Apparel Sourcing Intelligence - Worldwide

Cotton Leads announces 30 signatories

Cotton Leads, a promotional device for US and Australian cotton growers, announced 30 participants – none of them retailers or major brands – on December 20, after the programme’s mid-October launch.

The programme publicises the “national-level oversight, regulatory enforcement, and transparency of practices common to both countries”, and appears designed to combat the growing tendency for brands’ and retailers’ socially accountable cotton programmes to concentrate on developing-world cotton sources, especially in South Asia and Africa, and to avoid GM cotton. Of the 30 Cotton Leads participants announced (practically all from the US or Greater China), only Fruit of the Loom is a recognised consumer name.

The programme admits the  “national focus of Cotton LEADS differs from the range of farm-by-farm certification programs that have emerged in recent years, and which the International Cotton Advisory Committee has termed ‘identity cottons’  ” but claims “the goals are parallel.”

“Cotton LEADS members are committed to providing the supply chain with greater volumes of responsibly-grown cotton, to ongoing improvement, and to the transparency of processes and metrics” says its launch material