Creating Material Change for 15 Years

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Textile Exchange is celebrating our 15th anniversary and our evolution from a small nonprofit focused exclusively on the expansion of organic cotton supply and demand to a respected global presence that inspires and equips people to accelerate sustainable business practices in the textile value network. Join us in honoring our founding members as we celebrate our history during a kick off of Textile Exchange’s 2017 Textile Sustainability Conference near Washington, D.C. during the week of October 9-13.

The conference focus and call to action this year is
“United by Action: Catalyzing the Sustainable Development Goals in Textiles”

Textile Exchange conferences offer participants, which last year totaled over 425 people representing 258 companies from 39 countries, the latest research, trends, innovations, and solutions to challenges faced by the apparel and textile industry. Through active participation, the outcomes of this event will identify action items to develop a roadmap to 2030 for the industry.

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Take a sneak-peek at the conference agenda for the 2017 Textile Exchange conference: United by Action: Catalyzing the Sustainable Development Goals in Textiles. The Agenda structure offers two full conference days, and additional pre- and post-conference days dedicated to in-depth workshops. These half-day and day-long workshops take the audience through multiple sessions of insight and information. Attendees leave the sessions with actionable solutions they can immediately implement into their daily business.

The 2017 agenda is constantly being updated, so check back often for updates.

  • TE Board Meeting – Full Day
  • Certification Bodies (CB) Meeting
  • Registration and Exhibitor set-up (Opens 12pm EST)
  • Basics of Textile Sustainability Workshop
  • Textile Exchange 15th Anniversary Celebration and Conference Kick-off
  • Member-only Breakfast w/Special Guest Speaker
  • Presentations by C&A, H&M, and PVH, Corp.
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Where to Start
  • Land Management: Farming and Forestry
  • Investors are Taking Score
  • Managing Our Way Through a Water Shortfall
  • Innovation and Impact Showcase: Connect With Africa
  • Networking Dinners with special tables hosted by Esquel, Nike, Otto Group, Lenzing and more!
  • Desserts a la carte with Cotton 2040, Glasgow Caledonian University: The Fair Fashion Center, OrganiMark, Organic Cotton Accelerator and more!
  • Scaling the Use of Sustainable Cotton
  • Dispelling the Myths of Not a Penny More
  • SDG 15: Taking Action to Improve Grassland Management
  • Innovations in Manufacturing
  • Innovation & Impact Showcase: Sustainable Furnishings Council
  • Transitional Cotton: The Smart Intersection of Food & Textiles
  • Cotton 2040 Meeting: Details coming soon!
  • Capitol Hill Advocacy Visit: Contact to get involved
  • TExcursions – Details coming soon!


Friday Oct. 13

Join us for this year’s post-conference industry tours or a “Discover D.C.” day trip option.
Watch for an announcement at the end of June!

Conference Speakers

Click to read our conference speaker’s bios, as well as discover what session they will be a part of. We are constantly adding speakers- check back often for updates!

  • Rahul Bhajekar
    Director Standards Development & Quality Assurance, Global Organic Textile Standard
    Rahul Bhajekar
    Director Standards Development & Quality Assurance, Global Organic Textile Standard

    Strengthening Integrity in Your Supply Network | Oct. 10

    An Engineer with a M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Ohio State University, USA, Rahul has been working in the Textile Industry since 1994. For 21 years he was with Texanlab, one of India's leading Textile testing laboratories the last 7 as its Managing Director / General Manager, He briefly headed Hermes Eco Laboratories, a German Joint Venture and part of the Otto Group. In 2016, GOTS appointed Rahul as their Director, Standards Development & Quality Assurance. Rahul has the responsibility of technically and administratively overseeing the globally acclaimed Global Organic Textile Standard or GOTS, updated to version 5.0 in March 2017 and to keep the standard current and relevant. Rahul has conducted numerous training programmes for Educational Institutes, Buying Houses, Exporters and others in the Textiles Supply Chain on the subject of Quality Control and Ecological Testing. He frequently lectures at Seminars and Workshops on subjects of GOTS, Chemical Restrictions, Sustainability as well as Improvement of quality standards in the Textile Industry.

    He has written for technical journals and contributed to a book on textile chemicals. Rahul has been a member of two sub-committees of the Bureau of Indian Standards. He is a member of the Society of Dyers & Colourists, UK and has been awarded a Bronze Medal for services to the SDC in India. Rahul is also a managing committee member of the Textile Association of India, Mumbai Unit. He is an Executive Committee Member of the Consortium of Green Fashion, an initiative of SOFT, Pune in association with other fashion design educational institutes, apparel and chemical industry. Rahul is a National Expert for the European Union Ecolabel for textiles.

  • Dr. Jung Ha-Brookshire
    Associate Professor of Textile and Apparel Management, University of Missouri
    Dr. Jung Ha-Brookshire
    Associate Professor of Textile and Apparel Management, University of Missouri

    Dispelling the Myths of Not a Penny More | Oct. 11

    Dr. Jung E. Ha-Brookshire is Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies of College of Human Environmental Sciences and Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Textile and Apparel Management at the University of Missouri. Prior to her time at MU, Dr. Ha-Brookshire worked as a production assistant, production coordinator, production manager, and sourcing manager for Adjmi Apparel Group and Richard Leeds International, Inc. in New York City. During her time in NYC, she extensively traveled to various countries in Asia and Central America for textile and apparel product sourcing, product development, production coordination, and quality assurance. At MU, she teaches global sourcing and the capstone for retail marketing and merchandising students. She also teaches global supply chain management and theory development & evaluation courses at the graduate level. She received several prestigious awards, including Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence in 2017, Fulbright Core Scholar award in 2015, 2014 Gold Chalk Award for excellent graduate teaching, 2011 Rising Star award by International Textile and Apparel Association, 2010 Excellence in Education award by MU Division of Student Affairs, and 2009 Professor of the Year award by MU Student Athlete group. She is also currently serving as the Vice President of Operation (2015-2017) at International Textiles and Apparel Association. She has completed a number of internal and external grants, over $500,000. She has published over 40 manuscripts in peer review journals and presented her research over 90 times at various international, national, and regional conferences. The areas of her research interests include moral responsibility of corporate sustainability, global supply chain and sourcing strategies, sustainable production and consumption of textile and apparel, and firm/industry identity issues. She utilizes both qualitative and quantitative research tools.

  • Dr. Timo Hammer
    CEO William-Kuester-Institute for Hygiene, Environment & Medicine | Hohenstein Group
    Dr. Timo Hammer
    CEO William-Kuester-Institute for Hygiene, Environment & Medicine | Hohenstein Group

    Technology and Traceability | Oct. 11


    2000 – 2005: Studies Biology, University of Constance
    2006 – 2009: PhD, University of Stuttgart-Hohenheim
    2011 – 2014: Studies Business Economy, Betriebswirtschaftliches Institut und Seminar Basel
    2006 – 2009: Research associate (PhD), University of Stuttgart-Hohenheim
    07/2009 – 12/2010: Project Manager, Hohenstein Institute, Department Hygiene, Environment & Medicine
    01/2011 – 01/2015: Head of Research, Hohenstein Institute, Department Hygiene, Environment & Medicine
    02/2015 – 11/2015: Product Manager, Xenios AG (a Fresenius Medical Care company)
    12/2015 – 03/2017: Marketing Manager, Xenios AG (a Fresenius Medical Care company)
    since 04/2017: CEO, Hohenstein Group, William-Küster-Institute for Hygiene, Environment & Medicine

  • Helena Helmersson
    Global Head of Production, H&M
    Helena Helmersson
    Global Head of Production, H&M

    Presentation by H&M | Tuesday Oct. 10

    H&M Group: The H&M Group is one of the world’s leading fashion companies from Sweden with more than 4,300 stores in over 60 markets and several clearly defined fashion brands. Each brand has its own unique identity and they are united by a passion for fashion and a drive to dress customers in a sustainable way.

    Helena Helmersson joined H&M in 1997 as a business controller in the buying office in Stockholm, Sweden and later became a Section Manager working with assortment planning and purchasing. She worked as H&M’s HR Manager in the Bangladesh Office, and has also served as the Department Manager for Underwear Department in company’s Hong Kong production office.

    In 2010 Helmersson moved back to the Head Office in Stockholm, Sweden, and assumed the position as Head of Sustainability at H&M. H&M’s sustainability efforts under Helena Helmersson’s lead have been recognized and awarded for a number of initiatives, including the launch of used garment collection in all H&M stores, the implementation of the fair living wage roadmap, the commitment towards zero discharge of hazardous chemicals (ZDHC) as well as the publication of the company’s supplier list. In 2014 Helmersson was named the most powerful business woman in Sweden by the nation´s leading business magazine. The same year she was named as one of the world´s top fashion shapers by BoF 500.

    In 2015 she moved to Hong Kong to assume the position as Head of Production, being responsible for the H&M Group´s sourcing and purchasing globally. In her position Helmersson is responsible for optimizing the supply chain to be able to deliver the best products to H&M´s customers.

    Helmersson holds a Master of Science Degree in Business Administration and Economics and additionally completed a course on textiles.

  • Mitsuya Inagaki
    Manager, Kowa Company Ltd.
    Mitsuya Inagaki
    Manager, Kowa Company Ltd.

    Building Resilient Cotton Communities | Oct.11

    Mitsuya Inagaki was born in1963. He entered Kowa Company 1987, after he graduated Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan.
    He has worked as a production staff for cotton fabrics for 15 years.  After 1 year R&D of organic textile, he started a small retail shop of organic cotton home textiles in Tokyo, named “Tenerita” in 2003 as a venture business of Kowa. Now Tenerita has 8 retail shops and is known as high quality towels, blanket and garments made by organic cotton in Japan. All the material of Tenerita is arranged and selected by him.
    Mitsuya Inagaki has also worked at Textile Exchange as a board of directors for about 10 years, and had several introduction seminars events for sustainable textiles in Japan. Mitsuya Inagaki is engaged in organic cotton fiber production with 103 farmers at a small village in south India. There were child labors at the village, and now all children can go to school-no child labor, after the project of ACE Japan.

  • Sophie Mather
    Founder & Material Futurist, biov8tion
    Sophie Mather
    Founder & Material Futurist, biov8tion

    Towards a Bio-based Economy | Oct. 11

    Sophie Mather of biov8tion works to inspire and transform the textile industry to a future where processes are eradicated, and performance created without impact to people or planet. With the big picture and longer- term vision in sight, biov8tion embraces challenges as the driver for new innovation. Commercial results are born from the facilitation of multi-stakeholder relations, formed between supply chain partners (raw materials, machine builders, fabric suppliers,) brands, retailers, nonprofits, academics and cross-industry expertise.

    Sophie Mather, Founder, and Material Futurist at biov8tion has over 20 years industrial experience, working on the ground in the EU, USA, and Asia for major global brands, directing innovation and materials.

  • Caroline Reid
    Project Manager Sustainable Development, IKEA
    Caroline Reid
    Project Manager Sustainable Development, IKEA

    Leather and Cashmere: Impacts and Opportunities | Oct. 11

    Since 2015, I’ve been responsible to drive the animal welfare agenda at IKEA: Creating an animal welfare position, as well as working with the supply chain, and the wider industry, to establish traceability for a number of animal materials and address how best to mitigate the risks and secure a good level of animal welfare, as well as social & environmental requirements, at every step of the chain. I have over 10 years’ experience with IKEA covering many areas of sustainability from sustainable transportation, through supplier efficiency & renewable energy, to sustainability programs for a number of key commodities.

  • Hsin Tien Shiao
    Senior Associate, Pacific Institute
    Hsin Tien Shiao
    Senior Associate, Pacific Institute

    Managing Our Way Through a Water Shortfall | Oct. 10

    Tien Shiao joined the Pacific Institute in 2016. She is a Senior Research Associate for the Corporate Sustainability team and has ten years of experience in corporate sustainability, stakeholder engagement, and water risk and stewardship. Tien’s work focuses on innovative solutions for corporate water challenges, encompassing corporate disclosure frameworks and impact metrics. Prior to joining the Pacific Institute, she was responsible for external relations for the Sustainability department at H&M’s Shanghai production office. Before that, she was a Senior Associate for the Water Program at the World Resources Institute, where she managed the global water risk tool, Aqueduct. Tien received a B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor and a Master’s degree in Environmental Management from the Yale University. She is fluent in English and Mandarin.


Thank you to all of our sponsors and exhibitors for a successful 15 years and counting!  Sponsoring the 2017 Textile Exchange Annual Sustainability Conference is one of the best ways to access some of the leading apparel and retail brands in the world and demonstrate your organization’s support for sustainability in the apparel and textile value network.  Join the list of Sponsors below:













applied DNA sciences

Eileen Fisher



Glasgow Caledonian University

Asahi Kasei

HK Taylor Homes


control union

Kowa Company Ltd.

Contributing Sponsors


Hanky Panky



special event tool sponsors

DuPont Sorona


PSP Printing


Printing Sponsor






ITC Accessories






Learn more about sponsorship opportunities at the Textile Sustainability Conference here and reach out to Jeff Willson for more details on how you can get involved.


Check out our 2016 Conference Overview to see how valuable exhibiting at Textile Exchange Sustainabiity Conferences could be for your business. Interested in exhibiting at our 2017 conference? Email for details.


TE Member Passes


*Based on Member Level
  • Welcome Reception
  • Plenaries
  • Workshops
  • Lunch
  • Member Only Event
Register Now!

Registration After June 15


TE Member/Non Member
  • Welcome Reception
  • Plenaries
  • Workshops
  • Lunch
  • Member Only Event

*TE Members are assigned registration ID Codes to receive free pass. Please contact your company representative assigned to Textile Exchange to receive the code or contact us. All Member passes must be used by September 15, to avoid a $100 late registration fee (see below).

Single day passes are also available to TE Members for $600 and to Non members for $800. Click any “Register Now” button on this page and select the Single Day option in registration.

All registrations received after September 15 will include an additional $100 late charge per person to cover expenses incurred from late additions.

All charges are processed in U.S. dollars and must be paid in full by the specified date to secure special pricing.

Hotel Information

The 2017 Textile Sustainability Conference will be held at The William F. Bolger Center in Potomac, Maryland, located 15 minutes outside of Washington, D.C. The William F. Bolger Center provides an ideal setting for both business and leisure travelers visiting the U.S. Capital. Guests enjoy a stunning 83-acre property, complete with 43 acres of award-winning gardens, nature trails, sports courts, and more. All 3 major international airports are within 14-30 miles from the Bolger Center:

  • Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
  • Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
  • Baltimore–Washington International Airport (BWI)

Lodging for our guests will be available at the conference venue for $135 USD per night plus applicable taxes. The number of rooms are limited, guests are encourage to book early to guarantee availability at the conference venue. Textile Exchange recommends that attendees select their own single room due to the small size of each rooms, though limited offerings of rooms with two beds are available.

Please make your hotel reservation on Bolger’s Textile Sustainability Conference reservation site here.  Click the ‘complete registration’ button to select your dates.

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U.S. Visa Information

The United States welcomes visitors from around the world.

The U.S. Department of State’s Visa Wizard is a guide to help foreign citizens understand which visa category might be appropriate for their travel to the United States. It is reccommended to apply for a visa at least three months prior to the Textile Sustainability Conference in October.

If a Visa is required, the conference registration process will collect the required data for Textile Exchange to create a letter of invitation. Submitted conference registration is required for Textile Exchange to provide a letter of invitation.

Please visit the U.S. Department of State’s Visitor Visa website for more information.