Wrangler ventures into sustainable cotton farming with pilot program

VF Corp's Wrangler announced it is launching a cotton pilot program along with a special denim collection to draw awareness to improving soil health and sustainability in cotton growing practices.

The Newby family - Wrangler

The special sustainable denim collection is set to launch next year in 2018. For it, Wrangler has partnered with a seven-generation cotton grower in Alabama, the Newby family. Wrangler will use 40,000 pounds of cotton from the Newby family's farms in Alabama for the collection.

Jerry Allen Newby said of sustainable cotton growing practices, “There’s been a learning curve, but we’re beginning to see good results... We’re happy to work with Wrangler, share what we’ve learned, and maybe make it easier for other growers to transition to these practices.”

Wrangler made the announcement of its new cotton pilot program at the Sustainable Brands conference this week in Detroit.

"Robust soil practices like no-till, crop rotation and cover cropping" will be the focus of the pilot program which Wrangler hopes to grow to include dozens of growers within a few years.

Wrangler currently buys half the cotton for its products from US farmers. It has long been a supporter of the Future Farmers of America, having been a corporate sponsor of the organization for over 50 years.

“Scientific research shows greater attention to soil health can further reduce the water and energy inputs required to grow cotton and other crops,” explained Wrangler sustainability director, Roian Atwood.

Wrangler is also involving the Soil Health Institute (SHI) as an advisor for the program. SHI will help drive improved cotton yield, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve irrigation and drive more sustainable energy use through soil conservation.

The cotton pilot program is part of Wrangler's larger sustainability plan that includes transitioning to 100% renewable energy by 2025, water saving and zero waste facilities.

 

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