Wrangler wants the cotton it buys from US growers to be produced as sustainably as possible

Wrangler wants the cotton it buys from US growers to be produced as sustainably as possible

Jeanswear brand Wrangler has become the first apparel company to join the sustainable agriculture alliance as a next step towards increasing the supply of sustainable US cotton.

The VF Corp owned denim maker has signed up as an associate member of Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, a multi-stakeholder initiative working to unite the agricultural supply chain in defining, measuring and advancing the sustainability of food, fibre and fuel production in the United States.

Wrangler's participation comes after the brand recently launched a pilot project for sustainable US cotton.

"Wrangler buys roughly 50% of its cotton from US growers, and we'd like for it to be produced as sustainably as possible," says Roian Atwood, director of sustainability.

"As we work to deepen our understanding of the connection between soil health and effective on-farm practices, Field to Market's experience and infrastructure will be invaluable."

By providing useful measurement tools and resources, Field to Market helps brands and growers track and promote continuous improvement at the field and landscape levels.

Wrangler will coordinate with Field to Market, the Soil Health Institute, and several other industry and academic partners to focus on cotton-growing practices that not only reduce environmental impacts, but also improve profitability for growers.

These efforts will build upon learnings from Wrangler's pilot programme, which will initially include 40,000 pounds of cotton from a 10,000-acre farm in Athens, Alabama owned by the Newby family. They currently utilise soil grid mapping, conservation tillage and complex crop rotation, among other best practices.

Wrangler pilots US sustainable cotton programme

Ultimately, Wrangler aims to work with Field to Market to expand this pilot to create a programme that includes scores of growers who are focused on improving soil health, and achieving the best possible results for yield, irrigation water use, efficient input use, soil conservation and reduced emissions.

"Supply chain collaboration is essential to not only advancing environmental goals but also communicating farmers' conservation efforts to consumers, and we are grateful for Wrangler's strategic engagement," adds Rod Snyder, president of Field to Market.