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e3 Program ties farm to retail

Brad Robb, Staff Writer

August 9, 2019

When fifth-generation Tennessee cotton producers Steve Pugh II, and Eugene Pugh III were asked to participate in BASF's e3 sustainability cotton program, they recognized it as an opportunity to strengthen their farm’s connection to consumers and increase demand for the Stoneville cotton they grow by having it spun into denim for Wrangler’s “Rooted Collection” line of blue jeans.

The program also brings three benefits from a voluntary transparent certification program addressing working and living conditions of growers and their laborers, the economic and competitive viability of farming enterprises, and the environmental responsibility of reducing the use of water, land, and energy while remaining profitable.

Consumers and supply chains once never questioned how a product was produced or the origin of its ingredients. “Supply chains used to be nameless and faceless, but we want to be transparent with the origin of the cotton we source. That is why we created a Wrangler Science and Conservation Program that today includes farming operations that produce cotton sustainably with conservation and environmental preservation a top priority,” says Roian Atwood, director of sustainability, Wrangler. “All of the farmers in this program measure and track their inputs to make sure their land will be productive for future generations of farmers. They are true stewards of the land.”

For Eugene, Steve, and Pugh Farms, the effort culminated recently in Ripley, Tenn., at The Shoe Barn, an official distributor of Wrangler blue jeans.

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