Launched in October, the Cotton LEADS program continues to resonate with global textile businesses as a supply chain program committed to responsibly-produced cotton.

The program emphasizes national capabilities of the cotton industries in Australia and the United States, along with their commitment to continual improvement, research and best practices.  Combined, cotton production in these countries accounts for 17 percent of global cotton production. The Cotton LEADS program continues to gain interest among textile businesses committed to responsible sourcing, including the iconic American brand, Brooks Brothers.

“The founding members of Cotton LEADS program, including Cotton Australia, the National Cotton Council, Cotton Council International and Cotton Incorporated, are gratified that so many businesses around the world recognize the ongoing environmental gains made by cotton growers in Australia and the United States,” said Mark Messura, SVP Global Supply Chain Marketing at Cotton Incorporated.

Currently, more than 100 retailers, brands and manufacturers have joined the Cotton LEADS program as partners -- including the newest partner, Brooks Brothers. The partners recognize the principles of the Cotton LEADS program and encourage its efforts toward responsible cotton production and continual improvement. They also acknowledge that Cotton LEADS cotton, grown under the regulatory environments of Australia and the United States, helps to meet their objectives for responsible sourcing criteria.

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In explaining how the Cotton LEADS program fits into Brooks Brothers’ sourcing needs, Joe Dixon, the company’s SVP of Production and Technical Services, said, “Brooks Brothers is enthusiastically committed to sustainable sourcing. Because cotton continues to be a mainstay of Brooks Brothers’ product offerings, we require significant amounts of high quality, responsibly-produced cotton fiber. We look to a range of opportunities that, like the Cotton LEADS program, can demonstrate best practices, reduced environmental impact, and make a commitment to ongoing improvement and traceability.”

The program is designed to raise awareness of the responsible growing practices and commitment to continuous improvement among cotton producers in the member countries, as well as the national oversight and national capabilities of the cotton industries in the two countries.