Putting The Proof Behind Sustainability Promises

As consumers work to check everything off their shopping lists this holiday season, sustainability is becoming part of the shopping equation more and more.

Brands and retailers have noticed an increased demand for more sustainable products since the pandemic began more than 20 months ago. Research conducted earlier this year by the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol revealed that nearly two-thirds of brands and retailers felt there has been an increased demand for sustainable products since March of 2020. However, it is not just about providing consumers with more sustainable products, it has also become about proving that sustainability with data and transparency.

The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, which was launched in the fall of 2020, can help brands and retailers meet these demands. The program provides farm level data on six key environmental metrics — water use, land use, soil loss, soil carbon, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

“I’ve spent most of my life working with cotton and have committed the past several decades to helping U.S. growers raise the bar for sustainable stewardship of their land,” said Dr. Andrew Jordan, advisor to the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol. “This initiative is groundbreaking because of its commitment to data and its scalability. The data allows brands and retailers to demonstrate their commitments to their science-based sustainability targets and allows us to walk with U.S. cotton growers on a road of continuous improvement.”

The U.S. cotton industry understands that continuous improvement is essential and has committed to a number of sustainability goals by 2025. Trust Protocol grower members will meet these goals by utilizing a data-driven approach that relies on innovative new technologies, cutting-edge research, and best management practices.

“Today, the Trust Protocol is the first sustainable cotton fiber to provide article-level transparency throughout the supply chain,” said Dr. Gary Adams, president of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol. “The program provides access to more sustainably grown cotton for brands and retailers, and science based, data-led assurances that their consumers can have confidence in — something that has been lacking in the industry to date.”

As public pressure continues to build, the Trust Protocol allows brands and retailers to prove their sustainability commitments to their customers, while at the same time continuously reducing U.S. cotton’s environmental footprint, providing consumers the confidence they need as they look for the perfect gifts this holiday season — and beyond.

In its first year, the Trust Protocol welcomed more than 560 brand, retailer, mill and manufacturer members, including 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 U.K. retailers Tesco, Byford and Next Plc.

The Trust Protocol was designed to deliver a better future for U.S. cotton, ensuring that it contributes to the protection and preservation of the planet, using the most sustainable and responsible techniques.

To learn more about the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol visit trustuscotton.org. Be sure to follow @TrustUSCotton on Twitter and Instagram, and connect with U.S.Cotton Trust Protocol on LinkedIn for more updates.

This sponsored content has been provided by the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol.

November/December 2021