Recently, the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, a farm level, science-based program that sets a new standard in more sustainably grown cotton celebrated one-year since its official launch. The Trust Protocol brings quantifiable and verifiable goals and measurement to sustainable cotton production and drives continuous improvement in six key sustainability metrics– land use, soil carbon, water management, soil loss, greenhouse gas emissions and energy efficiency.
In the first year, the Trust Protocol welcomed more than 465 brand, retailer, mill and manufacturer members and secured 950,000 bales of cotton into the system. The initiative also launched the Protocol Consumption Management Solution (PCMS) which enables the Trust Protocol to offer unrivalled transparency and visibility of cotton through the supply chain, backed by an unparalleled level of independently verified data from our growers. Recognizing the growing importance of increased supply chain visibility, the PCMS uses the combined power of the Protocol Platform and TextileGenesis™ to provide members the world’s first sustainable cotton fiber to offer article-level transparency across the supply chain.
“The U.S. 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 program’s first year,” said Dr. Gary Adams, president of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol. “Our goals are rooted in the idea that U.S. cotton production can contribute to the protection and preservation of the planet by using sustainable and responsible growing techniques. Today the Trust Protocol is the world’s first sustainable cotton fiber to offer article-level transparency and visibility of cotton throughout the supply chain, backed by an unparalleled level of verified data from our growers. We look forward to building upon these successes in years to come.”
Brand, retailer, mill and manufacturer members include Levi Strauss & Co., 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 Plc. Other Trust Protocol member announcements include the first 10 U.S. member mills to join and the first members in Latin America.
The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, recognized 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.
About the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol
In a period of ever-greater supply chain scrutiny and growing demand for transparency, the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol sets a new standard for more sustainably grown cotton. It brings quantifiable and verifiable goals and measurement to responsibly-grown cotton production and drives continuous improvement in key sustainability metrics.
The Trust Protocol underpins and verifies U.S. cotton’s progress through sophisticated data collection and independent third-party verification. Choosing Trust Protocol cotton will give brands and retailers the critical assurances they need that the cotton fiber element of their supply chain is more sustainably grown with lower environmental risk. Brands and retailers will gain access to U.S. cotton with sustainability credentials proven via Field to Market, measured via the Fieldprint Calculator and verified with Control Union Certifications.
The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is overseen by a multi-stakeholder Board of Directors comprised of representatives from brands and retailers, civil society and independent sustainability experts as well as the cotton-growing industry, including growers, ginners, merchants, wholesalers and cooperatives, mills and cottonseed handlers.