCMS) which enables it to offer unrivalled transparency and visibility of cotton through the supply chain, backed by independently verified data from growers. Recognising the growing importance of increased supply chain visibility, the PCMS uses the combined power of the Protocol Platform and TextileGenesis to provide members with the world’s first sustainable cotton fibre to offer article-level transparency across the supply chain.

“The US Cotton Trust Protocol was created to set a new standard in more sustainable cotton and we are proud of the significant achievements made in the programme’s first year,” said president Gary Adams. “Our goals are rooted in the idea that US cotton production can contribute to the protection and preservation of the planet by using sustainable and responsible growing techniques.”

Members include Levi Strauss PVH Corp and its brands Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, Gap Inc and its collection of purpose-led lifestyle brands Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic and Athleta, as well as global apparel manufacturer Gildan. The Trust Protocol has also welcomed UK retailers Tesco, Byford and Next.

The US Cotton Trust Protocol is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, recognised by Textile Exchange and Forum for the Future, and part of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Cotton 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge, Cotton 2040 and Cotton Up initiatives.

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