Beginning today, U.S. cotton growers can enroll their 2021 cotton crop in the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, which aims to set a new standard in more sustainably grown cotton. Existing members will also need to re-enroll their operations in order to receive the year-over-year data from the Fieldprint calculator that helps track sustainability progress at the farm level.
“Thank you to all the growers who have joined so far and helped get the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol off to a great start,” said Dr. Gary Adams, president of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol. “The Trust Protocol brings verifiable goals and measurements to sustainable cotton production, enabling brands and retailers to better tell their sustainability story by highlighting grower members’ continuous improvements. Grower enrollment and re-enrollment will help ensure demand for their cotton as we all work towards our sustainability goals.”
The Trust Protocol proves, measures and verifies U.S. cotton’s sustainability credentials, giving brands and retailers the critical assurances needed that the cotton fiber element of their supply chain is more sustainably grown with lower environmental and social risk. Additionally, the system lets U.S. growers document and showcase their land management and environmental stewardship practices while helping them achieve continuous improvement in six sustainability metrics: land use, soil carbon, water management, soil loss, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy efficiency.
“By joining the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, growers like me will be able to tell our story and help demonstrate to brands and retailers that the U.S. is a leader in sustainable cotton growing practices,” said Kellon Lee, a cotton grower from St. Joseph, Louisiana. “The program will also help improve our own sustainability efforts by allowing us to analyze and compare data year over year both from our farm and anonymously against other Trust Protocol growers so re-enrollment for existing members is critical.”
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.