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US Cotton Trust Protocol to provide sustainability data

Starting today, brands and retailers can join the US Cotton Trust Protocol, a new system for responsibly grown cotton that will provide annual data for six areas of sustainability in line with UN Sustainability Goals.

This year-over-year data, will allow brands and retailers to better measure progress towards meeting sustainability commitments.

“One of our goals in developing the Trust Protocol is to give brands and retailers greater confidence when including US cotton in their sourcing mix,” Ken Burton, executive director of the US Cotton Trust Protocol, said in a press release. “Participating brands and retailers will now be able to demonstrate measurable progress in reducing their environmental footprint and in achieving sustainability targets.”

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The Trust Protocol underpins and verifies sustainability progress through sophisticated data collection and independent third-party verification. By working with Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture and Control Union Certifications North America, the Trust Protocol enables brands and retailers to better track the cotton entering their supply chain.

Brands who become members of the Trust Protocol will have access to aggregate year-over-year data on water use, greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, soil carbon and land-use efficiency.

“At Levi Strauss & Co, the quality and sustainability of the cotton we use is critical to our business and important to our customers. We are deeply committed to sourcing sustainable cotton and reducing water usage, carbon emissions, and chemical usage,” Liza Schillo, senior manager, global sustainability integration, Levi Strauss & Co, and Trust Protocol board member, said. “We are therefore in strong support of the introduction of standards including the US Cotton Trust Protocol that champion sustainably grown cotton and drive wider adoption over the long-term of sustainable cultivation practices.”

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The Trust Protocol is a complement to existing sustainability programmes and is designed from the ground up to fit the unique cotton mass-growing environment of the United States. “We are engaged in an open dialogue with existing standards in the cotton industry, and open to are exploring future collaboration,“ Burton said.

Last month, the Trust Protocol was added to Textile Exchange’s list of 36 preferred fibres and materials that more than 170 participating brands and retailers can select from as part of Textile Exchange’s Material Change Index programme.

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