edie23 highlights the importance of data and transparency in sustainability 


This month, the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol attended and participated in edie23 in London, an event hosted by the purpose-driven business media brand edie and formerly known as the Sustainability Leaders Forum. The event, now in its 13th year, drives tangible environmental and social change through business leadership. For two days, attendees were able to hear from experts and individuals within sustainability about the challenges facing us all, and innovations that can help companies become more responsible and transparent. 

This year’s theme was ‘Leadership Through Crisis’ and featured multiple tracks exploring the transition to net-zero and sustainability strategy. Speakers and presenters worked to educate and inspire participants through sessions that provided insights and opportunities to understand others’ experiences. 

One of the standout sessions investigated the importance of transparent communications and having the courage to be honest with your customers. In an age of greenwashing, consumers are more likely to trust a brand that, not only celebrates its successes, but is open about the work left to do and the challenges ahead. This was reiterated by the Director of Consumer Protection from the Competition and Markets Authority in the UK who underscored how we all need more confidence to tackle greenwashing and greenhushing publicly. 

As a program that works to contribute to the protection and preservation of the planet, using the most sustainable and responsible techniques, the Trust Protocol was also proud to present a case study during the conference.

Special Advisor to the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, Tara Luckman, spoke during a session titled ‘Measuring and improving the environmental footprint of cotton in the U.S.’. Tara discussed the importance of environmental data in avoiding greenwashing, highlighting the need for metrics and supply chain transparency within the fashion industry. 

As part of her presentation, Tara noted that there are two key issues within the fashion industry. Firstly, the lack of verified data – if you don’t measure properly, you can’t make good decisions about where best to invest efforts and resources, on where our interventions might help align to the global goals on climate change, and other sustainable development needs. Secondly, the lack of transparency in the supply chain. Put simply if brands don’t know where their product comes from and its route, then they cannot guarantee any facts about it. 

Throughout the conference, participants did not shy away from the nitty gritty details – and looked to peers and colleagues to ask and answer tough questions about sustainability. The event highlighted the need for industry collaboration as we all look to continuously improve our environmental footprint, and the Trust Protocol is proud to be part of that effort. 

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Deepika Mishra

Sustainability Consultant

Deepika Mishra is a passionate, innovative, enthusiastic scientist with demonstrated ability to lead and collaborate worldwide in the development of novel life sciences technologies and techniques to enhance sustainable agriculture to have a true impact that addresses challenges of climate change. She works as a sustainability consultant for the National Cotton Council and Cotton Council International.