WWD: AEO Joins Cotton Trust Protocol

By: Kaley Roshitsh | Link to article

Certifications still seem to be a hard-and-fast way to signal ESG efforts.

As of Thursday, American Eagle joined brands like J.Crew as a member of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol.

The Trust Protocol is an article-level traceability tool that enables enrolled farmers to track and measure cotton bale sustainability progress across a number of areas: water use, soil carbon, greenhouse gas emissions and energy efficiency. For the past growing season, 1.1 million acres were enrolled in the program.

AEO’s stable of brands includes American Eagle, Aerie, Off/lne by Aerie, Todd Snyder and Unsubscribed brands.

Through its Protocol Consumption Management Solution, Trust Protocol links each individual cotton bale to a unique Permanent Bale number or “PBI.” This data is then matched against the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s cotton database. In a partnership with technology player TextileGenesis, the Trust Protocol is able to trace each level of the supply chain from bale to retail.

“AEO is excited to partner with the Trust Protocol as we work to move our sustainability practices forward, preserve our planet and meet the ambitious targets we have set on our journey to build a better world,” said Mark Rose, senior vice president, production and sourcing at AEO. “The Trust Protocol will help provide AEO the opportunity to further verify our responsible sourcing practices and demonstrate the progress we’re making toward meeting our environmental targets.”

Centered on three key areas — planet, people and practices — AEO uses the tool to help better fine tune its ESG strategies across the raw material stage.