Gap Inc., the global apparel retail brand has joined the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol and Textile Exchange’s 2015 Sustainable Cotton Challenge. The company has joint the two initiatives as a part of its sustainability strategy to ensure it uses 100% sustainably-sourced cotton by 2025.
Gap looks to utilise the 100% sustainably sourced cotton across its lifestyle brands such as Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic and Athleta. The Trust Protocol will provide verified data on the sustainability practices used on U.S. cotton farms.
This collaboration will also benefit the cotton growers from as their practice will become more data-driven and will ensure best practices from across the industry. The growers will also be able to establish a stronger connection to brands asking for sustainably-grown cotton. The Protocol was open to members in October 2020 and equips brands and reptiles with the critical assurance they need to prove that the cotton in their supply chain is responsibly grown.
Alice Hartley, Director of Product Sustainability for Gap Inc, stated that the continuous improvement was important to Gap Inc., which is why they have decided to begin sourcing more sustainable fibre through the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol. Hartley added that as a part of their commitment to addressing climate change by aligning with the best science and industry practices, they have ambitious targets across metrics to lower carbon emissions and preserve precious natural resources like water.
As an American company driven by strong ethical background, becoming a member of the U.S Cotton Trust Protocol was only natural for the brand. Alice added that as two-thirds of U.S. cotton not using any irrigation at all, this allows us to further our commitment to sustainable cotton and enables us to support U.S. cotton growers.
The U.S Cotton Trust Protocol underpins and verifies sustainability progress through sophisticated data collection and independent third-party verification. The members of the community have access to the annual data pertaining to water use, greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, soil carbon, soil loss and land-use efficiency.
Dr Gary Adams, president of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, stated that the Gap Inc.’s brands are in every household, including his own, and he is personally honoured to be chosen to work with them. He added that Gap Inc. has made significant strides since setting sustainability goals, and the Trust Protocol’s farm-level data would help it in its mission to improve its impact and protect their natural resources.
In addition to joining the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, Gap Inc. has also accepted the Textile Exchange 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge. Many brands and retailers have joined the challenge and commitment to source more sustainable cotton. They will be allowed to choose from Textile Exchange’s list of recognized organic and sustainable cotton initiatives, which have the ability to increase the income of smallholder farmers, eliminate highly hazardous pesticides, eliminate or reduce the amount of pesticides and synthetic fertilizer used, reduce water use and improve water quality and soil health.
Gap has commenced sourcing sustainably grown cotton in 2016 and within three years over 57% of the cotton in the products came from these sources. Gap has joint the two initiatives to ensure that 100% of the products contain only sustainably sourced cotton by 2025.
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