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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.

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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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