JOIN OUR 2017 ORGANIC COTTON ROUND TABLE IN WASHINGTON DC
WHEN: Thursday, October 12, 2017 (following TE’s 2017 Sustainability Conference)
WHERE: The William F. Bolger Center in Potomac, Maryland (15 minutes outside of Washington, D.C.)
REGISTRATION: Click here to register
The Innovation Lab is a celebration of new ideas in organic cotton. It aims to seek out groups or individuals with innovative solutions to break through barriers to growth and address issues in the organic cotton supply chain. Launched in Mumbai in 2015 with eight inspiring Innovators pitching their great ideas, we are now taking applications for the 2017 Innovation Lab in Washington.
WHAT IS THE OCRT?
The Organic Cotton Round Table (OCRT) is a global stakeholder platform that supports and brings together the organic cotton community to be inspired, mobilized, and equipped to act. It also serves as the official in-person meeting place of the Global Organic Cotton Community Platform.
A one-day, in-person meeting is held annually and this year will take place in Washington D.C. on 12 October 2017 following TE’s 2017 Sustainability Conference. Planning is underway for the OCRT 2017 and we look forward to sharing more details soon. In the meantime, you can check out the highlights from the 2016 OCRT in Hamburg here.
New for 2017, TE hosted the first ever Regional OCRT in Izmir, Turkey, on 28 April 2017. Find out more here!
WHAT DOES THE OCRT DO?
OCRT TASK FORCES
The OCRT has three Task Forces that focus on the key challenges to sector stability and sustainable growth. Under these Task Forces, the OCRT has already identified needs for a number of initiatives and has either catalysed, or been an incubator for, their development. Such initiatives include the Organic Cotton Accelerator, Chetna Coalition, a dedicated microsite for organic cotton and an inventory of non-GMO seed availability.
HISTORY OF THE OCRT
There is still much to do to get to the next stage of transforming organic cotton supply chains into organic cotton communities. Interestingly, the situation of declining production and barriers to growth, coupled with the energy and enthusiasm for transforming the cotton sector, in many ways provides the ideal breeding ground for this transformation!
In 2015, the OCRT launched the Innovation Lab, a celebration of new ideas in organic cotton, in collaboration with Change Agency and Luminous Energy.
During the first three years of life (2012-2014), the focus of the OCRT has been an annual in-person meeting of organic cotton producers, manufacturers, brands, retailers and support organizations. Following the inaugural meeting of the OCRT in Hong Kong in 2012, the second annual meeting was held in Istanbul in 2013, the third in Portland in 2014, the forth in Mumbai in 2015, the fifth in Hamburg in 2016, and the sixth will be held in Washington DC in the week of 9 October 2017!
Each year interest has grown and in 2014 the OCRT was able to raise funds to the seed task force and support the incubation of the Organic Cotton Accelerator (OCA) and “ChetCo” (a coalition of brands working with Chetna, an organic cotton producer group); a promising sign that the OCRT can catalyze action pre-competitively. TE decided to invest resources in developing a microsite, which is currently in beta phase.
In 2012, after many years of steady growth, production of organic cotton began to decline. Yet demand for organic cotton fiber continued to grow. In response to the decline, Textile Exchange declared a Call to Action and initiated the Organic Cotton Round Table (OCRT). The inaugural meeting of the OCRT was held as a pre-conference event to the Textile Exchange annual conference in Hong Kong in November of the same year.
A diagnosis of the reasons behind the drop in production – and much stakeholder enquiry – resulted in the OCRT arriving at three main areas of focus. Task forces for “Business Models”, “Seed & Soils”, and “Consumer Engagement” were created with small advisory groups working to develop strategies for action.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Talk To Us
Tell us what you think and share your ideas!
Join Our Annual OCRT Meetings
Participate in our face-to-face meetings and help shape the future of sustainability in fiber production.
Sign Up To Our Task Forces
Together we can build a more sustainable and rewarding business for the organic cotton sector.