Wrangler® Seeks Committed Farmers for New Jean Celebrating Regeneratively Grown Cotton

Sep 11, 2020 Press Release Tags: Wrangler, Sustainability

Selected farmers will be featured in The Jeans Redesign project by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation 

GREENSBORO, N.C.-- Wrangler®, a global icon in jeanswear and casual apparel, today announced plans for a new jean that celebrates the benefits of regeneratively grown cotton. Global cotton farmers who can demonstrate and document soil-carbon and biodiversity improvements are invited to apply for their cotton to be purchased for a Wrangler Retro® Premium submission as part of The Jeans Redesign project from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF).

The Jeans Redesign sees over 50 brands embrace the principles of circular economy to ensure positive impacts for the environment, society and the health of those working in its industry. The guidelines, as set out by over 40 denim experts alongside the Foundation, establishes the minimum requirements for the durability, material health, recyclability and traceability of denim jeans. As defined by the EMF, one of the key principles of circular economy is the regeneration of natural systems. The principle aligns with Wrangler's aim to source 100 percent sustainably grown cotton by 2025.

“A circular economy is symbiotic with regenerative agricultural practices,” said Roian Atwood, Senior Director, Global Sustainable Business at Wrangler. “Wrangler is amplifying our commitment with this call to action as we work with farmers to rapidly scale the supply of sustainably-grown cotton. For this project, we’re looking for the best of the best.”

To be considered for inclusion in the Wrangler Retro® Premium “Regenerative Jean” collection, Wrangler is asking any farmer from around the world to submit documented evidence of improved soil health and environmental benefits resulting from their adoption of regenerative agricultural systems. Examples include improvements in soil carbon, soil physical properties, biological properties, and determined benefits to the environment. An external panel chaired by the Soil Health Institute will review farmer submissions for selecting the final candidate. Farmers interested in applying can find more information about the submission process at https://soilhealthinstitute.org/regenerative-cotton/.

This global call to action builds on the launch of Wrangler’s sustainable cotton program in 2017, the Wrangler Science and Conservation Program, with an aim to build a more resilient and regenerative cotton supply. The program is an alliance of industry experts, pioneering farmers, and nonprofit partners that sponsors research, farmer workshops and promotes soil health farming practices. Research shows these science-backed methods can increase yield while reducing water and energy inputs, fighting erosion, and add more carbon into the soil. Wrangler aims to source 100 percent of its cotton from farms using land stewardship practices by 2025.

“Over the last 100-150 years, many of our most productive agricultural soils have lost 40-60 percent of their precious organic carbon back into the atmosphere,” said Wayne Honeycutt, President and CEO of the Soil Health Institute. “Restoring carbon back into the soil with regenerative agriculture is one of the greatest opportunities we have to address both climate change and the financial well-being of farmers. We hope more brands will follow Wrangler’s lead and produce climate beneficial clothing.”

In addition to signing onto the Jeans Redesign guidelines, the brand joined EMF’s Make Fashion Circular, which drives collaboration between apparel industry leaders to ensure clothes are made from safe and renewable materials, new business models increase their use, and old clothes are turned into new.

For more information on the Jeans Redesign Guidelines, click here. Learn more about the Soil Health Institute at https://soilhealthinstitute.org/.

About Wrangler®

Wrangler, a Kontoor Brands (NYSE: KTB) brand, has been an icon in authentic American style around the world for more than 70 years. With a rich legacy rooted in the American west, Wrangler commits to offering unmatched quality and timeless design. Its collections for men, women and children look and feel great, inspiring those who wear them to be strong and ready for life, every day. Wrangler is available in retail stores worldwide, including brand flagship stores in Denver and Dallas, department stores, mass-market retailers, specialty shops, western outfitters, and online. For more information, visit Wrangler.com.

About the Ellen MacArthur Foundation

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation was launched in 2010 with the aim of accelerating the transition to the circular economy. Since its creation, the charity has emerged as a global thought leader, putting the circular economy on the agenda of decision-makers around the world. The charity’s work focuses on seven key areas: insight and analysis; business; institutions, governments, and cities; systemic initiatives; circular design; learning; and communications.

Further information: www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org | @circulareconomy

About Make Fashion Circular

Make Fashion Circular was launched by UK charity the Ellen MacArthur Foundation at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2018. It brings together leaders from across the fashion industry, including designers, brands, cities, philanthropists, NGOs, and innovators. It is leading international efforts to stop waste and pollution in fashion by creating a circular economy for the industry, where clothes are made from safe and renewable materials, new business models increase their use, and used clothes are turned into new ones.

Further information: tiny.cc/makefashioncircular

About the Soil Health Institute

The Soil Health Institute (www.soilhealthinstitute.org) is a non-profit whose mission is to safeguard and enhance the vitality and productivity of soil through scientific research and advancement. The Institute works with its many stakeholders to identify gaps in research and adoption; develop strategies, networks and funding to address those gaps; and ensure beneficial impact of those investments to agriculture, the environment and society.