Dec 9, 2020
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Gap joins the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol and Textile Exchange’s 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge

Dec 9, 2020

Gap Inc., the parent company of Gap, Old Navy, Athleta and Banana Republic, has joined the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol and Textile Exchange’s 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge.

U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol

The decision comes as part of Gap's integrated sustainability strategy and is meant to help the company achieve its commitment to use only 100% sustainably-sourced cotton by 2025. This commitment is set across its Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic and Athleta brands. 

Through the Trust Protocol, Gap will be provided with third-party verified data on the sustainability practices used on U.S. cotton farms, allowing the company to prove that the cotton in their supply chain is grown responsibly. 

“Continuous improvement is important to Gap Inc., which is why we have decided to begin sourcing more sustainable fiber through the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol," said Alice Hartley, director of product sustainability for Gap Inc.

"As part of our commitment to address climate change by aligning with the best science and industry practices, we have ambitious targets across metrics to lower carbon emissions and preserve precious natural resources like water. As an American company with purpose-led brands committed to sustainability, joining the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol makes perfect sense. With two thirds of U.S. cotton not using any irrigation at all, this allows us to further our commitment to sustainable cotton and enables us to support U.S. cotton growers.”

The Textile Exchange 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge aims to encourage brands and retailers to commit to source 100% of their cotton from the most sustainable sources by the year 2025. In accepting the challenge, Gap can now choose from Textile Exchange’s list of recognized organic and sustainable cotton initiatives in order to source more sustainable cotton.

“Gap Inc. has made significant strides since setting sustainability goals, and the Trust Protocol’s farm-level data will help it in its mission to improve its impact and protect our natural resources," said Dr. Gary Adams, president of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol.

"By signing onto the Trust Protocol, Gap Inc. will support our shared mission to educate U.S. growers around the most sustainable growing practices and support grower enrolment.”

According to a press release, the cotton challenge's list of initiatives have the ability to increase the income of smallholder farmers, eliminate highly hazardous pesticides, eliminate or reduce the amount of pesticides and synthetic fertilizer used, reduce water use and improve water quality and soil health.

Gap began sourcing from more sustainably-grown cotton programs in 2016, and currently 57% of the cotton in its products comes from these sources, the company said. 

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