MEMPHIS, TENN (April 7, 2021) – The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol announces membership in the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), a global, industry-wide nonprofit of over 250 members working to reduce environmental impact and promote social justice throughout the global value chain. The Trust Protocol joins leading apparel, footwear, and textile brands, retailers, manufacturers, sourcing agents, service providers, trade associations, nonprofits/NGOs, and academic institutions in a shared vision of an industry that gives more than it takes – to the planet and its people.
“During a time of ever-growing supply chain scrutiny, being a member of the SAC is further validation of how the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is working to set a new standard in more sustainable cotton production,” said Dr. Gary Adams, president of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol. “While our grower members have a long history of sustainable cotton growing practices, they understand the importance of continuous improvement and have committed to meeting bold sustainability targets by 2025.”
As a member of the SAC, the Trust Protocol will provide a unique perspective from the U.S. cotton industry through collective work with other members to measure sustainability progress, collaborate on research, and identify and mitigate industry challenges. As part of its core program, the Trust Protocol is focused on six key sustainability metrics including land use, soil carbon, water management, soil loss, greenhouse gas emissions and energy efficiency.
“We welcome the addition of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol to the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and look forward to its participation in this industry-wide effort in sustainability,” SAC Executive Director Amina Razvi said. “Having the Trust Protocol as part of the Coalition widens the scope of our impact within the industry and accelerates the change we’re making towards responsible industry actions.”
The Trust Protocol has welcomed more than 300 brand, retailer, mill and manufacturer members since its launch in 2020. This includes Gap Inc. and its collection of purpose-led lifestyle brands Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic and Athleta as well as UK retailers Byford and Next Plc. Other Trust Protocol member announcements include the first 10 U.S. mills to join and the first members in Latin America.
The Trust Protocol is on the Textile Exchange’s list of 36 preferred fibers and materials that more than 170 participating brands and retailers can select from as part of Textile Exchange’s Material Change Index program. The Trust Protocol is also working to align with existing standards in the cotton industry and is part of the Forum for the Future Cotton 2040 and the CottonUp guide.
About the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol
In a period of ever-greater supply chain scrutiny and a growing demand for transparency, the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol will set a standard for more sustainably grown cotton. It brings quantifiable and verifiable goals and measurement to the issue of 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 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.
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.
About the Sustainable Apparel Coalition
The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) is an industry-wide group of more than 250 leading apparel, footwear, and textile, brands, retailers, suppliers, service providers, trade associations, nonprofits/NGOs, and academic institutions working to reduce the environmental and social impacts of products around the world. Through multi-stakeholder engagement, the SAC seeks to lead the industry toward a shared vision of sustainability built upon a common approach for measuring and evaluating apparel, footwear, and textile product sustainability performance that spotlights priorities for action and opportunities for technological innovation. The SAC was incorporated as a 501c(6) nonprofit organization and launched the groundbreaking Higg Index suite of tools in 2011. For more information, visit apparelcoalition.org.
Media Contact: Janice Walters, Janice.Walters@hkstrategies.com; +1 (571) 527-9840
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