The number of textile companies from the US, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Europe that have signed up to new programme that supplies responsibly-produced cotton has now more than doubled.

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

Two months on, and more than 60 textile companies have now formally signed up to the Cotton Leads programme.

"The Cotton Leads partners are very encouraged by the strong take-up of signatory companies to the programme," said Cotton Australia CEO, Adam Kay. "The swift adoption of the programme underlines the strong global demand for cotton that is recognised as responsibly produced."

The initiative is designed to raise awareness of the responsible growing practices of cotton growers in the US and Australia.

It promotes continuous improvement in farm production, environmental stewardship and the dissemination of best practices information broadly throughout the world's cotton producing countries.

Combined, Cotton Leads cotton is said to account for roughly 17% of global production.