Trust Protocol Study: Consumer Demand Up for Sustainable Products and Business Practices
Trust Protocol Study: Consumer Demand Up for Sustainable Products and Business Practices

Trust Protocol Study: Consumer Demand Up for Sustainable Products and Business Practices

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Consumers around the world adapted to social distancing measures and lockdowns over the last 12 months, with the way they dress, work, and shop changing dramatically. A recent U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol survey showed that brands and retailers are optimistic about increased consumer spending and investment in environmentally friendly practices – with 28% of brands and retailers committed to setting new industry standards for sustainability.

The Trust Protocol surveyed sustainability decision-makers at 1,000 brands and retailers in the U.S. and UK to determine the impact the pandemic has had on the importance of and investment in sustainability initiatives. At the one year point of many countries going into lockdown, the research findings reveal that 69% of brands and retailers believe the pandemic has emphasized the importance of environmentally friendly products to customers – with two-thirds (61%) also noting that there has been an increased demand for sustainable products.

The research also found that 63% of brands and retailers said the pandemic has had a positive impact on their company’s proactive investment in sustainability in key areas of focus:
• Sourcing sustainably produced raw materials (42%)
• Manufacturing sustainability and reducing impacts of chemicals, water and energy (42%)
•    Safe working environments (40%)

“It is undeniable that the pandemic has caused unforeseen challenges for brands, retailers and consumers alike,” said Dr. Gary Adams, president of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol. “But this research reaffirms the commitment to a continued focus on sustainability.

“We’re encouraged to learn that so many brands and retailers are looking to set new standards for the industry, instead of simply following what currently exists,” he noted. “As we work towards recovery in many sectors, systems like the Trust Protocol are available to provide the data needed to verify that sustainability targets are being met.”

As the vaccine roll-out picks up pace across the world and consumers begin to think about the “new normal,” half (50%) of brands and retailers expect to see increased customer spending on sustainable apparel over the next 12 months. They attribute the most common drivers for this increased spending to a need for people to get back to normal (62%), and that some consumers will have saved money during the pandemic (67%).

As work continues towards delivering more sustainable options to meet growing consumer demand, the study findings show two thirds (65%) of brands and retailers agree that data is important to their future sustainability goals. The Trust Protocol will provide brands and retailers the critical assurances they need to show the cotton fiber element of their supply chain is more sustainably grown with lower environmental and social risk.

The Trust Protocol is a system for more responsibly grown cotton that has committed to six areas of sustainability in line with the U.N. Sustainability Development Goals. It underpins and verifies sustainability progress through sophisticated data collection and independent third-party verification, enabling members to better track the cotton entering their supply chain.  Members also will have access to aggregate year-over-year data on water use, greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, soil carbon and land use efficiency.

To date, more than 300 brand, retailer, mill and manufacturer members have joined the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol since it opened enrollment six months ago.

The Trust Protocol is included on the Textile Exchange’s list of 36 preferred fibers and materials that more than 170 participating brands and retailers can select from as part of Textile Exchange’s Material Change Index program. The Trust Protocol is also is working to align with existing standards in the cotton industry and is part of the Forum for the Future of Cotton 2040 and the CottonUp guide.

Based on information provided by the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol

Πηγή: Cotton Grower



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