Hanes printwear has launched a U.S.‐grown cotton initiative to raise awareness among printers and promotional products distributors of its importance to sustainability, apparel quality and jobs. As part of the launch, the printwear group also announced that its iconic Hanes Beefy‐T is now being manufactured from 100-percent U.S.‐grown cotton. Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based HanesBrands participates in the promotional products industry as suppliers Hanes/Champion/ComfortWash (PPAI 191138, S10) and Alternative Apparel (PPAI 217134, S5).

“Sustainability and responsible sourcing are important considerations for customers today,” says Michael Johnson, director of marketing for Hanes activewear. “We want printers and promotional products distributors to know they can trust what they are buying from Hanes, and we want them to be able to talk confidently about sustainability with their customers. We know it matters.”

Hanes notes that during the past four decades, U.S. farmers have utilized technology and other advancements to make significant strides in growing sustainable cotton crops. According to the National Cotton Council of America, this includes reducing the amount of land needed to produce cotton yields by almost 50 percent, diminishing soil erosion by 35 percent, decreasing water use by more than 50 percent, cutting energy use by more than 50 percent and lowering greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent.

Additionally, U.S. cotton production is regulated as a food crop because cottonseed is used in both human food products, such as cottonseed oil, and animal feed. And jobs in the country’s cotton industry are subject to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements.

“It’s a matter of visibility and trust to us,” says Chris Fox, chief sustainability officer for HanesBrands. “For decades, the U.S. cotton industry has supported our sustainability objectives, which is why we use U.S.‐grown cotton for most of the apparel we sell in our printwear channel. And because we own the majority of our manufacturing operations, our processes are tightly controlled and we have far closer oversight over the raw materials used to manufacture our apparel. We know where our U.S. cotton is sourced, spun and sewn—unique in our industry.”

As part of its campaign, Hanes printwear has developed a digital toolkit to help printers and distributors inform customers about the benefits of U.S.‐grown cotton. It will host a virtual summit on U.S.‐grown cotton on March 11.