Just two months after its launch, the Cotton LEADS program continues to gain momentum along the global textile supply chain. To date, fifty-fourtextile companies ─ suppliers to some of the world’s most recognizable apparel brands ─ have 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. Tony Pelaski, the brand’s Chief Operating Officer, notes, “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 usein our products."
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 Cotton LEADS 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 roughly 17% of global production. Cotton LEADS 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.
Cotton LEADS is a joint program of the Australian and United States cotton industries and is a project of The Cotton Foundation. Its founding members are Cotton Australia, the National Cotton Council of America, Cotton Council International and Cotton Incorporated. The program is designed to raise awareness of the responsible growing practices and commitment to continuous improvement among cotton producers in the member countries. More information on Cotton LEADS can be found at: www.cottonleads.org.