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U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol appoints new executive director

Daren Abney brings 15 years of experience in the cotton and textile supply chain sector. As executive director, he'll guide the vision and operation of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol.

August 3, 2023

2 Min Read
Daren Abney
Daren Abney is the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol newly appointed executive director.U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol/Shelley E. Huguley

The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol announced the appointment of Daren Abney as executive director. 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.

In his new role, Abney will guide the 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.

“We are pleased to welcome Daren as our executive director, an industry professional with talent and vision," said Gary Adams, U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol president. "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.”

Abney will also oversee U.S. Climate Smart Cotton Program activities, a five-year pilot announced as part of the USDA’s Climate Smart initiative where the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol serves as the lead.

“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," Abney said. "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 U.S. Cotton 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 its launch in 2020, the trust protocol has welcomed more than 1,600 brand, retailer, mill and manufacturer members, including Levi Strauss & Co., Old Navy, GapAmerican Eagle Outfitters, Inc., and J.Crew. 

Source: U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol

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