Delta Apparel Joins the Cotton LEADSSM Family
October 15, 2020

In partnership with Cotton LEADS, Delta Apparel improves supply chain traceability and supports sustainable farming.

Delta Apparel takes pride in their manufacturing process and in supporting U.S. cotton. They believe that efficiently and sustainably managing natural resources — water, energy, and cotton — is smart business and responsible, planet-first decision-making.


Read our Q&A with Delta Apparel to learn more about their company, their commitments and our partnership.


Q&A with Delta Apparel


Q. Why did you decide to become a Cotton LEADS partner?

A. As a vertically integrated apparel company, we believe it is important to have a high degree of oversight into all aspects of sourcing, manufacturing, and distribution. To that end, the lifecycle of a Delta Apparel garment begins with high quality, sustainable cotton, which is the key ingredient for the majority of apparel products across our brand portfolio, including Salt Life®, COAST®, Soffe®, and Delta. Additionally, the vast majority of our products are manufactured or sewn at our own facilities. The desire for increased oversight and transparency, combined with our sustainability initiatives, made this partnership a perfect fit.



Q. What percentage of your inventory is created with some amount of U.S. cotton?

A. Over 90% of our garments are created with U.S. cotton


Q. Why does Delta Apparel care about sustainably-produced U.S. cotton?

A. As the demand for apparel grows, so does the demand for high quality cotton. For our products, U.S. cotton provides the high quality our consumers demand. We believe we can continue to serve this demand while raising awareness for sustainably-sourced cotton and also reducing our environmental impact.


Q. How important is transparency/traceability in the supply chain to your business?

A. Traceability is very important to us. We serve as a supply chain partner for many customers who expect high quality raw materials and require the ability to trace those raw materials back to the source. With cotton traceability, we are now able to trace the fiber used in our garments all the way back to harvest.


Q. What are Delta Apparel’s sustainability initiatives?

A. We believe that efficiently and sustainably managing natural resources — water, energy, and cotton — is both a smart business practice and a responsible decision for the planet. Our people are actively focused on conserving these natural resources throughout the manufacturing and distribution process, and we are committed to minimizing the environmental impact.


Q. How does the Cotton LEADS partnership advance your sustainability goals?

A. This partnership enables us to deepen and broaden our support of the cotton farmers who supply our company with sustainably produced U.S. cotton. This will enable us to continue transforming our cotton into high quality, responsible apparel products for our customers. We are excited to join Cotton LEADS and its network of environmentally conscious companies and partners.


Q. How do you plan to talk to your customers and supply chain about this new partnership?

A. Many of our customers are already talking about it. They are very interested in the sustainability actions their suppliers are taking. Our investors value our sustainability goals and initiatives as well. The Cotton LEADS partnership gives us the opportunity to talk about the importance of sustainable cotton production and the traceability of raw materials in a vertically integrated supply chain.


Q. What do you hope to gain from the partnership?

A. We hope that by joining Cotton LEADS, we are able to continue supporting the cotton farmers on the front lines who grow and harvest the quality fibers we and our customers rely on. The effort to support sustainable farming practices and provide traceability in our supply chain is very important to us.


Q. What would you say to other companies who are considering becoming a Cotton LEADS partner?

A. Sign up and join the program to support the future of the most important raw material in the apparel industry — cotton.


Learn more about Delta Apparel at our Down the Chain article, and consider becoming a Cotton LEADS partner today!


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