The e3 scheme means US-grown cotton can be certified as sustainably produced

The e3 scheme means US-grown cotton can be certified as sustainably produced

US textile major Cone Denim has secured more than 1.5m pounds of sustainable cotton through its participation in Bayer CropScience's sustainable cotton programme.

The e3 scheme means US-grown cotton can be certified as sustainably produced, and is already available in commercial quantities. It also allows retailers to connect directly with the growers, meaning consumers can trace the supply chain of their garments back to the cotton.

As part of its participation in the initiative, Cone Denim has secured more than 1.5m pounds of e3 cotton for the 2015-2016 crop year. This adds to the company's current participation with the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and Cotton LEADS sustainable cotton programmes. It also promotes sustainable and responsible practices in its manufacturing operations and in the development of new denims globally under its Cone 3D R&D incubator.

"We are committed to providing our customers a wide variety of sustainable denim product options and opportunities," said Steve Maggard, vice president of operations and Cone 3D. "e fits right in. No matter which one of the three major cotton sustainability initiatives (BCI, LEADS, or e3) our customers would like to get behind, we can facilitate the project."

The e3 scheme was introduced by Bayer CropScience in 2013 under the extension of a licensing deal with New York-based textile and apparel company Olah Inc two years prior. It provides stringent, third-party verified guidelines for farmers in the US who grow Certified FiberMax or authentic Stoneville cotton.

Cotton sourcing scheme tackles sustainability too

For mills and brands, benefits of the programme are said to include the fact that it address the working/living conditions of growers and labourers and the needs of the surrounding community, as well as helping make farms financially competitive.

It also provides information on the impact of farming practices on natural resources, thereby encouraging reduced use of water, land and energy.