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Wrangler initiates pilot project on soil practices
26
May '17
Iconic American denim brand Wrangler has launched a pilot programme under which it will work 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. The aim is to help US cotton farmers reach the next level in sustainable growing practices.


The announcement was made at the Sustainable Brands conference in Detroit.

Wrangler purchases roughly half of the cotton for its products from US growers. The US 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 US.

“Scientific research shows greater attention to soil health can further reduce the water and energy inputs required to grow cotton and other crops. 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 programme within a few years,” explained Wrangler sustainability director, Roian Atwood.

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. 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,” said Jerry Allen Newby.

The pilot programme builds on Wrangler’s long-standing commitment to supporting US farming communities. Wrangler has been a corporate sponsor of Future Farmers of America for more than 50 years, and recently hosted a conference at Wrangler headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina, to educate FFA youth on the science of soil health.

Wrangler’s sustainability work is focused on land, people and industry. In addition to the cotton pilot project and soil health education, other programmes include a commitment to 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2025, zero waste facilities, and manufacturing and technology improvements that have saved three billion litres of water over the last decade. (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India


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