Most sustainable cotton management frameworks just skim the surface. The leaders at Wrangler wanted to dig deeper. The American denim brand sought to understand the actual effects of cotton farming on the environment. “Even the organizations that are trying to do something meaningful find themselves tripped up. If you highlight a ‘sustainable’ cotton, that means all the rest is unsustainable, right?” says Roian Atwood, senior director of global sustainable business for Wrangler. “So we started by rejecting all frameworks.” The brand, which produced its first pair of jeans in 1947, turned to science. What the company discovered led to a new denim collection called Rooted made using traceable cotton from family farms in five states.
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