Most materials in the fashion, textile, and apparel industry are linked to agriculture and oil.

cotton plant.

This applies to cotton, polyester, wool, hemp, viscose, and others, and they’re two of the biggest levers in the challenge to limit global warming and mitigate the impacts of climate change. At the same time, stakeholders all along the supply chain are dependent on these resources. Fashion, textile, and apparel companies rely heavily on land-based raw materials and the health of the ecosystems needed to produce them, as well as non-renewable, fossil-based materials. Sourcing decisions made today will determine the resilience of the industry tomorrow.

Explore materials

Plant Fibers

These fibers include cotton, one of the most popular materials globally, and hemp. Both have qualities that are highly desirable for use in clothing.


Synthetics are made through chemical processes and are often derived from petroleum. Typically durable and waterproof, they account for about half of all fiber usage worldwide.

Manmade Cellulosics

Made from the pulp of trees, manmade cellulosics, or MMCFs, are versatile materials that make for soft, strong garments.


Animal fibers and materials include sheep wool, mohair, cashmere, alpaca, leather, and down. They’ve been used in textiles since prehistoric times.

Our Vision

We’re aiming for a 45% reduction in greenhouse gas by 2030.

At the heart of our organizational strategy is the goal of helping the fashion and textile industry to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that come from fiber production and raw materials by 2030. We call it Climate+.

forest brush with the word climate+ overlaid.

Redefining preferred fibers and materials 

In 2010, we started using the term “preferred” to categorize materials with improved environmental or social outcomes. Now, we’ve raised the bar on how we define it, advocating for production models that deliver measurable, long-lasting benefits for our climate, nature, and people. Our new criteria go beyond business as usual, calling instead for holistic, systemic change. 

light streaming through a forest.

Get the latest data

You can access our latest data on global production volumes for fibers and materials in our Materials Production Dashboard.

white threads being weaved into fabric on industrial loom.