The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol announced that grower participation for the 2021-22 crop season doubled since the program’s pilot the previous year.
The Trust Protocol has welcomed more than 600 brand, retailer, mill and manufacturer members since its launch in 2020. This includes retailers J.Crew, Gap Inc. and Madewell, and global brands Levi Strauss & Co. and Gildan.
The Trust Protocol’s mission is to bring quantifiable and verifiable goals and measurement to the key sustainability metrics of U.S. cotton production. The initiative’s vision is to set a new standard in sustainable cotton production where full transparency is a reality and continuous improvement to reduce our environmental footprint is the central goal.
“During our second year we doubled the number of U.S. cotton growers in the program with an estimated 1.1 million cotton acres enrolled,” said Dr. Gary Adams, president of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol. “Our grower members are global leaders when it comes to sustainable cotton production and as supply chain membership continues to grow, producers are encouraged to join the initiative to help ensure there is enough cotton in the system to meet demand.”
The organization noted that virtually all the Top 100 global brands and retailers have created lists of sustainable raw materials and publicly committed that 100 percent of their sourcing will come from these lists over the next five to 10 years. The Trust Protocol was designed to meet and exceed the rigorous criteria for these lists, with core values including a commitment to U.S. cotton’s legacy of authenticity, innovation and excellence, environmental stewardship, caring of people, and personal and corporate integrity.
The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, recognized by Textile Exchange and Forum for the Future, and is part of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Cotton 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge, Cotton 2040 and Cotton Up initiatives.
Launched in 2020, the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is a farm level, science-based program that provides quantifiable, verifiable goals and measurement in six key sustainability metrics as well as article-level supply chain transparency. The Trust Protocol is overseen by a multistakeholder 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.