Cotton Commitment


Cotton, in both its virgin and recycled forms, is a staple fiber in Target products and is vital to our business. It is used in a diverse array of fabrics and materials, which in turn are incorporated into a diverse range of products. Cotton farming is critical to the economic wellbeing of communities around the world and several methods are used to grow it. For these reasons, Target is committed to leveraging our scale to drive positive change in working conditions and environmental impact within the cotton industry. One of the challenges for Target in achieving this commitment is the lack of transparency throughout the growth and production process of cotton.   

Target’s sourcing commitment for cotton products 

Target is committed to sourcing cotton more sustainably for our owned brand and exclusive national brand products by meeting the following goals:   

  • Ensure the cotton used in our supply chain is not cultivated or harvested using underage or forced labor.  
  • Ensure working conditions in our supply chain are both ethical and compliant with applicable laws.  
  • Optimize production practices to minimize environmental impact, such as water use and pollution, and chemical use. 

We believe the first step in meeting our goals is achieving full visibility to where the cotton our vendors use to produce our products is grown. Full visibility allows us to assess the environmental and employment practices of that region and implement improvements with our vendors that address the unique needs, issues or challenges of that region. We aspire to continuous improvement within the interconnected supply chain through collaboration with farmers and brands, as well as other retailers and organizations who share our commitment. As we implement work toward this commitment, we will monitor our progress and share in our annual report.

Continuous improvement

To create the positive change we believe the industry and broader market requires, we will collaborate with supply chain partners and industry stakeholders to leverage our collective scale, influence, and expertise throughout the supply chain.   

Target participates in several notable programs that promote, measure, and provide education around the responsible production of cotton: 

  • U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol
    • Target is a member of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol.  The Trust Protocol is built on a foundation of robust data capture, aggregation and reporting that drives continuous improvement across six key sustainability metrics – water use, energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, soil conservation, soil carbon and land use.
    • Learn more about U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol
  • Better Cotton Initiative  
    • Target is a member of the Better Cotton Initiative. Its mission is to help cotton communities survive and thrive, while protecting and restoring the environment. Better Cotton uses a mass balance chain of custody approach.  
    • Learn more about Better Cotton 
  • Cotton LEADS™   
    • Target is a member of Cotton LEADS which is a program born out of partnership between the Australian and U.S. cotton industries. The goal of the program is to engage and connect businesses across the global supply chain with the leading efforts in sustainable cotton sourcing and production. 
  • Organic   
    • When practical, Target uses cotton that is grown using organic production methods.

Target will rely on these programs to help fulfil our commitment. We will use a combination of these that best suit the varied geographies, supply chains and practices that Target relies upon. As we are making a long-standing commitment, this may include standards that have not yet been developed or our own programs. Target is committed to sourcing cotton more sustainably for our owned brand and exclusive national brand products by participating in programs designed to improve cotton growing practices and working conditions.

Supply Chain Labor & Human Rights Policies

Learn more
U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol member logo.

U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol

Target is a proud member of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol. We support the protocol’s vision of setting a new standard in sustainable cotton production where full transparency is a reality and continuous improvement to improve our environmental footprint is the central goal.

Better Cotton logo

Better Cotton

Target is a proud member of the Better Cotton Initiative. Better Cotton is sourced via a system of Mass Balance and is not physically traceable to end products.

Cotton leads logo

Cotton Leads

Target is a proud Cotton LEADS™ partner. We support cotton farmers who are leading the way in protecting our natural resources today and for tomorrow.  Following 30 years of continued improvements, the program is based on measurable science to reduce the water, energy and chemicals needed to grow cotton for the future.