Press

Textile Exchange Releases 2017 Preferred Fiber and Materials Market Report at Annual Textile Sustainability Conference

 

CONTACT: Donna Worley
Director of Communications and Public Relations
+1.806.577.0652 (U.S. Central)
Donna@TextileExchange.org

Download the release here.

            WASHINGTON DC—Textile Exchange, the global non-profit that promotes the adoption of preferred fiber and materials, integrity and standards and responsible supply networks, today officially released its 2017 Preferred Fiber and Materials Market Report, a report that measures and ranks the usage of fiber and materials with improved social or environmental impacts among participating companies. Featuring 95 major textile and apparel companies, including some of the world’s most renowned brands and retailers, it is the largest report released by Textile Exchange to date, representing a 14% increase in participating companies over 2016’s report and a 76% increase over 2015’s.

Key findings in the 2017 report, based on the disclosure of actual consumption data through Textile Exchange’s Preferred Fiber and Materials Benchmark Survey, include that among participating companies:

  • Organic and other preferred cottons represent 47% of total cotton usage.
  • Recycled polyester usage grew by 58%.
  • Lyocell usage grew by 128%.
  • Preferred down (the majority of which is certified to Textile Exchange’s Responsible Down Standard) grew by 54%.
  • More companies are managing a portfolio mix of fibers rather than focusing on an individual one.
  • Companies are beginning to mobilize and gear up for circularity.

“It’s good to report that things are moving in a positive direction, with uptake of preferred fibers rising in all categories, and some showing very significant leaps in usage,” said Liesl Truscott, European & Materials Strategy Director for Textile Exchange. “While value needs to be shared more equitably, it’s clear that our economic system is changing, with a greater focus on circularity and non-financial capital. The language of the Sustainable Development Goals is influencing our industry and it’s good to see the industry get behind the Science Based Targets.”

Textile Exchange’s Managing Director, La Rhea Pepper, said: “It is a combination of interventions that is transforming the industry: company strategies are going beyond concept into full implementation, business models are evolving to support, and technologies are coming online to disrupt current modes of production.  Some would say the industry is not moving fast enough, while others are optimistic about the progress being made. We need both the cynics to nudge us further and the optimists to believe it will happen!”

The report features “leaderboards” that rank company usage across a spectrum of preferred fiber and materials including organic cotton, recycled polyester, lyocell, and more. Global fashion business C&A topped two of the leaderboards. “Being the world’s number one fashion retailer in the use of organic cotton and preferred man-made cellulosics is a great achievement and demonstrates how our sustainable materials strategy is making a difference,” said Jeffrey Hogue, C&A’s Chief Sustainability Officer. “As a significant buyer of agricultural materials like cotton and wood pulp, we are committed to creating better outcomes for farmers, communities and forests.”

Oregon-based Columbia Sportswear tops the list of companies closing the gap between the usage of certified responsible down and conventional down, and placed third in total usage of responsible down amongst the reporting companies. “At Columbia, we value ethical, sustainable manufacturing practices and are committed to assuring our partners share and practice these values,” said Matthew Hoeferlin, Director of Materials Research for Columbia. “By joining the Responsible Down Standard (RDS), we are committed to sourcing 100% responsible down for our entire global product line. By verifying and validating our entire natural down supply chain through RDS, we can ensure that, from farm to final destination, our product meets the industry’s animal welfare guidelines. In just three short seasons, we have sourced over 3.3 M units filled with responsible down. We will continue to work closely with our vendors and manufacturers to promote the importance of animal welfare and adhere to the standard.”

The report’s impact data also shows that adoption of preferred fiber and materials can advance many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs.) In particular SDG 12, which focuses on responsible consumption and production. This is consistent with the report’s findings that nearly 30% of the reporting companies said they are aligning corporate strategy to the SDGs. Textile Exchange believes the adoption of preferred fiber and materials, under internationally recognized standards, offers measurable environmental, social and economic benefits. With its Textile Sustainability Conference—whose theme this year is focused on the SDGs— Textile Exchange has commenced a strategy to mobilize the industry towards advancing the Global Goals and identifying best practices, including the adoption of preferred fiber and materials and standards to ensure the industry is meeting the targets set by the Global Goals.

 

ABOUT TEXTILE EXCHANGE

Textile Exchange, founded in 2002, is a global nonprofit organization that works closely with all sectors of the textile supply chain to find the best ways to create positive impacts on water, soil, air, animals, and the human population created by the textile industry. Textile Exchange accomplishes this by providing the knowledge and tools the industry needs to make significant improvements in three core areas: Fiber and Materials, Integrity and Standards, and Supply Network. A truly global organization, Textile Exchange is headquartered in the U.S. with Staff and Ambassadors located around the world. To learn more about Textile Exchange, visit: www.TextileExchange.org and follow us on Twitter at @TextileExchange.

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Textile Exchange rPET Challenge Fact Sheet

 

CONTACT: Donna Worley
Director of Communications and Public Relations
+1.806.577.0652 (U.S. Central)
Donna@TextileExchange.org

Download the release here.

October 11, 2017, POTOMAC, MD—More than 45 renowned textile, apparel and retail companies—including major brands such as adidas, Dibella, Eileen Fisher, Gap Inc., H&M, IKEA, Lindex, MetaWear, Target and Timberland—have committed or are supporting an increase in their use of Recycled Polyester (rPET) by at least 25% by 2020, it was announced today at Textile Exchange’s annual Textile Sustainability Conference, where more than 500 textile and apparel leaders have come together to discuss the most important sustainability issues facing the industry.

 

The pledge was organized by Textile Exchange, a global non-profit that promotes the adoption of preferred fiber and materials, integrity and standards and responsible supply networks, through its Recycled Polyester Working Group. The participating companies represent the diverse elements of the value chain, including brands, retailers, suppliers and associated industry organizations. “We believe that supporting, on a pre-competitive basis, investment in further developing rPET production around the globe, will lead to more efficient supply chains and increase the availability of more sustainable fiber choices in the market,” said Karla Magruder, Textile Exchange Board Member and Sustainability Consultant, who led the effort through the non-profit’s rPET Working Group.

 

The commitment will be tracked via participation in the Polyester Module of Textile Exchange’s annual Preferred Fiber and Materials Benchmark Survey. The baseline for measuring progress will be the usage published in the 2017 Textile Exchange Preferred Fiber and Materials Market Report (PFMR.) According to the PFMR, participant rPET usage is 47,407 mt. A 25% increase by 2020 is projected to provide the following benefits:

  • 2,868,000,000 bottles diverted from landfill.
  • 35,329,509 kg reduction in human toxicity.
  • 1,849,464 MJ saved on primary energy demand.
  • 122,823 kg reduced Co2.

Sweden-based global furnishings company IKEA is one of the companies that accepted the challenge. “We are committed to use resources with the utmost efficiency and turn waste into resources,” said IKEA Category Area Manager, Textiles Lena Julle, who is globally responsible for all supply chain activities related to textiles and who sets the company’s textile material direction and agenda. “The IKEA ambition is to not use any virgin oil based polyester in textiles by 2030. To commit to use 25% more rPET by 2020 is a natural step towards our ambition.”

New Hampshire-based outdoor lifestyle brand Timberland also signed on. “We’re excited to increase not only the amount of recycled polyester we source, but also the depth of our engagement within the rPET supply chain.” said Zachary Angelini, Timberland’s Environmental Stewardship Manager. “We believe rPET can go beyond environmental impact to have social benefits for vulnerable populations. We’re especially excited to scale the effort through our partnership with Thread, a B Corporation that transforms trash from the developing world into recycled polyester, strategically creating transparent and dignified supply chains in Haiti, Honduras and Taiwan.”

The ultimate goal is to substantially increase the global availability of rPET, and drive rPET production efficiencies ultimately making it more accessible to all. In addition, Magruder said, the Working Group seeks to identify and support more sustainable practices under Sustainable Development Goal 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), which encourages “industries, businesses and consumers to recycle and reduce waste.”

Reducing the use of virgin polyester, which is made from non-renewable feedstocks, will favorably impact SDG Target 12.2 designed to achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources, including reducing material footprint under SDG Target 12.2.1.

 

 

ABOUT TEXTILE EXCHANGE

Textile Exchange, founded in 2002, is a global nonprofit organization that works closely with all sectors of the textile supply chain to find the best ways to create positive impacts on water, soil, air, animals, and the human population created by the textile industry. Textile Exchange accomplishes this by providing the knowledge and tools the industry needs to make significant improvements in three core areas: Fiber and Materials, Integrity and Standards, and Supply Network. A truly global organization, Textile Exchange is headquartered in the U.S. with Staff and Ambassadors located around the world. To learn more about Textile Exchange, visit: www.TextileExchange.org and follow us on Twitter at @TextileExchange.

 

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Over 36 major brands pledge to achieve sustainable cotton by 2025 

 

CONTACT: Donna Worley
Director of Communications and Public Relations
+1.806.577.0652 (U.S. Central)
Donna@TextileExchange.org

Download the release here.

WASHINGTON DC – 23 more of the world’s most renowned clothing and textile companies, including Burberry, Adidas, Kathmandu and Timberland today pledged to use 100% sustainable cotton by 2025[1].   36 major brands and retailers have now signed up to the 100% by 2025 pledge, including four of Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s ten largest global apparel brands[2], and three of the top 10 UK clothing retailers.[3]  This announcement was made at the annual Textile Exchange Sustainability Conference, where more than 400 textile and apparel leaders have come together to discuss the most important sustainability issues facing the industry.

 

This pledge – called the sustainable cotton communiqué – demonstrates that there is a demand for more sustainable cotton, and the commitment made by companies will help to drive sustainable practices across the sector. In turn, this will help alleviate the environmental and social costs that are too often associated with cotton production, including the over-use of pesticides, the release of greenhouse gases, the depletion of local water sources and rising costs of production.

 

The brands that have committed to the 100% by 2025 pledge are: ASOS,  EILEEN FISHER, Greenfibres, H&M, IKEA, Kering, Levi’s, Lindex, M&S, Nike, Sainsbury’s, F&F at Tesco,  Woolworths, Adidas, A-Z, BikBOk, Burberry, Burton Snowboards, Carlings, Coyuchi, Cubus, Days like This, Dressmann, Hanky Panky, House of Fraser, Indigenous Designs, KappAhl, Kathmandu, Mantis World, MetaWear, Otto Group, prAna, SkunkFunk,  Timberland, Urban, Volt and Wow.

 

Impact

There have been substantial gains made over the past few years in scaling the production of more sustainable forms of cotton, which is now higher than ever at over 3 million tonnes in 2016. However, companies are actively sourcing less than a fifth of this available sustainable cotton. [4] In order for sustainable cotton to become standard business practice, the amount of sustainable cotton grown and bought must increase significantly. This pledge sends a signal to millions of producers that there is a real demand for a more sustainable approach to cotton production that reduces the environmental and social costs.

The companies that have pledged their support are at various stages on their journey to using sustainable cotton, with some already securing all of their cotton from sustainable sources. However, all are clear that collaboration across the sector is needed to bring about transformative change.

 

Quotes from selected companies and NGO representatives:

“The industry is awakening to the necessity of sustainably grown cotton. It is great to see additional brands joining this initiative to accelerate the momentum of cotton production in a way that will positively impact smallholder farmers, water quality and soil health.” La Rhea Pepper, Managing Director, Textile Exchange

 

“As a pioneer in organic cotton bedding, Coyuchi cares immensely about what our sheets, towels and apparel are made of and its greater impact on the environment and the hands that touch it from earth to factory to home. Coyuchi is excited to join the pledge and the growing momentum by likeminded brands committed to a more sustainable future.” Eileen Mockus, CEO, Coyuchi

 

“Burton has a responsibility to protect the people and playground that sustain our sport and lifestyle. We recognize that there are social and environmental costs associated with producing our products. We are continuously striving toward sustainability in our production practices, including the materials we source. Burton is proud to join other industry leaders in this pledge, which is aligned with our commitment to sourcing 100% sustainable cotton by 2020.” Donna Carpenter, CEO and Co-owner, Burton Snowboards

 

“It’s been a long journey to reach 100% organic cotton. Kudos to all the prAna employees & global supply chain partners who put in countless hours. We couldn’t be more ecstatic about this sustainability milestone!” Russ Hopcus, President, prAna

“House of Fraser supports the Sustainable Cotton Communiqué as part of our shift to sourcing sustainable cotton in our house branded fashion and homeware products. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate to scale the uptake of sustainable materials in fashion, and applaud HRH The Prince of Wales for his leadership.” Maria Hollins, Executive Director of Buying and Design, House of Fraser   

 

“At Timberland, we strive to be Earthkeepers in everything we do and we recognize sustainable cotton sourcing as a major part of that goal. Studies have shown the positive social benefits to farming communities as well as the potential for these practices to sequester carbon into the soil. This is exciting work as we move beyond just minimizing environmental impacts to strategically creating real environmental and social benefits within the supply chain.” Zachary Angelini, Environmental Stewardship Manager, Timberland

 

Notes to Editors

This announcement, made at the annual Textile Exchange conference, follows the launch of the sustainable cotton communiqué at a high level meeting in May this year that was attended by HRH The Prince of Wales and organised by The Prince’s International Sustainability Unit (ISU) in collaboration with Marks & Spencer and The Soil Association (UK).

 

Information about cotton and sustainability

Cotton is the most abundantly produced natural fibre and its production supports the livelihoods of over 350 million people[5].  Despite its global importance, cotton production can be beset by a number of environmental and social challenges. Whilst cotton only covers 2.4% of the world’s arable land, it accounts for 6% of global pesticide use[6]. With around 2,720 litres of water needed to make just one t-shirt, conventional cotton production is highly dependent on water[7]. Higher temperatures and changing rainfall patterns caused by climate change are likely to cause severe water shortages in some areas, as well as increase the prevalence of pests and diseases, negatively affect yields. The challenges of the cotton sector are also social and economic, with cotton farmers and their dependents negatively impacted by the over-use of pesticides and petroleum based fertilizers, and rising costs of production and volatile market prices.

More information, including the full text of the sustainable cotton communiqué, is available on the ISU website: www.pcfisu.org/sustainable-cotton.

 

About Textile Exchange

Textile Exchange, founded in 2002, is a global nonprofit organization that works closely with all sectors of the textile supply chain to find the best ways to minimize and even reverse the negative impacts on water, soil, air, animals, and the human population created by this industry. Textile Exchange accomplishes this by providing the knowledge and tools the industry needs to make significant improvements in three core areas: Fiber and Materials, Integrity and Standards, and Supply Chain. A truly global organization, Textile Exchange is headquartered in the U.S. with Staff and Ambassadors located in more than 10 countries. To learn more about Textile Exchange, visit: www.TextileExchange.org and Twitter at @TextileExchange.

 

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[1] . This initiative recognises several existing standards as delivering sustainable cotton: Organic, Fairtrade, Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), Cotton Made in Africa and recycled cotton certified to an independently verifiable standard such as the Global Recycled Standard (GRS) or the Recycled Claim Standard (RCS). In addition, CottonConnect’s REEL programme and code provides a starting point for businesses aiming for greater sustainability in their cotton supply chain.

[2] Nike, H&M, Kering and Addidas. https://www.forbes.com/pictures/574381cb4bbe6f6361857bbb/vf/#146d78e07223

[3] 2015/2016. M&S, Tesco and H&M. https://www.retaileconomics.co.uk/top10-retailers-clothing-and-footwear

[4] WWF-Solidaridad-PAN UK, Cotton Ranking Report, 2016

[5] Fairtrade Foundation, Commodity Briefing: Cotton, 2015

[6] Pesticide Action Network UK, 2017: http://www.pan-uk.org/cotton/

[7] Fairtrade Foundation, Commodity Briefing: Cotton, 2015

 

TextileExchange Releases Globally Recognized Recycling Standards

Recycled Claim Standard 2.0 and Global Recycled Standard 4.0 have both been revised and re-released with significant updates that strengthen them

CONTACT: Donna Worley
Director of Marketing Communications and Public Relations
+1.806.577.0652 (U.S. Central)
Donna@TextileExchange.org

Download the Press Release Here

Lamesa, Texas: Textile Exchange proudly announces the release of Recycled Claim Standard 2.0 (RCS) and Global Recycled Standard 4.0 (GRS). The newly revised versions of these #GlobalRecycled standards include updates that solidify the RCS and GRS as the leading standards for recycled materials in the apparel industry and ensure continued growth in other industries, including metal, plastics, electronics, packaging and beyond.

Over the past year, a group of stakeholders was convened to review Textile Exchange’s recycled standards. The International Working Group (IWG), led by Textile Exchange, included recyclers, manufacturers of recycled product, other recycled standard owners, brand and retail users of the standards, and certification bodies. Companies, including Unifi, Geentanjali Woolens, Hohenstein, H&M, and Global Organic Textile Standard were among the working group members.

“It was my honour being a part of the IWG for revision of the RCS & GRS Standards. The entire process was extremely democratic; everyone’s comments and suggestions were considered debated and then finalised. I thoroughly enjoyed dedicating my time to the IWG. The final standards are excellent, precise and address most of the processes and concerns involved in Recycling. We are confident that the implementation of the new RCS 2.0 and GRS 4.0 will encourage a lot more manufacturers to apply for certification making it more globally accepted.”

-Deepak Goel, Geetnajali Woolens, PVT LTD.

The Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) and Global Recycled Standard (GRS) provide verification of recycled materials, and then track the material through to the final product. The GRS includes additional social, environmental and chemical processing requirements. In 2016, the number of units certified to the GRS grew from 595 to 961, a growth of over 60%. The RCS saw an almost 200% jump from 78 units in 2015 to 220 in 2016.

Key Changes to the #GlobalRecycled Standards

A key change in both standards is the introduction of the Reclaimed Materials Supplier Agreement. This document provides more visibility to the suppliers of reclaimed materials. Guidelines have been introduced for added clarity and consistency of recycling claims, including post-consumer and pre-consumer.

A key change in the Global Recycled Standard is the adoption of ZDHC’s Manufacturing Restricted Substance List v1.1 (MRSL) (http://www.roadmaptozero.com/programme/manufacturing-restricted-substances-list-mrsl-conformity-guidance/). The MRSL has been developed by the industry to address intentional use of potentially hazardous substances. The MRSL will replace GRS’s previous Prohibited Substance List. The Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Programme takes a holistic approach to tackling the issue of hazardous chemicals in the global textile, leather and footwear value chain.

Other changes and additions include new examples of accepted recycled inputs, updated wastewater limits, and clarifications. You can read more details about the changes online: www.TextileExchange.org/Integrity.

Companies currently certified to one of the standards will be required to comply with the new versions by July 1, 2018. A list of approved Certification Bodies, currently certified companies, and all related documents are available on Textile Exchange’s website: www.TextileExchange.org/Integrity.

About Textile Exchange: Textile Exchange, founded in 2002, is a global nonprofit organization that works closely with all sectors of the textile supply chain to find the best ways to create positive impacts on water, soil, air, animals, and the human population created by the textile industry. Textile Exchange accomplishes this by providing the knowledge and tools the industry needs to make significant improvements in three core areas: Fiber and Materials, Integrity and Standards, and Supply Network. A truly global organization, Textile Exchange is headquartered in the U.S. with Staff and Ambassadors located around the world. To learn more about Textile Exchange, visit: www.TextileExchange.org and follow us on Twitter at @TextileExchange.

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Speakers Announced for @TextileExchange’s Textile Sustainability Conference: Catalyzing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Industry thought leaders from around the globe will gather in Washington, D.C., Oct. 9-13, 2017 to create action and develop a 2030 roadmap for the textile industry.

CONTACT: Donna Worley
Director of Marketing Communications and Public Relations
+1.806.577.0652 (U.S. Central)
Donna@TextileExchange.org

Download the Press Release Here

Meet Apparel and Retail Industry Leaders at #TExtileConf

Textile Exchange prepares to welcome over 400 leaders from the textile and apparel industry for its annual Textile Sustainability Conference. The 2017 conference is a global event taking place in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 9-13 with a theme of United by Action: Catalyzing the Sustainable Development Goals in Textiles. Textile Exchange is pleased to announce an initial list of speakers participating in this event to discuss current sustainability issues, including how to engage with the United Nations #SDGs and the #GlobalGoals.

On the brand and retail side, the conference will feature:

  • Ariane Grazian, Sr. Manager of General Merchandise Sustainability, Walmart
  • Helena Helmersson, Global Head of Production for H&M
  • Jeffrey Hogue, Chief Sustainability Officer, C&A
  • Caroline Reid, Project Manager Sustainable Development, IKEA

Textile Exchange is also honored to announce that Justin Mundy, Director of HRH The Prince of Wales International Sustainability Unit will join us for a special presentation on October 11, 2017 on Scaling the Use of Sustainable Cotton. He will be joined by representatives from the Sustainable Cotton Initiatives.

Leading Suppliers such as Shreyaskar Chaudhary, Managing Director, Pratibha Syntex Limited and Jose Fernandez, Global Merino will also be presenting.

Learn About Innovations and Stakeholder Initiatives Delivering on the #SDGs Innovative ideas will be offered by:

  • Dr. Maurizio Crippa, CEO, gr3n
  • Karin Ekberg, CEO, Leadership & Sustainability
  • Tim Greiner, Co-founder and Managing Director, Pure Strategies, Inc.
  • Dr. Jung Ha-Brookshire, Assoc. Dean for Research & Graduate Studies of College of Human Environmental Sciences & Assoc. Prof. of Textile & Apparel Mgt, Univ. of Missouri
  • Karla Magruder, Founder & Textile Consultant, Fabrikology International
  • MeiLin Wan, Vice President Textiles, Applied DNA Sciences
  • Sophie Mather, Material Futurist, BIOV8TION
  • Maggie Kervick, Director of Communications & Outreach, GCNYC Fair Fashion Center

And, industry stakeholders will include:

  • Traci Kinden, Textile Program, Circular Economy
  • Alyson Genovese, GRI’s Head of Corporate/Stakeholder Relations for North America
  • Dr. Timo Hammer, CEO, WKI Hohenstein Group
  • Yuka Iwatsuki, President/Co-founder, Action against Child Exploitation (ACE)
  • Andre Leu, President of IFOAM-Organics International
  • Patrick Mallet, Innovations Director of ISEAL Alliance
  • Ruth Mathews, Chief Policy Advisor, Water Footprint Network
  • Tien Shiao, Senior Associate, Pacific Institute

More About the Conference

A special Textile Exchange Member-Only Breakfast will feature Andrew Winston, a globally recognized expert on green business and author of Green Recovery and Green to Gold. A current list of speakers is available on the conference website and will be updated as additional speakers are confirmed. Follow #TExtileConf for updates on speakers joining us for the conference.

The Agenda structure offers two full conference days, and additional pre- and post-conference days dedicated to in-depth workshops. The series of workshops take the audience through multiple sessions of insight and information. Attendees will leave with actionable solutions they can immediately implement into their daily business. After attending Textile Exchange’s 2016 conference, Nicole Bassett, Co-Founder, The Renewal Workshop said, “I always walk away from the Textile Exchange global conference with a deep understanding of the newest ideas, innovations and companies in sustainability in the textile industry. The conference gives the opportunity for great networking and developing business relationships.”

Textile Exchange #CreatingMaterialChange for 15 Years!

In its 15th year of #CreatingMaterialChange, Textile Exchange will kick-off its annual conference with an anniversary celebration to honor its founding members who recognized the need for a leading collaborative organization to drive industry transformation. “Through their annual conference, Textile Exchange provides a much needed space for everyone to work together, because this type of collaboration and collective action is what will drive transformational change within apparel supply chains globally.” – Scott Leonard, Founding Member of Textile Exchange and CEO of INDIGENOUS and a member of the C&A Foundation Investment Committee. For more information about the conference and to register to attend, visit: http://textileexchange.org/2017-textile-sustainability-conference/.

About Textile Exchange: Textile Exchange, founded in 2002, is a global nonprofit organization that works closely with all sectors of the textile supply chain to find the best ways to create positive impacts on water, soil, air, animals, and the human population created by the textile industry. Textile Exchange accomplishes this by providing the knowledge and tools the industry needs to make significant improvements in three core areas: Fiber and Materials, Integrity and Standards, and Supply Network. A truly global organization, Textile Exchange is headquartered in the U.S. with Staff and Ambassadors located around the world. To learn more about Textile Exchange, visit: www.TextileExchange.org and follow us on Twitter at @TextileExchange.

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What You Wear Matters! Quick Guide to Organic Cotton

A Fact Sheet on Organic Cotton – Lower Impacts for Agriculture and Apparel Industries.

CONTACT: Donna Worley
Director of Marketing Communications and Public Relations
+1.806.577.0652 (U.S. Central)
Donna@TextileExchange.org

Download the Press Release Here

View the CSRwire Release Here

Lamesa, Texas – Textile Exchange, publisher of the Organic Cotton Market Report, releases Quick Guide to Organic Cotton, an overview of the positive impacts of organic cotton, including frequently asked questions and supporting facts that indicate organic cotton is the preferred fiber choice compared to its chemically produced counterpart.

“The Quick Guide to Organic Cotton, highlights the benefit of organic production as a pathway to restorative, resilient and regenerative landscapes and communities,” notes La Rhea Pepper, the Managing Director of Textile Exchange. “Cotton production has evolved over the last 15 years,” Pepper said, and “greater awareness of the health, economic and environmental benefits of organic farming practices by farmers and buyers has influenced corresponding improvements in many cotton production systems, including the input intensive practices of chemically grown cotton.” According to its Preferred Fiber and Materials Market Report, Textile Exchange reports that adoption of preferred cotton production methods has grown to 8.6% of the cotton market but organic cotton, in general, continues to have the lowest environmental impacts.

Textile Exchange’s Quick Guide to Organic Cotton includes the latest research from expert sources to create a comprehensive resource for the industry and media. The current research work reveals three top reasons to support the expansion of organic cotton agriculture:

 

  1. The Health and Environmental Impacts of Pesticides Must Be Acknowledged in a Comparison of Organic and Chemically Grown Cotton Production.

According to the USDA’s National Organic Program, organic farming is defined as:

“the application of a set of cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that support the cycling of on-farm resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. These include maintaining or enhancing soil and water quality; conserving wetlands, woodlands, and wildlife; and avoiding use of synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering.”

Organic cotton is grown without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides or fertilizers while chemical cotton is dependent on both. According to the Pesticide Action Network UK, “cotton crops cover 2.4% of the world’s cultivated land but use 6% of the world’s pesticides, more than any other single major crop.”

There is an overwhelming body of research showing higher incidents of serious diseases and development problems from exposure to agricultural chemicals or physical proximity to chemical-based farming communities. The Agricultural Health Study, funded by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, is one of the largest ongoing health studies with over 89,000 participants from farming communities and reveals higher incidents of cancer (including prostate cancer), Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, thyroid disease and asthma.

 

  1. What About Yields?

A favorite argument in support of chemical agriculture is that the yields are higher.

Carl quote

Chemically intensive agriculture, especially in irrigated systems, push the ecosystem year-on-year for higher yields. This requires the use of an ever-increasing amount of chemical inputs, including growth regulators.

 

  1. A Reality Check About Water and Cotton.

It is well established that cotton agriculture and apparel manufacturing, in general, require significant amounts of water. Whether the cotton is grown with chemicals, or organically, each farm and geographic region of the world will have different water usage and impacts. However, the notion that chemical cotton uses less water than organic cotton is false. Textile Exchange initiated a peer-reviewed Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) on organically grown cotton that uses the same methodology and the same LCA consultancy as was used for chemically grown cotton to ensure the most reliable information to base comparisons. Based on the LCA findings, organic production of cotton for an average sized t-shirt resulted in a savings of 1,982 gallons of water compared to the results of chemically grown cotton.

The real issue about water is pollution. Toxic chemicals used in conventional cotton production are poisoning the very water it claims to save.

 

What Can Consumers Do to Influence Improvements in Cotton Agriculture and Apparel Manufacturing?

“Textile Exchange believes that consumers who care about the environment and the farming communities which produce the cotton for their clothing, should support brands and retailers using organic and preferred cotton,” advocates Ms. Liesl Truscott, Materials Strategy Director for Textile Exchange. The latest Organic Cotton Market Report produced by Textile Exchange reveals the Top 10 users of organic cotton by volume:

  1. C&A
  2. H&M
  3. Tchibo
  4. Inditex
  5. Nike, Inc.
  6. Decathlon
  7. Carrefour
  8. Lindex
  9. Williams-Sonoma, Inc.
  10. Stanley and Stella

Textile Exchange, whose 200+ members represent leading brands and retailers in the global apparel and textile industry, has been working alongside organic cotton stakeholders for 15 years. Other companies with organic cotton programs are also revealed in the full report.

 

Brands and Retailers Interested in Organic Cotton Should Benchmark Their Usage Against the Industry.

The Preferred Fiber and Materials Benchmark (PFM Benchmark) provides a robust structure to help companies systematically measure, manage and integrate a preferred fiber and materials strategy into mainstream business operations, to compare progress with the sector, and to transparently communicate performance and progress to stakeholders. A preferred fiber is defined by Textile Exchange as a fiber, material or product that is ecologically and socially progressive; one that has been selected because it has more sustainable properties in comparison to other options. Organic cotton is a preferred fiber based on its lower impacts as reported in Textile Exchange’s Material Snapshot on Organic Cotton.

Companies follow a self-assessment process intended to help identify the strengths and the gaps where future progress can be made. By comparing section scores with those achieved by the whole sector, companies can plan improvement efforts and prioritize action areas. Key indicators (inputs, outcomes, and impacts) of the PFM Benchmark are monitored through a Barometer of Progress and align with Sustainable Development Goal #12: Ensuring sustainable consumption and production and supporting sustainable agriculture under Sustainable Development Goal #2. See Textile Exchange’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals here.

Additionally, Textile Exchange hosts various preferred fiber working groups (including the Organic Cotton Round Table (OCRT)) with an upcoming meeting being held at its annual Textile Sustainability Conference during the week of October 9th outside of Washington, D.C. The Agenda for the preferred fiber working groups and OCRT is available here.

 

About Textile Exchange: Textile Exchange, founded in 2002, is a global nonprofit organization that works closely with all sectors of the textile supply chain to find the best ways to create positive impacts on water, soil, air, animals, and the human population created by the textile industry. Textile Exchange accomplishes this by providing the knowledge and tools the industry needs to make significant improvements in three core areas: Fiber and Materials, Integrity and Standards, and Supply Chain. A truly global organization, Textile Exchange is headquartered in the U.S. with Staff and Ambassadors located around the world. To learn more about Textile Exchange, visit: www.TextileExchange.org and follow us on Twitter at @TextileExchange.

 

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Just released! The 2016 Preferred Fiber and Materials Industry Benchmark Report shows companies are setting ambitious targets for uptake of more sustainable raw materials. 

View Press Release Here

Lamesa, Texas [March 27, 2017] 71 Companies have stepped up to the mark and put themselves forward for benchmarking against their peers and competitors in the Textile Exchange Preferred Fiber & Materials (PFM) Benchmark Program, linking their efforts to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

61% of companies have set targets for switching to a more sustainable source of cotton, three quarters having a specific target for organic. Liesl Truscott, Materials Strategy Director for Textile Exchange said:

“Millions of people – cotton farmers, foresters, and other textile feedstock providers – form the base of the textile supply network and are impacted by the decisions brands and retailers make every day. Influencing improvement in fiber and material production is one of the greatest opportunities textile brands and retailers can contribute to securing a sustainable future. “

“Preferred” is another way of saying “more sustainable.” Textile Exchange defines a “preferred” fiber or material (PFM) as one that is ecologically and socially progressive and has been selected because it has more sustainable properties in comparison to conventional options.
“The mix of fibers in your product range can be just as important as the sustainability profile of each fiber,” Truscott added. “It’s great to have a forward-thinking cotton program, but if most of your range is synthetic you should be concentrating on recycled choices. Our benchmarking will point companies towards that.”

Textile Exchange recommends a “portfolio approach,” building a suite of preferred fiber and materials from a choice of preferred options, through the consideration of impacts and product range priorities. The goal is that PFMs are produced to a globally accepted standard, with strict criteria that qualifies the product as preferred, and can be traced through the supply chain.

Nanda Bergstein, Head of Vendor Relations & Sustainability (Non Food) for Tchibo, said “Our goal of a 100% sustainable business model challenges us to think about completely new, innovative models of doing business. One of them is our partnership with the Appachi ECO-LOGIC Cotton Project in India which brings together a value chain from the farmers to the customers. The key is the partnership and working together – and we see this as pivotal for the entire industry.

This is why we are proud to support the Preferred Fiber and Materials Benchmark. It is not only a tool to benchmark our individual progress as a company within the index community, it also creates motivation for the industry to increase the conversion from conventional into sustainable materials and products.”

71 companies (up from 57 last year), ranging from adidas to Woolworths, completed a bespoke online survey and have received confidential Company Feedback Reports revealing their individual results. An Industry Report – containing the combined results of all participating companies – is to be released this week.

CONTACT: Donna Worley
Director of Marketing Communications and Public Relations
+1.806.577.0652 (U.S. Central)
Donna@TextileExchange.org

View Press Release Here

Lubbock, TX [March 16, 2017] The Global Organic Textile Standard, Organic Trade Association, and Textile Exchange are coordinating a free webinar to provide the industry with guidance on labeling textiles that contain organic material for sale in the United States. Any company with product sold in the United States or that is planning to begin sales in the U.S. is invited to attend the webinar.

In this free webinar, learn more about U.S. regulations for organic textile labeling, different kinds of organic claims, and how the Organic Content Standard (OCS) and Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) can be used to help support labeling organic textiles.

Government regulation on the labeling of organic textiles falls under the Federal Trade Commission’s truth in advertising guidelines and the definition of organic as presented in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program. However, there remains confusion about labeling language and how brands can provide verification of compliance.

The Organic Trade Association’s Vice President of Regulatory & Technical Affairs, Gwendolyn Wyard will explain the U.S. regulations for organic labeling with a focus on textiles. Lori Wyman, the GOTS North American Representative, will speak about GOTS and the claims allowed for GOTS certified organic products. Textile Exchange’s Ashley Gill, Integrity Specialist, will cover the OCS and raw material content claims.

The webinar will take place two times on Tuesday, April 11, to allow attendees from Europe, Asia, and North America to take part:
• 10 a.m. Eastern, 3 p.m. GMT, p.m. CET, and 10 p.m. China
• 12 Noon Pacific, 2 p.m. Central, and 3 p.m. Eastern

While the webinar is intended to provide some guidance, attendees should not interpret any information presented as legal advice, or as representative of the FTC or USDA.

Click here to register for the Europe webinar, offered at 3 p.m. GMT, 4 p.m. CET, and 10 p.m. China:

Click here to register for the North American webinar, offered at 12 Noon Pacific, 2 p.m. Central, and 3 p.m. Eastern

CONTACT: Donna Worley
Director of Marketing Communications and Public Relations
+1.806.577.0652 (U.S. Central)
Donna@TextileExchange.org

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