Macy's Commits to Sustainable Fiber Sourcing through Partnership with U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol

Editorial TeamEditorial Team
September 18th, 2023
11:13 AM

Macy's Inc. is enhancing its sustainable material sourcing through a partnership with the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, aligning with its "Mission Every One" initiative to source preferred materials exclusively for its private label products by 2030, ensuring full traceability through blockchain technology.


Retail powerhouse Macy's Inc. is taking bold strides in its sustainable material sourcing strategy through its partnership with the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol.

Under its "Mission Every One" social purpose initiative, which encompasses the Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, and Bluemercury brands, the company has pledged to exclusively source preferred materials for its private label products by 2030. By becoming a member of the Trust Protocol, Macy's will now procure cotton from Trust Protocol growers, with full traceability guaranteed through an innovative blockchain solution.

Laurie Rando, Senior Director of Sustainability at Macy’s, Inc., underscored the company's ambitious objectives. They aim to see 40 percent of their private brand products, which are managed by Macy's sourcing team, made from preferred fibers by 2025, with the goal of reaching 100 percent by 2030. The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is a pivotal component of this strategy as it provides essential elements: traceability across the cotton supply chain and the provision of data concerning water usage, energy efficiency, and greenhouse gas emissions. This approach enables Macy's to align their fiber objectives with broader goals for traceability and environmental impact reduction.


Advancing Sustainable Cotton Production

The Trust Protocol, introduced in 2020, was designed to establish a new benchmark for sustainable cotton production in the United States. This program outlines sustainability benchmarks for cotton growers in six essential areas: land use, soil carbon, water management, soil conservation, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy efficiency. It collects farm-level data from enrolled growers to assess progress towards these targets, enhancing transparency. This data is then shared with member brands, offering them greater insight into their own sustainability impact.

Dr. Gary Adams, President of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, commended Macy's for becoming a member, expressing that Macy's dedication to sustainability and responsible sourcing in the cotton industry is evident through their membership. He noted that by joining, Macy's is aligning itself with a program that is focused on establishing higher benchmarks for sustainable cotton production by emphasizing innovation, transparency, and the availability of quantifiable, verifiable data across the supply chain.

In addition to data collection, the Trust Protocol offers traceability throughout the cotton supply chain. Leveraging TextileGenesis' blockchain technology, the Protocol Consumption Management Solution (PCMS) generates a Protocol Consumption Unit (PCU) for each kilogram of cotton from a Protocol grower member. This PCU can be meticulously traced through the blockchain to ensure that the volumes of manufactured cotton products do not surpass the tracked eligible fiber quantities. Cotton is also authenticated through shipping documents and invoices.



Ensuring Transparency and Accountability

After the manufacturing process, brands have the capability to claim PCUs based on the quantity of cotton utilized. They also gain access to a traceability map that provides comprehensive information about the identity and location of each production partner, encompassing spinners, weavers, and garment manufacturers.

Rando stressed Macy's commitment to its stakeholders by emphasizing the importance of their relationships with customers, colleagues, and communities. This commitment reflects a strong sense of stewardship in how Macy's serves its stakeholders and underscores the company's dedication to promoting sustainability throughout its global value chain. Macy's places a priority on placing the customer at the center of its work and supporting their ability to shop for more sustainable products across its brands. The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol plays a crucial role in facilitating the data collection required by Macy’s to verify the authenticity of sustainable product claims.

The Trust Protocol has gained more than 40 retailer and brand members since its 2020 launch, including American Eagle Outfitters, Ralph Lauren, and Gap Inc. Dr. Adams highlighted the significance of partners like Macy's since the inception of the Trust Protocol. He expressed excitement about their interest and participation, emphasizing that as more prominent brands and retailers join, the Trust Protocol's influence and impact in assessing sustainable practices in the U.S. cotton industry continue to grow.