Wrangler has a multi-prong plan to increase the supply of sustainable cotton in the U.S. The Greensboro, N.C.-based denim brand announced Thursday it has joined Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture as an associate member.
The initiative works to unite the agricultural supply chain in defining, measuring and advancing the sustainability of food, fiber and fuel production in the United States. By providing useful measurement tools and resources, Field to Market helps brands and growers track and promote continuous improvement at the field and landscape levels.
“Wrangler buys roughly 50 percent of its cotton from U.S. growers, and we’d like for it to be produced as sustainably as possible,” said Roian Atwood, Wrangler director of sustainability. “As we work to deepen our understanding of the connection between soil health and effective on-farm practices, Field to Market’s experience and infrastructure will be invaluable.”
Wrangler is the first major apparel brand to join Field to Market. The announcement follows the brand’s launch last month of a pilot project for sustainable U.S. cotton.
The brand will coordinate with Field to Market, the Soil Health Institute and several other industry and academic partners to focus on cotton-growing practices that reduce environmental impacts and improve profitability for growers. These efforts will build upon learnings from Wrangler’s pilot project, which will initially include 40,000 pounds of cotton from a 10,000-acre family farm in Athens, Ala.
Ultimately, Wrangler says it aims to work with Field to Market to expand upon this pilot to create a program that includes more of growers who are focused on continuous improvement for healthy soils.
“As the first major apparel brand to join Field to Market, Wrangler is taking a leadership role in catalyzing continuous improvement in the sustainability of U.S. cotton,” said Rod Snyder, Field to Market president. “Supply chain collaboration is essential to not only advancing environmental goals but also communicating farmers’ conservation efforts to consumers, and we are grateful for Wrangler’s strategic engagement.”