National retailer Next and luxury men’s brand Byford have joined the US Cotton Trust Protocol.
Next has joined the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol in its journey to source all cotton from responsible sources by 2025. Next plc is a clothing, footwear and home product retailer with around 500 stores in the UK and Ireland.
The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol provides fashion brands and retailers, like Next plc, with the critical information they need to show the cotton fibre element of their supply chain is responsibly grown. It works by providing member brands with verified data on the sustainability practices used on U.S. cotton farms, with participating growers collecting data in six key areas of sustainability: water use, greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, soil carbon, soil loss, and land use efficiency.
Next ’s 2025 target to source 100% of its main raw materials through known, responsible or certified routes means that it will only use cotton produced in line with key sustainability performance indicators. The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol underpins and verifies sustainability progress through sophisticated data collection and independent third-party verification. By working with Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture and Control Union Certifications North America, the Trust Protocol enables brands and retailers to better track the cotton entering their supply chain.
Byford, founded in Leicester, UK with its origins dating back the early 20th century, is dedicated to quality garments, reflecting a commitment to high standards of design and craftsmanship. Today, the brand has more than 1,500 sales points in over 20 markets around the world.
Byford said it is committed to reducing our carbon footprint, which is why it has decided to source more sustainable fibre through the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol. “By working with them, we are now able to monitor and track sustainability improvements, including greenhouse gas emissions. Our direction as a brand is to use more authentic and ethically sourced fabrics and the Trust Protocol gives us confidence the cotton we purchase is from a more sustainable source,” the company said.
The Trust Protocol underpins and verifies sustainability progress through sophisticated data collection and independent third-party verification. By working with Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture and Control Union Certifications North America, the Trust Protocol enables brands and retailers to better track the cotton entering their supply chain. Brands who become members of the Trust Protocol will have access to aggregate year-over-year data in six areas: water use, greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, soil carbon and land use efficiency.
Additionally, the Trust Protocol’s unique credit management solution will provide the next step of visibility and transparency throughout their supply chain.
“The Trust Protocol’s emphasis on measurement and independent verification provides the confidence and trust that a brand is using responsibly grown cotton and producing a product that consumers can believe in,” said Dr. Gary Adams, president of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol. “With each member that joins, we have greater resources to help provide tools and knowledge to U.S. cotton farmers to help them continuously improve their sustainability practices.”
Byford joins other leading brands as members of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, including Gap Inc. as well as its collection of purpose-led lifestyle brands Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic and Athleta, and Next. The Trust Protocol also has over 200 global mills and manufacturer members, including the first 10 U.S. mills and the first members in Latin America.
The Trust Protocol is on the Textile Exchange’s list of 36 preferred fibers and materials that more than 170 participating brands and retailers can select from as part of Textile Exchange’s Material Change Index program. The Trust Protocol is also working to align with existing standards in the cotton industry and is part of the Forum for the Future Cotton 2040 and the CottonUp guide.