US Cotton Trust survey reveals rise in demand for sustainable products

A US Cotton Trust Protocol survey of sustainability decision-makers at 1,000 brands and retailers in the US and UK has revealed a sharp increase in consumer demand for sustainable products and business practices. The US Cotton Trust Protocol brings quantifiable and verifiable goals and measurement to sustainable cotton production and drives sustainability.

A year into lockdown, the research finds sharp increase in consumer demand for sustainable products and business practices. Around 61 per cent of brands and retailers say that their customer demand has increased for environmentally sustainable business practices and goods/services. Nearly two thirds (63 per cent) believe that the pandemic has had a positive impact on their company’s proactive investment in sustainability. Around half of brands and retailers are expecting to see an increase in consumer spending on sustainable apparel over the next 12 months, according to a press release by the Trust Protocol.

As the vaccine roll-out picks up pace across the world, consumers are beginning to think about the ‘new normal’, with half (50 per cent) of brands and retailers expecting to see an increase in customer spending on sustainable apparel over the next 12 months. They attribute the most common drivers for this increased spending to a need for people to get back to normal (62 per cent) and that some consumers will have saved money during the pandemic (67 per cent), according to the Trust Protocol.

As work continues towards delivering more sustainable options to meet growing consumer demand, findings show two thirds (65 per cent) of brands and retailers agree that data is important to their future sustainability goals. The Trust Protocol will provide brands and retailers the critical assurances they need to show the cotton fibre element of their supply chain is more sustainably grown with lower environmental and social risk.

“It is undeniable that the pandemic has caused unforeseen challenges for brands, retailers and consumers alike, but this research reaffirms the commitment to a continued focus on sustainability. We’re encouraged to learn that so many brands and retailers are looking to set new standards for the industry, instead of simply following what currently exists. As we work towards recovery in many sectors, systems like the Trust Protocol are available to provide the data needed to verify that sustainability targets are being met,” Gary Adams, president of the US Cotton Trust Protocol said in a statement.

The Trust Protocol is a system for more responsibly grown cotton that has committed to six areas of sustainability in line with the U.N. Sustainability Development Goals. It underpins and verifies sustainability progress through sophisticated data collection and independent third-party verification, enabling members to better track the cotton entering their supply chain. Members also will have access to aggregate year-over-year data on water use, greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, soil carbon, and land use efficiency.

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