The US Cotton Trust Protocol has been added to Textile Exchange’s list of preferred fibres and materials.
The Trust Protocol underpins and verifies US cotton’s progress through sophisticated data collection and independent third-party verification. It is overseen by a multi-stakeholder board of directors comprised of representatives from brands and retailers, civil society and independent sustainability experts as well as the cotton-growing industry, including growers, ginners, merchants, wholesalers and cooperatives, mills and cottonseed handlers.
It will now be one of 36 fibres and materials that more than 170 participating brands and retailers can select from as part of Textile Exchange’s Material Change Index programme.
Textile Exchange defines a preferred fibre or material as one which results in improved environmental and/or social sustainability outcomes and impacts in comparison to conventional production. The Trust Protocol will join a portfolio of more sustainable cotton production initiatives including the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), Cotton Made in Africa (CmiA), Fairtrade Cotton, Organic Cotton, REEL, ISCC, and Recycled Cotton as a preferred cotton fibre.
“The US Cotton Trust Protocol is an industry-wide system that will guide US cotton growers to continuously improve and reduce their environmental footprint,” says Ken Burton, executive director of the US Cotton Trust Protocol. “We will provide brands and retailers with aggregate data that track the efforts of US cotton growers to improve water and soil conservation and reduce greenhouse gases. These data will support the fashion and retail industries in their efforts to demonstrate progress toward sustainability goals.”
The master list of preferred fibres and materials evolves over time as sustainability innovations prove themselves. Textile Exchange says it consults widely with its members and NGO partners to ensure the categories are always “reflective of the latest thinking.”
Managing director La Rhea Pepper adds: “At Textile Exchange, our mission is to inspire and equip people to accelerate sustainable practices in the textile value chain.
“We’re pleased to add Trust Protocol cotton to our list of preferred fibre and materials, which will give brands and retailers another option to source sustainable cotton as they integrate preferred fibers into their business strategy.”
Textile Exchange encourages companies to accelerate their use of preferred fibres, and acknowledges and honours companies that recognise the importance of integrating a preferred fibre and materials strategy into their business practices.
Click here to read Burton’s views on why it is so important that sustainability activity is not left behind as companies are impacted by coronavirus.