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Washington, D.C.   |   October 9-13, 2017

2017 Textile Sustainability Conference –  Call for Papers

Deadline: March 15

United by Action

Catalyzing the Sustainable Development Goals in Textiles.

Below you will find the submission guidelines for the Call for Papers. Only submissions that meet the criteria outlined below and that fit within the identified SDGs will be considered. Please review this content thoroughly before submitting your paper.

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This year, Textile Exchange has committed to creating a target call to action for the textile industry around adopting the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs).  The SDG’s are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

To learn more about how the SDGs will be used at the conference and to fully understand the guidelines for paper submission, click on each box below to expand and read the full details.

According to the Business and Sustainable Development Commission, there are 60 “hotspots” in energy, cities, food and agriculture, and health and well-being with the potential to grow two or three times faster than average gross domestic product (GDP) in the next ten or 15 years, generating at least US$12 trillion and creating 380 million jobs by 2030. The report estimates that embedding the SDGs into the strategies of private companies could create an additional US$8 trillion across the wider economy.

Business as usual has created systemic problems in our world and changing how we do business is the driver that will make transformation happen. TE’s Transformation Model of working with Fiber and Materials, Building Integrity and working in a more engaged fashion in the supply network are driving meaningful change.

We know from our work that the adoption of preferred fibers is one of the solutions to delivering on the SDGs offering measurable direct and indirect benefits.  As we look at increasing the scope and depth of our work, we are working to ensure that companies have strategies to support the adoption of the SDGs for their organizations.  The adoption by our Members and the industry of preferred fibers has the direct benefit of increasing biodiversity, reducing water pollutants, increasing food security, reducing poverty and indirect benefits on building resilient communities through increased economic benefits, gender equality and land use.  Consequently, this year’s Annual Conference is titled: United in Action: Catalyzing the Sustainable Development Goals in Textiles
While there are 17 Sustainable Development Goals with 169 associated targets, Textile Exchange believes it and its Members are in a unique position to catalyze the industry into taking leadership with respect to certain core SDGs directly related to our industry. Here they are along with select sub-goals:

  1. SDG Goal 6: Water. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

6.3  By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally

6.4  By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity


  1. SDG Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

12.2 By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources

12.4 By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment

12.5 By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse

12.6 Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle

12.7 Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities

12.8 By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature


  1. SDG Goal 14: Life Below Water. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

14.1 By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution


  1. SDG Goal 15: Life on Land. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

15.9  By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts


  1. SDG Goal 17: Partnerships. The goal of our conference this year is to identify a big hairy goal for the textile industry and develop a framework with our Members to address this problem.  We will solicit input from our Membership under separate cover and hope to be in a position to register our commitment on behalf of our Members on or about the time of our Annual Meeting.


If you believe we did not include all the SDGs related to our industry, you are right but we will have limited time and resources and we want to focus on reducing greater impacts.  With respect to the SDG Goals related to combatting climate change (SDG 13), that topic will be covered ancillary to SDG 14 and 15.  And, with respect to covering SDG Goal 9 on industry and innovation which does promote sustainable industries, we will address that as part of our focus on innovations in manufacturing, development of preferred fibers, and land and water best practices – all covered under different SDGs.

The above information represents a guideline as to the call for papers. We ask that any proposal you submit be specific as to the SDGs covered as well as consider the relevant key performance indicators published for that SDG so we, at TE, can work to incorporate those KPIs in our benchmarking work.

Go to Submission Form