The Freeport, Maine-based retailer of outdoor gear and apparel, L.L. Bean, has become part of the Cotton LEADS programme. They are joining over 470 programme partners who encourage the use of sustainable and responsibly-grown cotton.
Cotton LEADS is a partnership between the entire US and Australian cotton industries to promote responsible cotton production practices. Some unique programme aspects are that the growers invest in their own research and development and share best practices within their industries and beyond.
Adam Kay, CEO of Cotton Australia (another programme founding organisation), explained that, “The Cotton LEADS programme aims to influence cotton supply chain strategies by raising awareness of characteristics common to US and Australian cotton industries. Our countries have responsible production practices based on science, extensive regulations that protect the environment and people, the ability to affect positive changes at national scales—all combined with independent, scientifically-based measurement of environmental impacts and traceability over many years.”
Tom Armstrong, senior vice president and chief merchandising officer for L.L. Bean, said, “For over 105 years, we’ve helped folks enjoy the outdoors with thoughtfully made gear and apparel. To us, that means being thoughtful about the outdoors as well, which is why we partnered with the Cotton LEADS Program. They’re helping to ensure that the cotton we use is as responsibly produced as possible, with less water and fewer chemicals. Working with them is just one element of L.L. Bean’s overall and ongoing mission of sustainability.”
In underscoring the program’s value, Mark Messura, senior vice president Global Supply Chain Marketing at Cotton Incorporated (a Cotton LEADS program founding organization), said, “Our Cotton LEADS partners recognize the investments in responsible production that Australian and U.S. growers are making, along with their commitment to supporting improvements in cotton globally. These efforts in continual improvement come from the cotton producers themselves and impose no downstream costs on the supply chain.”
Cotton LEADS is a partnership between the entire U.S. and Australian cotton industries to promote responsible cotton production practices. Some unique program aspects are that the growers invest in their own research and development and share best practices within their industries and beyond.