Measures and Verifies Sustainability Commitments

There has never been a greater expectation for sustainability and transparency, as brands and retailers around the globe are being held accountable for every step of their supply chain – from ensuring responsible labor and sustainable growing practices to delivering a circular lifecycle. While U.S. cotton is widely recognized for its quality, the industry has never had the data to support its sustainability credentials.

In response, brands and retailers are turning to cotton validated by standards and initiatives that prove their sustainability commitments. At this crucial time for the U.S. cotton industry, The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol® empowers U.S. growers to demonstrate sustainable stewardship and provides brands and retailers the critical assurances they need to show that the cotton fiber element of their supply chain is sustainable and lessens environmental and social risk.

The Trust Protocol is aligned with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals as well as the G7 Fashion Pact, the UNFCCC Fashion Industry Charter, the Sustainable Cotton Challenge and the Forum for the Future: Cotton 2040 goals.

The Trust Protocol underpins and verifies U.S. cotton’s sustainability practices through sophisticated data collection and independent third-party verification. Choosing Trust Protocol cotton will give members the critical assurances they need that the cotton fiber element of their supply chain is sustainable and lessen environmental and social risk.

The U.N. Sustainable Development Goals

The U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 global goals designed to be a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.”

The SDGs were set in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly, and the intention is for governments to achieve their SDG targets by 2030. The Trust Protocol contributes to the following goals through its achievements and commitments:

Other Pledges the Trust Protocol Supports

Sustainable Cotton Challenge

    • Increase uptake of sustainable cotton by promoting participation in sustainable cotton growing programs like the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol®
    • Reduce water use and improve water quality and soil health
    • Eliminate highly hazardous pesticides and eliminate or reduce pesticide and synthetic fertilizer amounts through integrated pest management, enhanced protection for workers and the environment, advanced soil mapping technology, and by improving nutrient management practices

Forum for the Future: Cotton 2040 Goals

    • Increase uptake of sustainable cotton by promoting uptake of the Trust Protocol
    • Better traceability via the pilot with Oritain for forensic tracking of origin fingerprint
    • Building resilience for millions of smallholder cotton farming through capacity building in developing nations

G7 Fashion Pact

    • Science-based targets to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees by reducing GHG emissions by a target of 39%
    • Restore biodiversity through integrated pest management, soil quality and water availability
    • Protect the oceans through stopping plastic use from cotton, and integrated pest management

UNFCCC Fashion Industry Charter 

    • Commit to 39% aggregate GHG emission reductions
    • Commit to prioritizing materials with low climate-impact without negatively affecting other sustainability aspects—the Trust Protocol cotton is among the lowest of climate impact textiles
    • Commit to pursue energy efficiency across the value chain with a 15% target decrease
    • Build strategic alignment with other brands by collaborating across the value chain