Just two months after its launch, the Cotton LEADS program continues to gain momentum along the global textile supply chain. Thirty textile companies ─ suppliers to some of the world’s most recognizable apparel brands ─ formally acknowledged the merits of Cotton LEADS cotton and now include it within their sustainable sourcing guidelines.
Among the well-known companies that have become members of the Cotton LEADS program, which emphasizes the responsible growing practices of cotton growers in the U.S. and Australia, are Fruit of the Loom, Central Textiles, Tuscarora Yarns, Mount Vernon Mills and the Esquel Group.
Fruit of the Loom was one of the first companies to sign on to the Cotton LEADS program. “Fruit of the Loom continues to strive for the highest level of corporate responsibility in our supply chain. As a member of Cotton LEADS, we are assuring consumers of our commitment to sustainability and traceability in the cotton we use in our products,” said Tony Pelaski, the brand’s chief operating officer.
Cotton LEADS is committed to continuous improvement in farm production practices, environmental stewardship and the dissemination of best practices information broadly throughout the world’s cotton-producing countries. The program emphasizes the environmental gains achieved at a national level within the two current member nations, as well as the national oversight and national capabilities of the cotton industries in the U.S. and Australia.
Combined, Cotton LEADS cotton accounts for 17% of global production. The program helps assure a ready supply of responsibly grown cotton to a textile industry that is increasingly interested in sustainable and traceable production practices, as well as commitments to ongoing improvement.
The national-level practices and progress of the Australian and United States cotton industries continue to attract the interest of textile business around the world.