Gap Inc. cottons on to its sustainability strategy

24 December 2020 by Grace Coleman
blog author

Gap Inc. has signed up to a sustainable cotton challenge to boost its commitment to using 100 percent sustainably-sourced cotton by 2025.

The global clothing company has signed up to U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol and Textile Exchange’s 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge to help it reach its ambitious target. The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol sets a new standard for more sustainably grown cotton and will provide Gap Inc. with verified data on the sustainability practices used on U.S. cotton farms.

Gap Inc.’s aim of sourcing 100 percent of its cotton spans its collection of purpose-led lifestyle brands including Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta.

It began sourcing from more sustainably-grown cotton programs in 2016 and within just three years 57 percent of the cotton in its products came from these sources. Gap Inc. has joined the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol and the 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge to help enable it to bridge the remaining 43 percent.

Participating cotton growers will benefit from data-driven insights and industry best practices and the Trust Protocol provides brands and retailers with the critical assurance they need to prove that the cotton in their supply chain is more responsibly grown.

Gap Inc. and other member brands have access to aggregate year-over-year data in six areas: greenhouse gas emissions, water use, energy use, soil carbon, soil loss and land use efficiency.

Alice Hartley, director of product sustainability for Gap Inc., said: “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.

“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.”

Dr. Gary Adams, president of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, said: “Gap Inc.’s brands are in every household, including my own, and I am personally honored it has chosen to work with us because it’s a global company that takes sustainability seriously.

“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. By signing on to 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.”

Gap Inc. has also accepted the Textile Exchange 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge. The challenge was formed in 2017 when His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales convened a group of CEOs to address critical challenges facing the world. The vision of the 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge is that more than 50 percent of the world’s cotton is converted to more sustainable growing methods