By 2030, Cotton Council International (CCI) prediction is that every brand or retailer will require that their products made with cotton and imported into the US and the EU be sustainable and have a documented transparent supply chain that is free of forced labour.

By 2025 a substantial percentage of global brand/retailer volume (25%-50%) will have these same requirements.

CCI has a unique concept called Trust Protocol, the programme of which brings quantifiable and veriable goals and measurements.

“U.S. cotton’s sustainability provides COTTON USA™ with a unique selling point, particularly with the development of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol®,” CCI Executive Director Bruce Atherley said. “U.S. cotton is a raw material that is leading the way in terms of sustainable practices – something that global brands now demand from their suppliers. The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol® is committed to raising the bar for responsible, sustainable farming methods.”

The new U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol® is a tangible and transparent snapshot of U.S. cotton growing practices and the gains in sustainability standards resulting from them.

“The Trust Protocol will provide U.S. cotton’s customers the confidence that they are sourcing, spinning and selling sustainably-produced U.S. cotton,” Atherley said. “Through the collection of robust data, the Trust Protocol will remove risk by giving U.S. cotton’s customers the evidence they need to demonstrate progress toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and other sustainability pledges – making the Trust Protocol the right choice for today and tomorrow.”

Benefits for members and mills are many:

  • Opportunity to be identified as part of a fully transparent supply chain and be selected by brands as they look to source U.S. cotton fibre
  • Ability to use the Trust Protocol logo and materials to communicate about sustainability goals
  • Access to a specialized package of technical support free of charge for members who license U.S. cotton and participate in the Trust Protocol
  • Recognition on the Trust Protocol website.

The Cotton Council International (CCI), the export promotion arm of the National Cotton Council of America (NCC), is a non-profit trade association that promotes U.S. cotton fibre and manufactured cotton products around the globe with our COTTON USA trademark. CCI has 60 years of experience promoting U.S. cotton fibre and products to trade and consumers.

CCI’s mission is to make U.S. cotton the preferred fibre for mills/manufacturers, brands/retailers and consumers, commanding a value-added premium that delivers profitability across the U.S. cotton industry and drives export growth of fibre, yarn and other cotton products.

CCI works with spinning mills, fabric and garment manufacturers, brands, retailers, textile associations, governments and the USDA to facilitate the use of U.S. cotton. Our reach extends to more than 50 countries through 20 offices around the world.

CCI’s mission is to make U.S. cotton the preferred fibre for mills/manufacturers, brands/retailers and consumers, commanding a value-added premium that delivers profitability across the U.S. cotton industry and drives export growth of fibre, yarn and other cotton products.

COTTON USA strives to produce the most sustainable cotton of any country in the world. Through the generations of family farmers and their stewardship of the land, strict regulations and innovative precision agriculture technology, the U.S. leads the world in growing cotton that helps support a better future for generations to come.

Transparency is important to us, because we know holding ourselves and our industry accountable benefits everyone. It is critical to having successful, trusting relationships with everyone in our business, from within our CCI family, to the larger industry and our customers. COTTON USA takes pride in leading the industry in this regard through our strict classing process, contract sanctity standards and customer service offerings.

In a period of ever greater supply chain scrutiny and a growing demand for transparency and traceability, The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol® sets a new standard for more sustainably grown cotton. Participating brands and retailers will gain access to U.S. cotton backed by year over year data to help them demonstrate their environmental credentials. Sign up now to help us drive continuous improvements in responsible growing.

The U.S. cotton industry is building upon the strong environmental gains already achieved over the past 35 years. The aim is to help members meet their current needs while making the world a better place for future generations.

Specific goals include:

  • Reduce water use by 18%
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 39%
  • Increase land use efficiency by 13%
  • Decrease energy use by 15%
  • Reduce soil loss by 50%
  • Increase soil carbon by 30%