"This allows us to further our commitment to sustainable cotton and enables us to support US cotton growers"

"This allows us to further our commitment to sustainable cotton and enables us to support US cotton growers"

US specialty apparel retailer Gap Inc has joined both the US Cotton Trust Protocol and Textile Exchange's 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge to help speed efforts to source 100% sustainable cotton by 2025.

The retailer currently sources 57% of its cotton from sustainable sources across its Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic and Athleta brands. 

The Trust Protocol opened for membership in October and provides brands and retailers with verified data on the sustainability practices used on US cotton farms. Member brands have access to aggregate year-over-year data in six areas: water use; greenhouse gas emissions; energy use; soil carbon, soil loss, and land-use efficiency.

"Continuous improvement is important to Gap Inc, which is why we have decided to begin sourcing more sustainable fibre through the US Cotton Trust Protocol. As part of our commitment to address climate change by aligning with the best science and industry practices, we have ambitious targets across metrics to lower carbon emissions and preserve precious natural resources like water," said Alice Hartley, director of product sustainability for Gap Inc.

"With two-thirds of US cotton not using any irrigation at all, this allows us to further our commitment to sustainable cotton and enables us to support US cotton growers."

The vision of the 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge is that more than 50% of the world's cotton is converted to more sustainable growing methods.

Brands and retailers can choose from Textile Exchange's list of recognised organic and sustainable cotton initiatives, which have the ability to increase the income of smallholder farmers, eliminate highly hazardous pesticides, eliminate or reduce the amount of pesticides and synthetic fertiliser used, reduce water use and improve water quality and soil health. The US Cotton Trust Protocol was recognised as one such initiative in April 2020.

Last month, Gap Inc noted a recovery in third-quarter sales after being impacted by Covid-related store closures earlier in the year. 

just-style recently spoke with Dr Gary Adams, president of the US Cotton Trust Protocol (CTP) about how the initiative is ramping up to help brands and retailers better track the environmental impact of the cotton entering their supply chains: Setting a standard for more sustainably grown cotton.