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June 29, 2021

Sustainability drive sees Tesco join US Cotton Trust Protocol

UK supermarket retailer Tesco has become a Trust Protocol member as part of its commitment to sourcing 100% sustainable cotton by 2025.

By Beth Wright

Tesco’s membership marks a significant step in its ambitious sustainability programme which sets out its plan for climate action, its approach to protecting important ecosystems such as forests and marine environments, and its work on promoting sustainable agricultural practices that protect soil health and biodiversity.

Tesco also wants to continue to provide transparency throughout its clothing supply chain; a key reason for sourcing more sustainable materials through the US Cotton Trust Protocol for both its home and clothing ranges in-store.

“We want to offer our customers great quality affordable fashion while at the same time reducing our environmental impact. Our customers trust that we source and produce all of our products in a responsible and ethical way, and becoming a member of the US Cotton Trust Protocol gives us access to more sustainably grown cotton. Working with the Trust Protocol will allow us to further our sustainability ambitions as we work towards our goal of 100% sustainable cotton by 2025,” says Joe Little, head of technical and sustainability at Tesco.

The Trust Protocol provides fashion brands and retailers with the critical assurances they need to show the cotton fibre element of their supply chain is more responsibly grown.

It works by providing member brands access to the Protocol Credit Management System to validate consumption of cotton and associated credit; and to aggregate year-over-year data in six sustainability areas: water use, greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, soil carbon, soil loss, and land use efficiency.

Dr Gary Adams, president of the US Cotton Trust Protocol, adds: “Tesco is committed to playing a leading role in sustainable solutions for consumers across the world/ UK, and we are proud to be supporting them in this ambition. Collaboration is key, as with each member that joins, we have greater resources to help provide tools and knowledge to not only help US growers improve their sustainability practices but to also give more brands and retailers the supply chain confidence they need.”

The Trust Protocol is governed by a board of directors, including Little at Tesco. It is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, recognized 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.

just-style spoke with Dr Gary Adams last year 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.

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