A new programme set up by the Australian and US cotton industry to supply responsibly-produced cotton is continuing to gain interest amongst global textile businesses.

To date, more than 100 retailers, brands and manufacturers have joined the Cotton Leads programme as partners, the organisation has revealed.

The initiative, launched late last year, has attracted suppliers to some of the world's biggest apparel brands, including Fruit of the Loom, Central Textiles, and Esquel Group.

Its founding members are Cotton Australia, the National Cotton Council of America, Cotton Council International and Cotton Incorporated. The programme is designed to raise awareness of the responsible growing practices and commitment to continuous improvement among cotton producers in the member countries.

"The founding members of Cotton Leads programme...are gratified that so many businesses around the world recognise the ongoing environmental gains made by cotton growers in Australia and the United States," said Mark Messura, SVP global supply chain marketing at Cotton Inc. 

Combined, cotton production in the US and Australia accounts for around 17% of global cotton production.