Gap Inc. Steps Up Sourcing of Sustainable Cotton
Within just three years, 57 percent of the cotton in Gap Inc. products came from sustainably grown cotton programs.
By David Moin on December 8, 2020 Gap Inc., accelerating efforts to have 100 percent of the cotton used in its products sustainably sourced by 2025, has joined the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol and Textile Exchange’s 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge. The Gap Inc.’s sustainability goal applies to the Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic and Athleta divisions of Gap. The Trust Protocol will provide Gap Inc. with verified data on the sustainability practices used on U.S. cotton farms.
“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.…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.” Gap Inc. and other members of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol have access to data on water use; greenhouse gas emissions; energy use; soil carbon; soil loss, and land-use efficiency. Dr. Gary Adams, president of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, characterized Gap as “a global company that takes sustainability seriously.” He added that 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 enrollment.” Gap Inc. has also accepted the Textile Exchange 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge, which seeks to have more than 50 percent of the world’s cotton converted to more sustainable growing methods. The Textile Exchange has a list of recognized organic and sustainable cotton initiatives, which 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. The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol was recognized as one such initiative last April. Gap Inc. began sourcing from more sustainably-grown cotton programs in 2016. Within just three years, 57 percent of the cotton in its products came from these sources. The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol and the 2025
Sustainable Cotton Challenge will help Gap sustainably source the remaining 43 percent by 2025.