Trust Protocol membership will support American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) in its continued efforts to provide greater transparency, communication and standardised reporting of its ESG progress.

Underpinned by a focus on optimism, AEO’s ‘Building a Better World’ ESG strategy is centred on three key areas: planet (environment), people (social) and practices (governance). Notably, the company has set specific goals to achieve carbon neutrality in its owned and operated locations and significantly reduce water use, among other sustainability initiatives.

“AEO is excited to partner with the Trust Protocol as we work to move our sustainability practices forward, preserve our planet and meet the ambitious targets we have set on our journey to build a better world,” said Mark Rose, SVP, production and sourcing, AEO. “The Trust Protocol will help provide AEO the opportunity to further verify our responsible sourcing practices and demonstrate the progress we’re making toward meeting our environmental targets.”

The Trust Protocol claims to be the only sustainable cotton system that provides quantifiable, verifiable goals and measurement and drives continuous improvement in six key sustainability metrics – land use, soil carbon, water management, soil loss, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy efficiency. It integrates these sustainability metrics from Field to Market’s Fieldprint Platform, enabling enrolled growers to measure the environmental impacts of their operation and identify opportunities for continuous improvement.

“The demand for verified data to credibly demonstrate progress on sustainability targets is representative of a clear need across the retail industry: the Trust Protocol is uniquely positioned to meet that need and is setting a new standard in sustainable cotton production where full transparency is a reality,” said Dr. Gary Adams, president of the US Cotton Trust Protocol. “We look forward to working with AEO to demonstrate tangible and continuous improvement across the six key sustainability metrics we track.”

The Trust Protocol is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, recognised by Textile Exchange and Forum for the Future, and part of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Cotton 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge, Cotton 2040, and Cotton Up initiatives.

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In October, Ralph Lauren joined the US Cotton Trust Protocol in an effort to scale sustainable practices in US cotton production.