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.

The Trust Protocol has made significant strides in its first year. We have established a new system for sustainably grown cotton from scratch. One that now counts over 560 organizations across the supply chain as members.

We are bringing quantifiable and verifiable goals and measurement to the key sustainability metrics of U.S. cotton production – building trust from field to fabric and enabling continuous improvement across the supply chain. And much more, as set out in our first Annual Report.

20/21 Annual Report

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.

The Trust Protocol has made significant strides in its first year. We have established a new system for sustainably grown cotton from scratch. One that now counts over 560 organizations across the supply chain as members.

We are bringing quantifiable and verifiable goals and measurement to the key sustainability metrics of U.S. cotton production – building trust from field to fabric and enabling continuous improvement across the supply chain. And much more, as set out in our first Annual Report.

20/21 Annual Report

The Trust Protocol was designed to deliver a better future for U.S. cotton,
ensuring that it contributes to the protection and preservation of the planet,
using the most sustainable and responsible techniques.

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

About The Trust Protocol

To deliver maximum value, the Trust Protocol was designed to deliver data and supply chain transparency – two highly sought-after elements in sustainability reporting – that have been hard to come by to date. The initiative responds to this need, providing robust data on environmental impact and a system that tracks cotton through the supply chain.

In its first year, the Trust Protocol has sprung into action, putting into operation a robust mechanism to provide the verified, measurable data which is the foundation of our work. It has been a strong start. We have enrolled 300 grower members and approximately 950,000 cotton bales.

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Growers

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Brands &
Retailers

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Mills &
Manufacturers

(including subsidiaries)

Membership

2020
BY THE
NUMBERS

In its first year, the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol welcomed 37 global brands and retailers, with a goal of 100 global brands and retailers by end 2022.

Gildan logo
Tesco logo
Old Navy logo

Six
Metrics

The Trust Protocol’s six continuous improvement metrics in land use, soil conservation, energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, soil carbon, and irrigated water use align with the U.S. cotton industry’s 2025 national goals of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions by 39%, soil loss per acre by 50%, water use by 18%, and energy use by 15% while increasing soil carbon by 30% and land use efficiency by 13%
land use
soil conservation
energy use
greenhouse gas emissions
soil carbon
water use

2025

National Goals

decreasing
greenhouse
emissions by

0 %

decreasing soil loss
per acre by

0 %

decreasing water
use by

0 %

decreasing energy
use by

0 %

increasing soil
carbon by

0 %

increasing land use
efficiency by

0 %

Our Vision

Worker
well-being

Safe labor conditions and worker well-being are as equally important to the U.S. cotton industry as the environment, and United States’ workforce employment practices are held to a rigorous standard through regulations that include provisions for minimum wage, overtime pay, record keeping, child labor standards, migrant housing, access to uncontaminated water, protective equipment and medical assistance be provided in case of emergency. The Trust Protocol is working to driving continual advancement in worker well-being, as well as environmental stewardship, focusing on 12 safe labor criteria.

Timeline

  • January

    The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol takes root, as the U.S. cotton industry decides to initiate a new initiative to set a new standard in more sustainably grown cotton.

    Planning activity by a taskforce begins

  • 2020
  • June

    The Trust Protocol is added to Textile Exchange’s list of preferred fibers and materials

  • 2020
  • October

    The Economist Intelligence Unit and Trust Protocol release research on sustainability attitudes 

  • 2020
  • March

    U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol welcomes over 300 Members in six months 

    The Trust Protocol proudly marks more than 300 brand, retailer, mill and manufacturer members enrolled  

  • 2021
  • October

    The Trust Protocol celebrates one-year of accomplishments

    Including enrolling more than 560 members throughout the supply chain

  • 2017
  • July

    Brand and retailer membership opens

    Allowing reliable measurement in sustainability progress

  • 2020
  • October

    Trust Protocol is officially launched

    Working to set a new standard in more sustainable cotton production

  • 2020
  • December

    Gap Inc. joins the Trust Protocol as the first global brand

    Gap Inc. aims to source 100% of its cotton from more sustainable sources by 2025.

  • 2021
  • April

    U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol and TextileGenesis™ announce collaboration

    Delivering unparalleled supply chain transparency through the Protocol Consumption Management Solution (PCMS)

  • 2021
  • 2017
  • 2020
  • 2020
  • 2020
  • 2020
  • 2020
  • 2021
  • 2021
  • 2021
  • January

    The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol takes root, as the U.S. cotton industry decides to initiate a new initiative to set a new standard in more sustainably grown cotton. Planning activity by a taskforce begins
  • July

    Brand and retailer membership opens Allowing reliable measurement in sustainability progress
  • June

    The Trust Protocol is added to Textile Exchange’s list of preferred fibers and materials
  • October

    Trust Protocol is officially launched Working to set a new standard in more sustainable cotton production
  • October

    The Economist Intelligence Unit and Trust Protocol release research on sustainability attitudes 
  • December

    Gap Inc. joins the Trust Protocol as the first global brand Gap Inc. aims to source 100% of its cotton from more sustainable sources by 2025.
  • March

    U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol welcomes over 300 Members in six months  The Trust Protocol proudly marks more than 300 brand, retailer, mill and manufacturer members enrolled  
  • April

    U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol and TextileGenesis™ announce collaboration Delivering unparalleled supply chain transparency through the Protocol Consumption Management Solution (PCMS)
  • October

    The Trust Protocol celebrates one-year of accomplishments Including enrolling more than 560 members throughout the supply chain

PCMS
OVERVIEW

The Trust Protocol set out to design one of the most robust mechanisms available to track transparency through the supply chain. To do this, we created our own Protocol Platform and are collaborating with TextileGenesis to bring its blockchain technology to the system. Known as the Protocol Consumption Management Solution, it will be the first to offer article-level supply chain transparency. In mid-2021, we started initial pilot trials with five brands and retailers beginning, with full deployment of the PCMS envisioned for early 2022.

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 and mill, each cotton bale’s weight is verified and are minted, by kilogram, into Protocol Cotton Consumption Units via the TextileGenesis platform

4

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

5

When the brand and retailer receives their product, they receive the appropriate number of Protocol Cotton Consumption Units, which can be claimed in the system and a proportional amount of data on the six sustainability metrics can be claimed.

1

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

2

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

3

At the gin and mill, each cotton bale’s weight is verified and are minted, by kilogram, into Protocol Cotton Consumption Units via the TextileGenesis platform

4

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

5

When the brand and retailer receives their product, they receive the appropriate number of Protocol Cotton Consumption Units, which can be claimed in the system and a proportional amount of data on the six sustainability metrics can be claimed.

Map of Trust Protocol farms

20/21 MAP OF
PARTICIPATION

Annual Report PDF cover

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 2020/21 Annual Report here or visit TrustUSCotton.org

    20/21 Annual Report