As part of its participation, Cone Denim has secured more than 1.5 million pounds of e³ cotton for the 2015-2016 crop year. With a focus on developing and promoting sustainable denim, Cone Denim also participates with the Better Cotton Initiative and the Cotton LEADS sustainable cotton programs.
BCI is a not-for-profit organization that promotes responsible global standards for Better Cotton, bringing together the complex cotton supply chain from farmers to retailers. Cotton LEADS is a joint program initiated by Australian and U.S. cotton growers that ensures customers that the raw material is responsibly produced and identified.
“We are committed to providing our customers a wide variety of sustainable denim product options and opportunities,” said Steve Maggard, vice president of operations and Cone 3D, Cone Mills research and development arm. “E3 fits right in. No matter which one of the three major cotton sustainability initiatives our customers would like to get behind, we can facilitate the project.”
The e³ program is a sustainably grown cotton initiative defined through third-party independent auditors certifying farmers’ commitment to grow e³ cotton in an environmentally responsible, economically viable and socially equitable manner in the U.S. Branded e³ cotton will allow retailers to connect directly with U.S. growers, Cone noted, and consumers can then trace the supply chain of their garments back to the cotton used in making their apparel and the conditions under which it was produced, providing an elevated level of transparency and accountable sustainability.
Monty Christian, vice president of U.S. cotton operations and seed and fiber technology at Bayer CropScience, said, “With the e³ certification, brands can be assured they are receiving traceable certifiable cotton from field to garment, and from responsible growers that are continuously working to improve and preserve their land.”
Cone Denim, based in Greensboro, N.C., is a unit of International Textile Group, a diverse provider of global textile solutions and fabric brands to automotive, apparel, interior furnishing and industrial markets worldwide.