Further establishing itself as a strong proponent of increasing the supply of sustainable cotton, denim brand Wrangler has joined Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture as an associate member. The multi-stakeholder initiative is working to unite the agricultural supply chain in defining, measuring and advancing the sustainability of food, fiber and fuel production in the United States.
The company is the first major apparel brand to join the initiative and the announcement follows Wrangler’s recent launch of a pilot project for sustainable US cotton. “Wrangler buys roughly 50 percent of its cotton from US growers and we’d like for it to be produced as sustainably as possible,” said Roian Atwood, Director of Sustainability for Wrangler. “As we work to deepen our understanding of the connection between soil health and effective on-farm practices, Field to Market’s experience and infrastructure will be invaluable.”
Field to Market collaborates with agricultural stakeholders to ensure a coordinated, outcomes-based approach to sustainable agriculture that is grounded in science. By measurement tools and resources, the organization helps brands and growers track and promote continuous improvement at the field and landscape levels.
Together with Field to Market, the Soil Health Institute and other key industry and academic partners, Wrangler will focus on cotton-growing practices that reduce environmental impacts while simultaneously improving profitability for growers. These efforts will build on Wrangler’s pilot program, which will initially include 40,000 pounds of cotton from a 10,000-acre family farm in Athens, Alabama. The Newbys, which represent seven generations of farming experience, currently utilize soil grid mapping, conservation tillage and complex crop rotation, among other best practices.
Through its participation in Field to Market, Wrangler intends to expand its pilot to create a program that includes scores of growers who are focused on improving soil health and achieving the best possible results for yield, irrigation water use, efficient input use, soil conservation and reduced emissions.
“As the first major apparel brand to join Field Market, Wrangler is taking a leadership role in catalyzing continuous improvement in the sustainability of US cotton,” said Rod Snyder, President of Field to Market. “Supply chain collaboration is essential to not only advancing environmental goals but also communicating farmers’ conservation efforts to consumers and we are grateful for Wrangler’s strategic engagement.”