Launched in 2020 for cotton growers, the Cotton Trust Protocol is a farm level, science-based programme that sets a new standard for more sustainably grown cotton.

It brings quantifiable and verifiable goals and measurement to sustainable cotton production and drives continuous improvement in six key sustainability metrics– land use, soil carbon, water management, soil loss, greenhouse gas emissions and energy efficiency.

In the first year, more than 300 US cotton growers enrolled in the programme and secured 1.5m bales of cotton into the system. The Trust Protocol also welcomed more than 450 brand, retailer, mill, and manufacturer members.

Enrollment for the 2021 crop is open, and for growers not yet participating, the webinars will provide an opportunity to learn about program benefits and ask questions. Speakers include Trust Protocol representatives and grower members.

  • Tuesday 14 September, 8:00 am CST
  • Tuesday 2 November, 8:00 am CST
  • Thursday 9 December, 8:00 am CS
  • Wednesday 29 September, 8:00 am CST
  • Tuesday 16 November, 8:00 am CST
  • Tuesday 14 December, 8:00 am CST

“US cotton growers have led the way in innovation, quality and the responsible stewardship of their land for decades,” says  Dr Gary Adams, president of the US Cotton Trust Protocol. “The Trust Protocol builds off those efforts from the past 35 years to help constantly improve growing practices through innovation, knowledge sharing, and advancements. We invite all US cotton growers to join us and learn the many benefits of membership in the programme.”

Brand, retailer, mill and manufacturer members include Levi Strauss & Co, Gap Inc, and its collection of purpose-led lifestyle brands Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, and Athleta as well as global apparel manufacturer Gildan. The Trust Protocol has also welcomed UK retailers Tesco, Byford and Next Plc. Other Trust Protocol member announcements include the first ten US mills to join and the first members in Latin America.

The US Cotton Trust Protocol 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.

Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger owner PVH Corp recently signed on as members of the US Cotton Trust Protocol in a move it says will help achieve its commitment to sustainably source 100% of its cotton by 2025.

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.