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MEMPHIS – The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol says it has doubled grower participation for the 2021/22 crop since the programme’s pilot last year. The Trust Protocol was established to bring “quantifiable and verifiable goals and measurement” to the key sustainability metrics of US cotton production. With more and more fashion brands and retailers have made sustainable cotton sourcing commitments in recent years, the Trust Protocol is flying the flag for US grown cotton, where significant strides have been made in sustainable production methods in the past two decades.

The growth of this US initiative comes on the back of uncertainty in many cotton sourcing hubs, particularly China where there are concerns that Xinjiang cotton is fanning out into textile supply chains in mainland China and beyond.

The Trust Protocol has a vision 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.”

The programme’s core values include a commitment to US cotton’s legacy of authenticity, innovation and excellence, environmental stewardship, caring of people, and personal and corporate integrity. 

“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.” 

Virtually all the top 100 global brands and retailers have now created lists of sustainable raw materials and publicly committed that 100 per cent of their sourcing will come from these lists over the next 5-10 years. The Trust Protocol was designed to meet and exceed the rigorous criteria for these lists.

The Trust Protocol has welcomed more than 600 brand, retailer, mill and manufacturer members since its launch in 2020. This includes J.Crew, Madewell, Levi Strauss & Co. and, Gap Inc. as well as global apparel manufacturer Gildan.

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