The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol today announced the appointment of Daren Abney as Executive Director. A sustainability veteran, Abney brings 15 years of international experience garnered in organizations across the apparel and fashion industry such as Better Cotton, Textile Exchange, and most recently Lenzing Group.
As Executive Director, Abney will guide the strategic vision and operation of the Trust Protocol. His focus will be on supporting farmers in combating climate change through evolving agricultural innovation, textile brands and retailers in their drive to deliver more sustainably produced garments, as well as NGOs and other sustainability initiatives to determine areas of potential collaboration.
Commenting on Abney’s appointment, Dr. Gary Adams, President of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, said: “We are pleased to welcome Daren as our Executive Director, an industry professional with talent and vision. His cotton and textile supply chain sector knowledge, combined with an unparalleled understanding of sustainability initiatives and a strong track record of building relationships with diverse stakeholders, will be hugely beneficial as the program charts its path forward.”
Additionally, Abney will oversee activities of the U.S. Climate Smart Cotton Program, a five-year pilot announced as part of the USDA’s Climate Smart initiative where the Trust Protocol serves as the lead.
On the occasion of his appointment, Abney said: “The Trust Protocol has made impressive growth and progress since its launch only three years ago; there is still much work to be done as the industry faces continued high levels of scrutiny. I fully support the program’s mission to provide unparalleled data and measurement in key sustainability metrics in addition to transparency and traceability throughout the supply chain. I’m honored to step into this role during such a unique time.”
The Trust Protocol is the only system that provides quantifiable, verifiable goals and measurement and drives continuous improvement in six key sustainability metrics: land use; soil carbon; water management; soil loss; greenhouse gas emissions, and energy efficiency.
The program captures key environmental and social data under a farm-level, science-based system, and reports these annually on an aggregated basis.
It is also the world’s first sustainable cotton fiber initiative to offer article-level supply chain transparency for members.
Since launch in 2020 the Trust Protocol has welcomed more than 1,600 brand, retailer, mill and manufacturer members, including Levi Strauss & Co., Old Navy, Gap, American Eagle Outfitters, Inc., and J.Crew.