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U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol Joins Cotton 2040 Sustainability Platform

The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol has been invited to join the Cotton 2040 coalition.

Convened by sustainability nonprofit Forum for the Future, Cotton 2040 is a partnership that brings together representatives from standards, producers, brands and retailers, and existing industry initiatives to build on and accelerate collective action to scale up and overcome barriers to sustainable cotton uptake.

The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is a new system for responsibly grown cotton that provides annual data for six areas of sustainability aligned with the United Nations Sustainability Goals. This year-over-year data allows brands and retailers to better measure progress toward meeting sustainability commitments.

The Trust Protocol also will be included in Cotton 2040’s “CottonUP” guide, a toolkit to help sourcing directors make sustainable decisions. The CottonUP guide to sourcing sustainable cotton aims to address one of the main barriers for companies looking to start sourcing or increase the amount of sustainable cotton they source.

The guide highlights the business case and main sourcing options for sustainable cotton, provides guidance on creating a sourcing strategy and on working with suppliers, and shares case studies from companies that have already navigated the complex challenges of sourcing more sustainable cotton.

“We are pleased to see the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol recognized by Cotton 2040 and listed on their CottonUp guide,” Gary Adams, president of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, said. “The Trust Protocol is a unique tool for brands and retailers, and we will continue to partner with them in their efforts to demonstrate progress toward sustainability goals.”

Cotton 2040’s interactive CottonUp guide recognizes the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol as a sustainable cotton standard alongside BCI, CmiA, Fairtrade, myBMP, organic and recycled cotton.

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“The apparel sector is under huge pressure to reduce its social and environmental impact, and increasing demand for more sustainable fibers is key to securing future supply,” Sally Uren, CEO at Forum for the Future, said. “The CottonUP guide addresses a long-standing need in the industry for clarity around cotton sourcing options, providing brands and retailers with the resources to help them go further, faster. It can be a key enabler for systemic change in the industry, and could be a blueprint for other commodities in the future. We’re happy to include the Trust Protocol as a new sustainability standard.”

Cotton 2040 envisages a sustainable global cotton industry that is resilient in a changing climate, uses business models that support sustainable production and livelihoods, and where sustainably produced cotton is the norm.

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 and social 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.