The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol (Trust Protocol) offers unrivaled transparency and visibility of cotton through the supply chain, backed by an unparalleled level of independently verified data from our grower members.

For the Trust Protocol, the second year meant focusing on foundational growth and making innovative decisions in a thoughtful way, reaffirming our commitment to more sustainable cotton production and increased supply chain transparency. 

We saw the supply chain positively respond as we doubled the number of acres enrolled in the program , increased mill and manufacturer membership by more than 50%, and successfully completed pilots in our Protocol Consumption Management Solution. 

EST 2020

Our commitment to innovation, transparency, and providing measurable, verifiable data will remain at the forefront of our efforts.

- Dr. Gary Adams, President, U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol

THEORY OF CHANGE

Mission

To bring quantifiable and verifiable goals and measurement to the key sustainability metrics of U.S. cotton production.

Vision

To set a new standard in sustainable cotton production where full transparency is a reality and continuous improvement to reduce our environmental footprint is the central goal.

Core Values

A commitment to U.S. cotton’s legacy of authenticity, innovation and excellence, environmental stewardship, caring of people, and personal and corporate integrity.

0
Million

Cotton acres
enrolled

11

Brands &
Retailers

1

Mills &
Manufacturers

(including subsidiaries)

2021/22
BY THE
NUMBERS

In its first year, the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol welcomed 40 global brands and retailers.

Madewell
Gildan logo
Old Navy logo
Tesco logo
J.Crew
NEXT

Data Highlights

reduction in
greenhouse gas
emissions

39 %

% of growers seeing
positive soil
conservation index

51 %

increase in 
water use efficiency

0 %

reduction in
energy use

54 %

reduction In
soil loss

100 %

increase in
land use

0 %

Our metrics

Timeline

  • November

    Inaugural annual report released. 

    Trust Protocol showcased at Textile Exchange conference.

    Claims Framework 1.0 released.

  • 2021
  • January

    Trust Protocol recognized and published in ITC Standards Map. 

    Grower Rusty Darby featured in Gildan ‘U.S. Cotton: A Story of Trust’.

  • 2022
  • April

    Trust Protocol doubles grower participation. 

    Crew and Trust Protocol participate on panel for Fairchild Media Group’s Sustainability Summit.

    Trust Protocol hosts EU Politico Webinar.

    Program participates in regenerative agriculture panel at Draper’s Sustainable Fashion Conference.

  • 2022
  • June

    Recognized as a standard for sustainable cotton by German Federal Government Initiative Siegelklarheit. 

    Confirmed as ISEAL Community Member.

    Trust Protocol participates in the Global Fashion Summit in Copenhagen.

  • 2022
  • August

    Next PLC becomes first brand in the world to fully track U.S. Cotton into finished products. 

    Mill and manufacturer members top 800 globally.

  • 2021
  • December

    Trust Protocol hosts second virtual farm tour for global brands and retailers. 

    Equipment manufacturer John Deere and Trust Protocol collaborate to launch pilot of streamlined field-level data capture.

    Earth with John Holden releases documentary showcasing the Trust Protocol.

  • 2022
  • February

    Growers able to authorize crop consultants to aid with enrollment and data entry. 

    Trust Protocol hosts cross-industry supply chain transparency roundtable with Sourcing Journal.

    Signed Memorandum of Understanding with International Cotton Association.

  • 2022
  • May

    Streamlined three-year enrollment for growers implemented. 

    J. Crew is the first brand to release a line of products entirely made from Protocol Cotton.

  • 2022
  • July

    Trust Protocol featured in J.Crew and Madewell sustainability reports.

  • 2022
  • 2021
  • 2021
  • 2022
  • 2022
  • 2022
  • 2022
  • 2022
  • 2022
  • 2022
  • November

    Inaugural annual report released.  Trust Protocol showcased at Textile Exchange conference. Claims Framework 1.0 released.
  • December

    Trust Protocol hosts second virtual farm tour for global brands and retailers.  Equipment manufacturer John Deere and Trust Protocol collaborate to launch pilot of streamlined field-level data capture. Earth with John Holden releases documentary showcasing the Trust Protocol.
  • January

    Trust Protocol recognized and published in ITC Standards Map.  Grower Rusty Darby featured in Gildan ‘U.S. Cotton: A Story of Trust’.
  • February

    Growers able to authorize crop consultants to aid with enrollment and data entry.  Trust Protocol hosts cross-industry supply chain transparency roundtable with Sourcing Journal. Signed Memorandum of Understanding with International Cotton Association.
  • April

    Trust Protocol doubles grower participation.  Crew and Trust Protocol participate on panel for Fairchild Media Group’s Sustainability Summit. Trust Protocol hosts EU Politico Webinar. Program participates in regenerative agriculture panel at Draper’s Sustainable Fashion Conference.
  • May

    Streamlined three-year enrollment for growers implemented.  J. Crew is the first brand to release a line of products entirely made from Protocol Cotton.
  • June

    Recognized as a standard for sustainable cotton by German Federal Government Initiative Siegelklarheit.  Confirmed as ISEAL Community Member. Trust Protocol participates in the Global Fashion Summit in Copenhagen.
  • July

    Trust Protocol featured in J.Crew and Madewell sustainability reports.
  • August

    Next PLC becomes first brand in the world to fully track U.S. Cotton into finished products.  Mill and manufacturer members top 800 globally.

Article-level Supply Chain Transparency

The Trust Protocol is the world’s first sustainable cotton fiber program to offer unparalleled article-level supply chain transparency through the Protocol Consumption Management Solution (PCMS).  The platform was created to record and verify the movement of U.S. Cotton and Protocol Cotton throughout the entire supply chain, starting at the gin and ending at the finished products delivered to brand and retailer members. The PCMS was designed as a ‘fiber forwards’ system, with the ability to capture details of transactions in near real time. 

Unlike other solutions available to the textile and apparel industry today, assurance has been built in where the PCMS offers two levels of verification for every transaction captured in the system.  The first occurs within the blockchain-enabled inventory ledger that ensures production volumes shipped never exceed the volume of available raw materials in any individual company’s system account.  The second ensues on the commercial invoices and shipping documents that each supplier must upload in support of shipments recorded in the system. 

In 2021/22 pilots have been completed with nine global brands and retailers and nearly 150 mills, tracking purchase orders as well as individual units.

1

Trust Protocol grower members provide data on the six key sustainability metrics

2

Field to Market aggregates and analyzes the data. It is verified by Control Union Certifications North America

3

At the gin, each bale is verified and the weight is recorded in kilograms into the PCMS

4

The system continues to track the products right through the brand and retailer

5

When the brand or retailer receives their product, they have the ability to claim PCCUs through the PCMS

21/22 MAP OF
PARTICIPATION

Setting a new standard in sustainability

If you’re interested in learning more about the Trust Protocol’s important work to date, and what comes next, download our 2021/22 Annual Report here or visit TrustUSCotton.org