Cotton LEADS™ Conference in Hong Kong Gathers Global Cotton Supply Chain

Cotton LEADS™ Conference in Hong Kong Gathers Global Cotton Supply Chain

More than 125 international and local Cotton LEADS™ partners and supporters across the global cotton supply chain attended a one-day conference in Hong Kong themed “Moving Toward Sustainability in the Supply Chain.” The Cotton LEADS™ partner conference focused on responsible cotton production, as well as responsible textile manufacturing.

Since its launch in 2013, the tenets of Cotton LEADS™ have captured the attention and confidence of more 366 partners including yarn spinners, textile and apparel manufacturers, retailers and brands.

“Leading manufacturers, brands and retailers all recognize that we need to work together to support responsible and sustainable supply chains and sourcing. Cotton LEADS™ cotton producers operate with a system that is transparent, well-regulated, and that continues to reduce the environmental impact of cotton production,” Cotton Incorporated Senior Vice President of Global Supply Chain Marketing Mark Messura explained.

At the conference, partners received updates on national-level improvement progress from growers in Australia and the United States of America. A highlight of the day’s events was a preview of a comprehensive and scientific assessment of cotton’s environmental impact—the Global Life Cycle Assessment for Cotton, which will be released in full over the coming weeks.

Cotton LEADS™ is also actively involved in advancing responsible technologies and continuous improvement beyond the agriculture boundary. As such, the second half of the one-day event was dedicated to technical presentations and discussions with companies offering innovative textile manufacturing options.  Among the companies presenting commercially-available solutions were:  Mayer & Cie; Tonello Company; Bros Eastern Co., Ltd.; and SPG Prints B.V.

“This event really characterizes the inclusive and comprehensive approach of Cotton LEADS™," Cotton Council International Director of China and Northeast Asia Karin Malmstrom said. "It gives the supply chain an opportunity to hear about responsible production progress at the farm level—directly from the growers implementing this progress—and to hear about the latest technologies from textile companies advancing sustainability downstream."

The event also included an exhibition titled “Sustainable and Innovative Cotton Activewear,” which showcased an inspirational collection of 38 cotton-rich garments from the next generation of designers from five major fashion design institutions in Hong Kong.

Cotton LEADS™ is a program that is committed to responsible cotton production and is founded on core principles that are consistent with sustainability, the use of best practices and traceability in the supply chain. This joint program, initiated by Australia and the United States, offers manufacturers, brands and retailers a reliable cotton supply and assurance that their raw material is responsibly produced and identified. The Cotton LEADS™ program is driven by producers, scientists and professionals striving to make sure cotton is produced responsibly now and for years to come. For more information, please visit