May 24 2017
Wrangler Launches Pilot Program for Sustainable U.S. Supply
Iconic American denim brand Wrangler today announced the launch of a pilot program to help U.S. cotton farmers reach the next level in sustainable growing practices. The announcement took place at the Sustainable Brands conference in Detroit, where Wrangler co-hosted the Good Apparel pavilion.
Wrangler purchases roughly half of the cotton for its products from U.S. growers. The U.S. cotton industry outperforms most other cotton-growing regions of the world on environmental metrics. However, Wrangler wants to determine how even greater environmental and economic benefits can be achieved through a programmatic focus on soil health in the U.S.
“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.
“We’re working with a cotton grower in Alabama to explore the best way to implement and measure the effects of robust soil practices like no-till, crop rotation and cover cropping. We hope to have dozens of growers in the program within a few years.”
The Newby family—seventh-generation farmers from Athens, Alabama—will work with Wrangler and advisors from the Soil Health Institute (SHI) to unlock further improvements in cotton yield, irrigation water, energy inputs, greenhouse gas emissions and soil conservation.
Forty thousand pounds of the Newby’s cotton will be used to make a special collection of Wrangler denim jeans that will be sold in 2018.
“Our family has always looked for new ways to make farming more economical, while taking better care of the land,” said Jerry Allen Newby.
“There’s been a learning curve, but we’re beginning to see good results with things like cover crops and soil grid mapping. 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.”