2021 Ryan Young Climate+ Awards

2021 Ryan Young Climate+ Awards 1

About Ryan Young

From the field to finished products, textile production practices have contributed to the destruction of our fragile atmosphere, altered biodiversity, and affected both the availability and quality of precious water.

Recognizing the International Panel on Climate Change’s warning that before 2030 we must halve emissions from textile production to avoid dangerous impacts from climate changeRyan Young, Textile Exchange’s Chief Operating Officer from 2017 to late 2020, led the charge to create our ambitious 2030 strategy: Climate+ (pronounced “Climate-Plus”).

With this strategy, Textile Exchange will be the driving force for urgent climate action in the textile sector with a goal of 45% reduced greenhouse gas emissions from textile fiber and material production by 2030.

The “+” in Climate+ allows Textile Exchange to prioritize climate while continuing to address other impact areas that are closely interconnected with climate, including water, biodiversity, and soil health.

The “+” also is an acknowledgment that Textile Exchange cannot achieve this new 2030 goal on its own. Achieving the goal will require strong partnershipsto accelerate the adoption of existing tools as well as enable disruptive innovation around new business models and zero-carbon materials.

Unfortunately, Ryan passed away from brain cancer in 2020 before he could see the fruits of his bold vision become reality.

Award Details

Ryan strongly believed that “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” To honor him and his vision, Textile Exchange will annually announce Ryan Young Climate+ Awards. Three winners within the textile supply network will be announced at our 2021 Textile Sustainability Conference, which takes place November 15-19 in Dublin, Ireland and virtually:

  • Two “Climate Leader” awards will be given for overall commitment to meeting the Climate+ strategy goals. Climate Leaders may be an individual, team, or department within an organization.
  • If the nomination is for a group (department, team, organization, etc.) please submit the name of the person who would receive the award on the group’s behalf.
  • The third award will be given to a “Rising Star”- an individual who shows initiative, action and leadership in sustainability beyond their experience level.
  • Zero-three years working in the sustainability space is preferred.

Textile network nominees may include farmers and/or ranchers, consultants, raw material suppliers, manufacturers, brands and/or retailers from around the world who have demonstrated leadership and vision in the effort to develop industry climate solutions in 2020.

Members of the Textile Exchange staff and Governance Board will review the nominations. Winners will receive one free full-access conference pass (travel not included). If the winner is already registered for the conference, they may bring a +1 or credit their pass to the 2022 Textile Sustainability Conference (location TBD).


In granting the awards, Textile Exchange will consider leaders who demonstrated a strong commitment to Climate+ in 2020 and reflect Ryan Young’s vision and determination to collaboratively move the textile sector forward. Nominees must have:

  1. Driven innovative, scalable, and transparent programs that provided measurable impact reduction in the areas of climate, water, soil health, and/or biodiversity at the raw materials level.
  2. Demonstrated collaboration while both inspiring and equipping colleagues and the entire textile supply network to make the hard decisions that move us closer to our Climate+ goals.


Nominations may be submitted here from any Textile Exchange member company. Self-nominations and nominations of teams are welcome (nominations may not be made anonymously). If the nomination is for a group (department, team, organization, etc.), please note the name of the individual, leader/representative, who would receive the award on the group’s behalf at the conference.

Please also submit two short letters of endorsement to the nomination addressing the questions outlined in the criteria. You will find all additional directions for submissions in the nomination form link.

The nominations deadline is Thursday, July 1, 2021.

Questions? Please contact Grace Lorig at Grace@TextileExchange.org

Apply Here