Textile Exchange Team

Team Members

Team 1

Alice Dos Santos

Organic Cotton, Program Senior Coordinator

Alice has a background in agroecology and rural development. She has been involved in local projects with Swiss farmers but also worked at European and international level. She joined the Fiber & Materials team as Organic Cotton Program Coordinator in 2019. Prior to that she did an internship at Textile Exchange during her Bachelor in 2013 and participated in several Organic Cotton Round Tables. Her current work focuses on activities related to organic and preferred cottons. She holds a MSc from Wageningen University in Development and Rural Innovation with a Minor in Agroecology and a double-degree Bachelor in Agricultural Sciences and in International Development Management.
Team 2

Alli Hunter

Membership and Corporate Engagement Coordinator

Alli Hunter joined Textile Exchange in 2021 after redirecting her focus from foreign policy to fashion. Her interest in fashion started with the study of history, evolved through an admiration for classic films, and truly blossomed when she took up sewing during the pandemic. With a separate passion for geopolitics and culture, she spent a semester in Bulgaria and traveled extensively through Europe, earning her B.A. in International Relations from Roanoke College in 2019. From there, she began at a Washington, DC think tank, providing administrative and event assistance for foreign policy experts. She believes that creativity and service are the keys to a fulfilling life, thus she decided to find a career complementary to those values. Sewing introduced her to the world of sustainable fashion, and she’s honored to foster this practice on the Membership Team with Textile Exchange. For leisure, she enjoys finding pianos in empty ballrooms, making dresses to frolic in, and cultivating a home with her husband and cat
Team 3

Amber Young

Finance, Cash Flow Manager

Amber joined Textile Exchange in 2014 as the Financial & Program Coordinator. She has experience in multiple industries including retail, hospitality, farming and real estate. She has assisted start-ups and worked with all aspects of small businesses. Amber graduated in 2001 from Wyoming University with a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Finance and a Minor in Economics.
Team 4

Amish Gosai

Supply Network and South Asia, Senior Manager

Amish has more than 15 years of Sustainability experience – Sustainable Textile/fashion & food, Innovative sourcing practices, circular products & recycling, animal welfare, Chain of Custody, Traceability tools, and assurance. He studied a Bachelor of Engineering in Textile and his MBA in Luxury Goods and Fashion Industry from Mod’Art International Paris, France. He works with Raw material producer on a farm, with the Textile industry, with Brands and retailers, and currently working as South Asia Manager for Textile Exchange and leading Chain of Custody, Traceability & South Asia
Team 5

Ana Garzon

Assurance and Operations Manager

Ana brings 14 years of experience in assurance and operations management from roles with social and environmental standards systems including the Rainforest Alliance and the ISEAL Alliance. In the years prior to joining Textile Exchange, she founded and led a consultancy focused on supporting sustainability systems in the delivery of impacts using enhanced assurance and data governance best practices. She supports the Assurance and Operations team in implementing system management innovations to optimize Textile Exchange’s operations assurance systems, including support for data governance program implementation
Anna_Heaton

Anna Heaton

Fiber and Materials Strategy Lead, Animal Materials

Anna Heaton’s passion is animal welfare. She has worked internationally on animal welfare and sustainable livestock management for over 15 years. Before joining Textile Exchange, she developed and helped implement numerous standards across a wide range of animal species for both the food and fashion sectors. This included consultancy work for Textile Exchange on the Responsible Wool Standard, Responsible Mohair Standard, and Responsible Animal Standard. Anna has also collaborated with Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network on standards for wildlife friendly farming and tourism. In the UK Anna has a history of working directly with farmers and farmer groups on organic and regenerative land management.
Team 6

Anne Gillespie

Impact Acceleration, Director

Anne is the Director of Impact Acceleration for Textile Exchange and is leading the work on the Leather Impact Accelerator, Impact Incentives, the Responsible Leather Round Table, the Responsible Cashmere Round Table, and the International Buyers Group. In her previous role as Director of Industry Integrity for Textile Exchange, she led the Integrity Team in the development and management of the Textile Exchange suite of global standards. Anne has over 15 years of experience working with retail, including 10 years as a product manager at Mountain Equipment Co-op where she converted their cotton program to organic. In 2005, she co-founded Continuum Textiles, a sales agency representing socially and environmentally responsible textile products. Anne has been engaged with Organic Exchange and Textile Exchange in multiple roles since the organization was founded in 2002. Member of the Senior Advisory Team.
Team 7

Ashley Gill

Standards & Stakeholder Engagement, Sr. Director

Ashley Gill grew up on a cotton farm in Texas and spent time as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural West Africa before joining Textile Exchange in 2010. After spending time in various roles of the organization, Ashley has been working on the Textile Exchange standards since 2012, starting with the first International Working Group for the Global Recycled Standard. Since then, she has led RCS and GRS, the Responsible Down Standard and helped to drive our standard-setting process. She has supported dozens of companies in their use of standards and labeling claims. Ashley has also been engaged in aligning the organization’s strategy across all platforms of work. Member of the Senior Advisory Team.
audra

Audra Bright

HR and Internal Sytems, Senior Manager

Audra has worked in management for about a decade, from a classroom to a medical clinic. Human resources has been a focus the last couple of years -getting to know the ins and outs of employees, programs, and legal processes. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Colorado State University- Pueblo with minors in sociology and French. She is a certified paralegal with a concentration in contracts and employment law. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her rambunctious son and husband; she also enjoys traveling, the outdoors, and philanthropy.
Beth Jensen Team Member Portrait

Beth Jensen

Climate+ Strategy, Director

Beth Jensen is Climate+ Strategy Director at Textile Exchange, the leading global nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the use of sustainable fibers and materials within the apparel, footwear, and home textiles industries. She oversees the evolution and implementation of Textile Exchange’s Climate+ Strategy, supporting the industry’s efforts to achieve positive outcomes in the areas of climate, biodiversity, soil health, and water. Prior to Textile Exchange, Beth held leadership roles overseeing and driving sustainable materials and products programs at VF Corporation, a Fortune 500 company with a portfolio of outdoor and active brands including Vans, The North Face, Timberland, and Smartwool, and at Outdoor Industry Association, the North American-based trade association for the outdoor apparel, footwear, and gear sector. She holds a B.A. from St. Olaf College and an M.B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder Leeds School of Business.
Team 8

Bonolo Madibe

EA to COO

With several years of experience in the non-profit sector focused on Sustainable Development and Social Impact, Bonolo has worked on developing cross-sectoral partnerships that catalyze action around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Committed to creating transformative social change, she has supported leading corporate organizations and multiple stakeholders in developing strategic initiatives that integrate sustainability into their value chain and deliver high-impact social change. Bonolo holds a BA (Hons) Development Studies and International Relations from the University of Westminster and a Masters from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Team 9

Callie Weldon

Standards, Specialist

Callie Weldon has over a decade of experience working with sustainable textiles. As the Standards Specialist at Textile Exchange, Callie consults with stakeholders on their sustainability goals and how Textile Exchange standards can be a tool for achieving impact. She specializes in animal fiber content knowledge, specifically alpaca, and helps to manage the suite of Responsible Animal Fiber standards. Before joining Textile Exchange, Callie worked for a number of impact brands as a buyer for ethical apparel programs. Callie is also the founder of Fair Fiber, a social start-up dedicated to creating economic mobility opportunities for small farmers in the Peruvian alpaca fiber industry. Callie holds a B.S. in Fashion Merchandising from the University of Delaware and an MBA in Global, Social, and Sustainable Enterprises from Colorado State University. She is based in Boulder, Colorado.
Team 10

Candace Benson

Website, Senior Coordinator

Candace has over 25 years’ experience in Computer Information Technology & Marketing. She has performed the following functions for both corporate and non-profit organizations: MIS – Manager of Information Systems, Network Administrator, and DBA – Database Administrator. She is Project Manager, Full Stack Developer, Digital Marketing Specialist and Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW). Her passion for technology led her to create and develop Camp Tech Inc., an interactive technology curriculum for youth ages 5-18. Candace is a member of the NAFE – National Association for Executive Females and WITI – Women in Technology International. She received the Women of Distinction Award 2014. Candace is the mother of 3 gifts from God; Noah, Nehemiah, and Naomi, married 27 years.
Celeste-Lilore

Céleste Lilore

Global Membership and Corporate Engagement, Director

Celeste is an insatiably curious lifelong learner who is passionate about community, partnership, provenance, ethics, and timeless style. Through stories, she delights in making the complex simple. Her first job (not including babysitting and waitressing) was as the receptionist at Chanel HQ in Paris. It ignited Celeste’s love affair with both product and fashion while elevating her commitment to service. Since then she has worked as Marketing and Community Director and Entrepreneur in Residence, Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator; Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator; Regional Director, Green Festival –New York; Co-Founder and EcoPreneur, RESTORE Clothing; Co-Founder, NOCHAIRS, Inc.; and Founding Member, Save The Garment Center. Member of the Senior Advisory Team.
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Claire Bergkamp

COO

Claire Bergkamp is the Chief Operating Officer at Textile Exchange. Previous to joining Textile Exchange she held the position of Worldwide Sustainability and Innovation Director for over eight years at Stella McCartney, leading the global environmental, human rights and innovation strategy for the brand. During her time at the brand she built a qualified, high-functioning sustainability department and team, a purposeful strategy and ambitious project portfolio. Claire is a purpose driven leader and a systems thinker who delivers measurable results. She is passionate about identifying and accelerating solutions and believes that textile supply chains and raw materials systems must be radically transformed at scale. Claire serves in advisory and leadership positions for a wide range of collaborative initiatives. Notably, she is currently serving on the steering committee for the UNFCCC’s Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, where she is the co-chair for the Raw Materials Working Group. She also serves on the steering committee for the British Fashion Council’s Institute of Positive Fashion, is a senior advisor to the Stella McCartney board and CEO and is a trustee and board director for the Stella McCartney Foundation.
Team 11

Dave Rushforth

Finance, Senior Manager

Grew up on a Cattle and sheep ranch in Southwest Wyoming training horses and Bird dogs. 30 years operating a Nationwide account service venture consulting businesses and school districts in compliance with US state and federal requirements. 25 years of financial fund accounting. Skilled in General ledger, A/p, A/R, Invoicing, accounting management, payroll, back reconciliations, and report generation. Hobbies include hunting, fishing, riding horses, and working on his own 35-acre place with his best Buddy.
Team 12

Dawn Kearns

Administrative Assistant

Dawn Kearns joined Textile Exchange in 2019 as the Administrative Assistant to the Managing Director, La Rhea Pepper. Dawn previously worked as the Budget & Finance Officer at a large private university for 14 years. Her duties included the management and coordination of a nationwide continuing education program as well as fiscal oversight for the department. Dawn holds a BA in social work from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and a graduate certificate in Energy and Sustainability from the University of Denver.
Team 13

Donna Worley

Convening and Learning, Director

Donna leads Textile Exchange’s Marketing Communications team to ensure all focus areas within the organization receive a high level of visibility through innovative strategies involving internal and external communication, branding, marketing and public relations. In addition to this, Donna is also responsible for the oversight of Textile Exchange’s global events to create greater visibility for Textile Exchange and to provide a space for industry engagement. Prior to joining Textile Exchange, Donna worked in Development and Public Relations for a higher education institution from which she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership. Member of the Senior Advisory Team.
Team 14

Elizabeth Mamo

Internal Communications Coordinator

Based in Italy, Liz has previously worked in China and Germany in the fields of international education, environmental conservation, communications and CSR. She has a B.A. in International Affairs from The George Washington University, and a M.Sc. in Sustainable Resource Management from the Technical University of Munich. Liz is passionate about nature, cultural exchange, and creative thinking.
Team 15

Evonne Tan

Data and Technology Director

Evonne spent the past 20 years improving data and reporting for companies around the world. From a manufacturing background, she moved on to consultancy with PwC and IBM, project management with Wessex Water before settling into the sustainability sector with CSR Consultancy. A graphic designer on the side, Evonne is passionate about data visualization and using data to tell a story. Evonne started working with Textile Exchange in 2009, leading on data collection, analytics, reporting and consumer engagement. Currently, as the Director of Data Management & China Strategy, Evonne holds two different portfolios in the company: one that focuses on creating value from data for textile sustainability and another to promote sustainable fiber and materials growth in the Chinese market. Member of the Senior Advisory Team.
Team 16

Grace Lorig

Executive Assistant to CEO

Grace has a background in apparel design and development with a strong emphasis on sustainability. In 2012, she earned a B.S. in Technical Apparel Design at the University of Minnesota. After graduating, she traveled to the pacific northwest to work in design and development and on building grassroots sustainability projects at local outdoor companies for 3-4 years. In 2018, Grace earned an M.S. in Sports Product Management at the University of Oregon, focusing on Sustainable Business Operations. In graduate school, she worked as a CSR intern at RSI, a global apparel manufacturing company based in Taipei, Taiwan. Building her sustainability career in the sports & apparel industry, she then worked on various sustainability and circularity projects at local and global companies, including Looptworks, Nike, and Under Armour. Grace started working at Textile Exchange in 2020 doing freelance research and in 2021 began working full-time as Executive Assistant to the CEO, La Rhea Pepper.
Team 17

Hanna Denes

Climate+ Strategy, Senior Manager

Originally from Sweden but currently living in the UK, Hanna Denes has been with Textile Exchange since 2010 and has been a Senior Standards Manager since 2017. Key areas of responsibility include the animal fiber standards and monitoring and evaluation across the Textile Exchange standards. Hanna has a Batchelor’s degree in Environmental Policy and an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College, London, and 20 years’ experience working in environmental management and sustainable development.
Team 18

Hayley Warren

Corporate Benchmarking, Senior Manager

Sustainability professional committed to promoting a more sustainable textile and apparel industry for the past ten years
Team 19

Hong Lee

Assurance Specialist and China Lead

Hong started his career in the Testing, Inspection, and Certification industry over 15 years ago. He has been a frequent speaker at numerous Conferences throughout Asia Pacific related to Sustainable Textiles. In 2008 he Co-authored the Global Recycled Standard. Hong is a Netherlands Born Chinese and after his ventures in Hong Kong, South Korea, and China he is now living in New Zealand and is part of the Assurance Team and China team.
Team 20

Hope Foster

Junior Graphic Designer

Hope joined Textile Exchange in 2021 as a Junior Graphic Designer. Hope graduated with a Bachelor of arts in Graphic design in 2019 from Falmouth university. While at university Hope worked as a freelance graphic designer at events company Alive network. Following graduation Hope completed a design internship and then went on to gain a years worth of experience as an in-house designer at biopharmaceutical company, Watson-Marlow. Although early in her career Hope is proficient in Adobe creative suite and is eager to continue to expand her skills as a designer while working at Textile Exchange.
Team 21

Jack CJ Tan

Data and Technology, Data Analyst

Jack joined Textile Exchange in 2021 as a Data Analyst. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information System and an MBA in Executive Management & Finance. Jack also has 15 years of experience in data analytics, business intelligence, project management, and consultancy along with his academic learnings. He has served multinational corporations such as Name Media Inc, The Nielsen Co, Samsung electronics, Astro & Amdocs. Together with his experiences, he also has exposure using the following, SAP business object, Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, Project, PowerPoint), R programming, Tableau, BigML, and SQL. Other than his professional experiences, Jack is also a scuba diver, mountain biker, and animal lover.
Team 22

Jessica Garcia Lama

Corporate Benchmarking, Program Manager

Jessica joined Textile Exchange to lead the development of the Corporate Fiber & Materials Benchmark (CFMB). She has over eight years of international cross-sectorial experience in sustainability, social responsibility and project management in Europe and in Asia. She is a big picture thinker who likes diving into issues, find solutions and then implement them with the aim to create value in society and contribute to a more inclusive world. Jessica wants to drive these changes within the apparel and textile sector. She holds two B.Sc, in Economics & Management and in Spanish/French/English Translation from the University of Salamanca, a M.Sc in International Affairs from the Comillas Pontificial University and a specialization in Business Sustainability Management from CISL.
Team 23

Kaitlyn Kellogg

Communications Coordinator

Kaitlyn has experience in multiple industries including international business, retail consulting, textiles, and supply chain management. She has attended exchange programs with universities in both Paris and Hong Kong studying foreign retail practices and textile chemistry. Kaitlyn graduated in 2019 from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Science degree in Fashion Merchandising and a minor in Sustainability. Previously, she worked with Deloitte (LRA) as a traveling retail consultant supporting brand management for companies across the nation. Based in Tucson, Arizona she works for Textile Exchange as the Communications and Events Coordinator alongside the Communications Team.
Team 24

Kathleen Wood

Climate+ Strategy Consultant

Kathleen was one of the first 3 employees of the Organic Exchange in 2003. She recently joined the project team to help with the Organic Cotton Collective Impact project and with our 2030 Climate+ Strategy Development. She is also currently working with the Green Commodities Programme in UNDP as a Commodities advisor and advisor on their Platform Methodology upgrade. Her background is in people, team and organizational development and cross-sector partnerships focused on sustainable development. Kathleen was one of the first 3 employees of the Organic Exchange in 2003. She recently joined the project team to help with the Organic Cotton Collective Impact project and with our 2030 Climate+ Strategy Development. She is also currently working with the Green Commodities Programme in UNDP as a Commodities advisor and advisor on their Platform Methodology upgrade. Her background is in people, team and organizational development and cross-sector partnerships focused on sustainable development.
Team 25

Katie Pearce

Assurance and Operations Specialist

Katie has a strong background in the apparel and manufacturing sectors, having spent 6 years with the environmentally conscious clothing brand tentree inc. prior to joining the Textile Exchange TEam. During her time at tentree, she gained valuable experience in customer care, sustainability, operations, social compliance, product compliance/testing, as well as a variety of administrative skills. She has also worked in a variety of roles in both manufacturing and quality assurance, giving her a broad understanding of supply chain structures and challenges, including the implementation of standards. At Textile Exchange, Katie helps support the Assurance team in a variety of duties including responding to inquiries from Accreditation and Certification Bodies, engaging with members in the “Hub,” and document management, among others.

Konstantinos Lazarou

Marketing and Communications Director

Kostas Lazarou is a communications and marketing leader with over a decade of experience in global brand and business development, specializing in creative partnerships, licensing and sustainability. His time at forward-thinking houses like Stella McCartney and ERDEM ignited a passion for growing the reputations of values-driven visionaries, ensuring their positive actions today will earn them recognition tomorrow. As Head of Global PR and Licensing Communications at Stella McCartney, Lazarou worked with the eponymous founder herself to amplify her message of a conscious, cruelty-free fashion industry to key press around the world. Becoming an advocate for sustainable solutions, he developed 360 communication strategies globally – collaborating with a variety of key internal and external partners including adidas, NGOs like Greenpeace, breast cancer awareness charities and hospitals as well as leaders in gaming and entertainment such as Roblox and Netflix.
Team 26

La Rhea Pepper

CEO

La Rhea has an extensive background in the organic cotton agricultural sector as well as management and marketing. She is a 5th generation cotton farmer in Texas and her farm has been certified organic since 1991. She completed her BS in Education at Abilene Christian University in 1979 and Master of Business – Organizational Leadership in 2016. La Rhea was one of the co-founders of Organic Exchange and served as Chair of the Board until 2005 and then joined the Management Team with the Exchange. La Rhea currently represents Textile Exchange on the Board of Directors for CottonConnect and the Regenerative Organic Alliance. Member of the Senior Advisory Team.
Team 27

Larysa Valachko

Impact Incentives, Coordinator

Larysa joined Textile Exchange in 2019. With a certificate in Business Administration from Southwestern Community College, North Carolina, and over 5 years of experience in setting up office procedures, supporting and organizing stakeholder events and communications, and enhancing membership values for non-profit organizations, Larysa joined Textile Exchange to support the team and stakeholders of the Responsible Leather and Responsible Cashmere Round Tables. Larysa holds a master’s degree in Sociology from Carleton University, Ottawa. Her graduate research in scientific controversies as well as volunteer research on biodiversity preservation and food security motivated Larysa to dedicate her professional skills to the advancement of practices that are healthy and just both for the environment and society.
Team 28

Lee Tyler

Assurance and Operations, Senior Director

Lee has been with Textile Exchange since 2008 and is primarily responsible for the consistent, credible implementation of Textile Exchange standards by certified sites and certification bodies. This includes leading the quality assurance process, interpretation and guidance of the standards, and the complaints process. He is also directly involved in the development and revision of standards and their supporting documentation. Additionally, Lee supports the financial and operational aspects of Textile Exchange. He holds a Master’s in Entrepreneurship, a Bachelor’s in Management, and a minor in Spanish from Texas Tech University. Member of Senior Advisory Team.
Team 29

Liesl Truscott

Corporate Benchmarking, Director

Liesl Truscott is the European and Materials Strategy Director with responsibility for developing and embedding Textile Exchange’s preferred materials program. Liesl has specialized in organic cotton and has a deep knowledge of the sector. With a first class degree in Environmental Management from the University of Newcastle in Australia, she has spent over twenty years in the fields of corporate social responsibility, occupational health and safety, and environmental management – working within both the private and public sector. Member of the Senior Advisory Team.
Team 30

Linda Sisco

Membership and Corporate Engagement, Administrator

Linda joined Textile Exchange in 2020 as the Membership Administrative Assistant. Her role involves handling member details in Salesforce, assisting with renewals, billing for membership and aiding the members with conference registration. Linda previous experience includes working for a Wyoming based citizen advocacy group for 12 years, working to protect public lands, wildlife, and clean air and water in Wyoming. She had an Administrative role, dealing with payroll, billing, human resources, staffing coordination and event planning. Linda ran a commercial greenhouse in rural Vermont, understanding the need to use nontoxic chemicals for the health of the population and the earth. Linda has a BA of Art & Recreation from the College of St. Mary’s and the University of Omaha, Omaha, NE. She also completed classes in management and marketing from Central Wyoming College.
Team 31

Lisa Barsley

Organic Cotton, Program Manager

Lisa joined Textile Exchange in 2014 after obtaining a BSc in International Development from the University of East Anglia, during which she focused on agricultural sustainability. Since joining, Lisa has been involved in a variety of programs at Textile Exchange but has focused most on supporting the organization’s organic cotton activities, particularly its Organic Cotton Round Table and Organic Cotton Market Report.
Marissa Balfour

Marissa Balfour

Corporate Benchmarking, Biodiversity Strategist

Marissa Balfour joined the Textile Exchange in 2020 as a Biodiversity Specialist. She is a wildlife conservation and sustainable development professional with 7 years of consulting experience. Marissa also currently works as the Assistant to the Executive Director of the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network, where she develops and implements strategies for biodiversity conservation through certification. Previously, she has worked as a consultant for Conservation International on fashion and biodiversity. Other clients have included Relief International, EplerWood International, and World Animal Protection. Marissa holds a B.A. in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic and an M.A. in Environmental Studies from Prescott College with a focus in Conservation Science and Policy.
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Matilda Donaldson

Organic Cotton, Program Coordinator

Before joining Textile Exchange as Organic Cotton Program Coordinator, Matilda worked as a Press Officer for UK food and farming charity the Soil Association, securing coverage in nationals, including the BBC, the Guardian and the Financial Times during the Brexit transition and Covid-19 pandemic. Prior to this she was a communications intern in the Climate and Energy team at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, where she broadened her understanding of CSR and learned about the importance of scalable solutions to the climate crisis. In her role at Textile Exchange she is looking forward to expanding her knowledge of organic agriculture, and learning about sustainability in the textile industry. She has a BSc in Integrated Environmental Studies from Jacobs University Bremen.
Team 32

Megan Stoneburner

Fiber and Materials, Director

Megan Stoneburner currently leads Fibers and Materials at Textile Exchange. She has more than 10 years of experience in product development and strategy, working in Sustainable Innovation, Inventory Management, and Production and Sourcing of apparel and home goods, with the majority of her career working at Gap Inc. She most recently came from Outerknown where she led Sustainability and Sourcing.
Melanie Slosser

Melanie Slosser

Convening and Learning, Events Senior Coordinator

Melanie earned her bachelor’s degree in “Tourism and Hospitality” from Arizona State University and her master’s degree in “Non-profit Management” from Northeastern University. She has spent her career in the non-profit space, originally working as an Event Coordinator for Global Genes and most recently working in the programs department for Walk with Sally. She is excited to dive right into helping with our conference and other events. Outside of her career, Melanie lives in Los Angeles, California with her soon-to-be husband, Jason, and their three fur babies. Melanie enjoys spending time with family, friends, and indulging in the occasional Disneyland excursion. Her hobbies include reading, pottery, and travel. During quarantine, Melanie became an even more avid reader and created more pottery than fits in her house. She is looking forward to meeting everyone over the coming weeks.
Team 33

Nicholas Brown

Membership and Corporate Engagement, Community Manager

Nicholas is an environmental advocate and Climate Reality Leader (trained by Al Gore) based in Los Angeles. Since relocating to Los Angeles in 2014, he has been one of the progenitors of the grassroots movement to change the fashion landscape, bringing together stakeholders, hosting events, and authoring consumer resources. Nicholas has worked with the nonprofits Beyond the Label, Fair Trade LA, Impact Fashion, So Cal Fibershed, Garment Worker Center, and Fashion Revolution USA and has worked in Chicago, New York City, Paris, Berlin, Munich, London, and Antwerp. He received his business degree with a focus on management information systems from DePaul University and began his career on the editorial side, producing high fashion editorial, advertising campaigns and fashion shows for global brands like Nike and Vanity Fair. Early career highlights include working with his conceptual fashion icon Hussein Chalayan on his runway show, and photoshoots with Andre Leon Talley & Karl Lagerfeld. Noticing that certain aspects of the fashion industry were at odds with his passion for protecting the environment and human rights, Nicholas decided to pivot his work to help the industry shift to better practices. Recently, he has been hands-on at both the city and state level regarding textile recycling initiatives and labor rights for garment workers, in addition to walking a local LA business through California Green Business certification. Nicholas can’t think of a better place than Textile Exchange to do what he loves: collaborating with others to achieve environmental & social justice.
Team 34

Nicole Lambert

Leather, Manager

Nicole is working primarily with the Fiber and Materials group, focusing on the annual PFM benchmark and data analysis. Nicole’s background is in environmental health and toxicology and has been working with environmental and health problematics related to industrial emissions and the use of chemicals in goods for 10 years, advising both the private and public sectors.
Team 35

Ömür Suner

Regional Assistant for EMENA & Central Asia

Ömür joined Textile Exchange in 2020 as the based in Bursa, Turkey. She has over 12 years of experience in the global textile and apparel industries, including customer service, sales development, event management, and Marketing Communications. She was involved in several product launch campaigns of sustainable products during her Marketing role, particularly because of her interest and passion for sustainability. Ömür has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing and Communication Sciences. Ömür’s role at Textile Exchange will primarily see her support the organization’s work in organic cotton in this region, such as through the Organic Cotton Round Table, alongside other region-specific activities.
Team 36

Phil Bettany

Graphic Designer

Phil started working with Textile Exchange in 2018, providing graphic design support for several key publications, namely the Organic Cotton and Preferred Fiber & Materials Market Reports, and the Corporate Fiber & Materials Benchmark. Phil joined the Textile Exchange team full time in January 2019, working under the Marketing Communications Director. Phil provides graphic design, creative and website support to the team, acting as the guardian of the Textile Exchange brand, and encouraging high standards of presentation across all aspects of the organisation’s communication. Phil holds a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from Kingston University, London, and previously worked at the sustainable fashion consultancy MADE-BY between 2010 and 2018.
Team 37

Prerna Pandey

Corporate Benchmarking, Coordinator

Prerna Pandey has three years of versatile experience in areas of sustainable supply chain, stakeholder management, market research, inventory management, and data analysis. She has worked in roles such as: research associate with Plastics For Change, analyst with Ernst & Young, and intern with Tata Steel. With Textile Exchange, Prerna started as an intern in October 2019 and has now taken the role of Materials Program Coordinator. As a part of the Corporate Fiber and Materials Benchmark team, Prerna is working to organize, develop and facilitate the benchmark program. Besides, she will also be coordinating some working group, as well as assist the data collection and compilation. Prerna is a scholar from Trinity College, Dublin, with Masters in International Management degree. She has attended the summer school at London School of Economics and has a triple major undergraduate background in Economics, Mathematics and Statistics.
Renske

Renske Koster

Membership and Corporate Engagement (Europe, Middle East, and APAC), Coordinator

Renske has a background in sustainable fashion management. She has worked for multiple fashion companies such as Kings of Indigo, PVH, and Hermès, and participated in the creation of sustainable material and internal corporate engagement strategies. Renske holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Fashion and Management from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute and a Master’s degree in Corporate Sustainability from the Radboud University in Nijmegen. In 2021 Renske joined Textile Exchange as the Coordinator of Membership and Corporate Engagement. Her aim is to thrive sustainability through meaningful collaborations.
Team 38

Ricardo Garay

Membership and Corporate Engagement (Europe, Middle East, and APAC), Manager

Ricardo is a Regenerative Systems Strategist and Designer with a deep understanding of restorative production practices. His primary focus over the past 10 years has been bridging the gap between textiles/fibers & agricultural systems. His extensive background in systemic thinking allows him to coordinate between diverse topics and teams. Prior to relocating to Berlin, he was involved in sustainable growing activities in his native California. In 2010 he was exposed to the problems concerning fashion manufacturing and refocused his efforts on the textile industry. His pursuit to understand fashion’s global value chain and to learn innovative/ancient agricultural techniques lead him to places such as Guatemala, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, & Colombia. Ricardo’s work experiences as a project lead have strengthened his ability to manage supply chains as well as people. Ricardo is a big believer in harnessing the power of ‘place’ to solve global problems. This is what he refers to as bioregional circularity, a perspective he applies to all aspects of business. Ricardo has a B.S. from University of California, Davis, in Sustainable Agriculture as well as an M.A. in Sustainability in Fashion. At the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, Ricardo worked with an amazing group of young leaders to draft the first U.N. resolution on fashion related to the SDG’s and presented the work at the 2017 U.N.’s Global Leaders Summit.
rita luppino

Rita Luppino

Global Partnerships, Senior Manager

Rita has over a decade of experience in corporate responsibility, global communications and stakeholder engagement with Fortune 100 brands, non-profits and NGOs. She has a strong understanding of sustainability in the apparel supply chain and brings hands-on experience working with US organic cotton farms and overseas textile mills and manufacturing facilities. Rita curates Textile Exchange’s global Textile Sustainability Conference and manages our communications platforms. Rita received a Masters of Science in Urban Policy Analysis and Management from The New School in New York City in 2011 and a BA in Communications from Pace University in New York. When she’s not working to positively impact the world for present and future generations, Rita enjoys gardening, photography, hiking and traveling.
Team 39

Rodrigo Fonseca

Standards Assurance, Coordinator

I was born and raised in San José, capital of Costa Rica, where I developed most of my professional career in multinational organizations while performing in different functional capacities along the value chain from manufacturing to sales operations to customer service to auditing and certification of ISO and Fairtrade sustainability standards. This last one took me to Germany for a few years, but now I am back in Costa Rica and no, I don´t speak German. I like outdoor sports and activities where you can enjoy the sun and fresh air, like a bike ride, a beach day, or a hike in one of our tropical jungle national parks. I am a sports fan of basically everything that can be played, however basketball, football, tennis, and auto sports capture most of my attention. Besides sports, cooking is a hobby I practice a lot, especially Asian food and particularly Thai. I also enjoy learning about new cultures and biographies of people that have shaped our world.
Team 40

Rose Johnson

Learning Manager

Rose Johnson joined Textile Exchange in 2019 as the Communication Coordinator. She provides support to the Marketing Communications TEam, and is responsible for coordinating email communications, data protection compliance, event support, and general customer service. Rose has over 20 years’ experience in administrative healthcare, teaching higher education and professional development, and general management.
Team 41

Rui Alexandre Ramos Fontoura

Fiber and Materials Strategy Lead, Cotton and Crops

My Raw Material expertise first developed in Casablanca, Morrocco, working at factories producing apparel products for high street brands in UK, plus some pioneering work for top sportswear brands. Big part of my early career, a small town on the outskirts of Milan, where I spent a good amount of time, working with various mills in the region, and some other places in Italy. My time here was spent with a lot of spinners and fabric producers, mainly cotton, but also a lot of wool & linen. Next, I Lived and enjoyed the treasures of such a beautiful part of the world for over 3 years in Bandung, Indonesia. It is by far one of my favorite places, not just for the work experience but the diversity of cultures across thousands of islands and how they respect each other. My role here started as Raw Material Manager, but soon evolved to sourcing and commercial duties, not just for indigenous products but also across the whole of Asia. I arrived in London in 2007 taking on a Commercial & Operations Executive role, working with a UK company supplying the top high street retailers. In 2014 I joined Burberry and moved to Leeds where the UK manufacturing operation is located. Transforming the supply chain for the fabrics that make the Trench Coats, was my main responsibility It was a great experience not only because of the iconic symbol around the Trench Coats, but the history and artisan skills of the people working and nurturing the culture of made in Britain. It also gave me the opportunity to learn about the UK textile industry and the considerable size, still is today. In 2019 I returned to London, taking a role at Burberry HQ, leading the Raw Materials department in the Menswear & Soft Accessories collection It was here that I had the opportunity to lead the business transformation from conventional to organic cotton, as well as the whole supply chain for the Jersey category, across all divisions.
Team 42

Sandra Marquardt

Fiber Crops and Reports, Senior Manager

Sandra Marquardt has extensive experience in the agricultural, environmental, and fashion sectors. She is the president of On the Mark Public Relations, a firm she founded in 2006 to provide PR, research, writing, and event coordination to the sustainable and organic community. She also is the former North America representative for the Global Organic Textile Standard and communications director of the Sustainable Food Trade Association. Previously, Sandra developed and directed M+R Organics (a division of the public affairs firm M+R Strategic Services), focusing on the promotion of organic wool, and was the coordinator of the Organic Trade Association’s Fiber Council (she now is its secretary). She has worked for several non-profit organizations on agriculture, pesticide, and water quality issues. On weekends, Sandra coordinates an organic farmers market in her community.
Team 43

Sarah Compson

Organic Cotton, Specialist

Sarah has been involved with the organic sector throughout her career, and works for Textile Exchange alongside her role as International Development Manager for Soil Association, who are pioneers of the organic movement and were one of the founder members of the Sustainable Cotton Challenge 2025. She is passionate about working collaboratively to achieve meaningful and lasting change. Her involvement with the broader organic movement includes as a member of the Global Organic Textile Standard standards committee, as Chair of IFOAM Organics Europe Interest Group of Organic Processors and Traders, as IFOAM representative on the EU Commission’s Civil Dialogue Group for cotton, flax and hemp and also as a member of the Leading Organic Alliance of European standard setters.
Team 44

Sergio Lopez Monaco

Human Resources Administrator

Sergio Lopez Monaco is the Human Resources Administrator at Textile Exchange. Sergio spent the last five years in Finance, specializing in business development banking, real estate lending, business banking, and treasury management. He is a United States Marine Corps Veteran. He spent eight years as an Artillery Cannon Crewman, and an additional two years with the Colorado National Guard as a Human Resources Specialist.
Team 45

Sevilla Granger

Project and Program Strategist

Sevilla Granger has worked in various aspects of the sustainable textile and creative fields in the US and Europe and has served on international working groups such as the Sustainable Textiles Coalition and the Responsible Leather, Wool and Down Standards Working Groups. Sevilla’s professional commitment to sustainability in the industry is matched by her love of travel and involvement as an artist and organizer in the San Francisco arts community. Her commitment to sustainable home fashions sprang from her undergraduate work at North Carolina State University, well known for its Textile program, where she received her degree in Environmental Design with a minor in Textiles. Her professional engagement with advancing sustainability in the industry gained traction during her work at William Sonoma and Gap, Inc. It was further refined with Coyuchi, where she led the team to be the first GOTS certified home textiles brand, as well as achieving Fair Trade certification. Sevilla now supports the sustainability work with Textile Exchange. Member of the Senior Advisory Team.
Team 46

Sharon Whitley

Finance, Administrator

Sharon is knowledgeable in QuickBooks accounting, Peachtree accounting, and Excel programs. Her job for Textile Exchange is primarily bookkeeping – maintaining the accounting records, payroll, preparation of quarterly tax reports, bank accounts and preparations for the yearly audit. Sharon has been involved with organic cotton since 1996 when she started with Organic Essentials, working in all areas for the business. In 2002, she became general manager of Organic Essentials and held that position until the company sold in 2006. As general manager, her job was mainly day-to-day operations. Sharon has been the Financial Administrator for Textile Exchange since 2006.
Team 47

Siena Shepard

Climate+ Strategy Manager

Siena joined Textile Exchange in 2020 as a Strategy Coordinator to work closely with Managing Director La Rhea Pepper. With seven years of experience in the fashion industry that took a turn while studying fashion design at Central Saint Martins in London, Siena has since focused on applying design and systems thinking to sustainable fashion development. She has experience ranging from managing design and production for a Fairtrade Kickstarter in India to working as a researcher at The Donghia Healthier Material’s Library in New York City. With a Bachelor’s of Science from The New School specially focused on the intersection of design, business, and sustainability, Siena brings a unique blend of project management, design thinking, data analysis, and research to Textile Exchange.
Team 48

Simone Seisl

MMCF Lead

Simone studied design and textile engineering in Austria and went for a career in the global fashion and sporting goods industry, held various positions in design, product management, marketing and buying departments, also at the headquarter of adidas. In 2008 she decided to only focus on sustainability topics within the industry, first working as a consultant at the Dutch NGO Made-by, then as head of marketing and sales at Remei AG in Switzerland. She has expertise in leading CR initiatives on brand level, in supply chain transformation and integrity, product innovation and best-practise marketing and communication. Based in Freiburg, Germany, she works for Textile Exchange as a fiber and materials expert and as a consultant for brands and retailers.
Team 49

Siobhan Cullen

Human Rights Strategist

Siobhan joined Textile Exchange in 2021 as a Human Rights Strategist in the Integrity Solutions team after working in partner brand sustainability teams for over eight years. Since obtaining her BSc in Environmental Policy with Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science, her primary focus has been on ethical trading and human rights in fashion supply chains. Siobhan is passionate about ensuring that communities surrounding supply chains are not detrimentally impacted by brand decision-making and happiest when travelling and learning from the people who are behind the manufacture of beautiful materials and products. Siobhan also has expertise in product sustainability, having led strategy in this area across her previous roles at British fashion brands Stella McCartney and Burberry.
Team 50

Sophia Opperskalski

Fiber and Materials, PFM Specalist, Textile Exchange

Sophia Opperskalski has more than 10 years of experience in sustainability and textiles. At Textile Exchange, she is part of the fiber and materials team where she leads the Preferred Fiber and Materials Market Report and Biosynthetics Round Table amongst other responsibilities. Before joining Textile Exchange, Sophia worked for BSD Consulting where she was involved in projects on sustainability reporting, rankings, and strategy. Prior to that, she has developed a B2B online platform to support designers and fashion brands in sourcing sustainable fabrics and was engaged in various further projects related to sustainability and textiles. Sophia is based in Berlin, Germany, and has a M.Sc. in Integrated Natural Resource Management from the Humboldt University in Berlin.
Sophie_Ridler_Headshot

Sophie Ridler

Program Coordinator (PFMR, Biosynthetics RT and rPET RT)

Sophie joined Textile Exchange in 2021 as Coordinator for the Preferred Fiber and Materials Report and the Biosynthetic and Recycled Polyester Round Tables. Early on in her career, Sophie combined her background and interest in fashion and sustainability interning with the Inditex Fashion Group. There she focused on supply chain traceability and sustainability-related industry developments. Following this, she graduated with an M.Sci in Sustainable Development from Uppsala University & The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Her research focused on the disconnect between academia and industry in transitioning to a more circular fashion industry, which she later put into practice, directing the sustainability strategy for online fashion platform and application Cando. Sophie also holds a B.Sci in Geography from The University of Nottingham.
Team 51

Stefanie Pokorski

Standards Claims Manager

Stefanie is the Integrity and Standards Manager at Textile Exchange. For the Standards team, she is responsible for managing the development of tools and resources to aid in implementation and adoption of Textile Exchange standards, as well as providing support to standards users looking to label and make claims. Her role with Innovations consists of developing the Leather Impact Accelerator (LIA) and overseeing the coordination of the Responsible Leather and Responsible Cashmere Round Tables. Stefanie has been a part of the Textile Exchange team since 2017.
Steve R.

Steven Roettger

Internal Systems, Administrator

Steve is a tech geek at heart and lives for new technology. He excels at assisting employees with seemingly possessed technology. He has an AAS in Network Administration and has been working in the Information technology field for over a decade. He has worked with a wide range of software including Office 365, Azure AD, RingCentral, Windows, and Mac OS. Steve is currently working with scripting languages Python and PowerShell to automate administrative tasks. On the home front, Steve is the father of twins and they keep him and his wife very busy. As Systems Administrator for Textile Exchange Steve accesses, implements, and deploys new technologies.
Team 52

Suet Yin Siew

Data and Technology, Senior Data Analyst

Suet Yin joined Textile Exchange part-time in 2018 as a Data Analyst and Statistician. In 2020, she accepted a full-time position as the Senior Data Analyst and Statistician. Her role at Textile Exchange involves modelling and analysis of Textile Exchange’s Material Change Index (MCI), the largest peer-to-peer comparison initiative in the textile industry. She also assists the Standards Assurance TEam in monitoring and compiling data from Certification Bodies.
Susanna Lehmann

Susanna Lehmann

Impact Incentives, Senior Manager

Originally from Germany, Susanna is based in Western Quebec, Canada. She has 20 years of experience in operational support and management, including over 10 years in the sustainability and certification sector. Before joining Textile Exchange, Susanna worked with Rainforest Alliance and most recently with NEPCon/Preferred by Nature, where she supported the development and implementation of key business processes. As Senior Manager of Impact Incentives at Textile Exchange, she supports the development and growth of Impact Incentives as part of the Impact Alliance and their use within Textile Exchange.
Team 53

Tarun Dhingra

Data and Technology, Technical Program Manager

With over 15 years of Technical Project Management experience in Information Technology industry and have worked with organizations from various sectors such as Telecom, Banking, Insurance, Pharmaceuticals across the globe. I am well-traveled with exposure to working with people from various cultures, domains & backgrounds. For the last 6 years, I have been with IBM where I have successfully delivered and managed critical Projects related to Digitalization of the workplace service lines, Project Reporting & Data Transformation, Visualization Automation, CRM & Business Intelligence tools development and deployment, and various other technical migration projects. I hold an Engineering Degree (B.E) from the University of Pune (India). I also hold various technical and professional certificates like: • Project Management Professional (PMP) • Agile & Scrum Practitioner • ITIL Expert Certified • ISO 9001:2015 & ISO 20K Auditor & Practitioner • Microsoft Certified Engineer During my free time, I like to engage and spend my time in sports activities like badminton, foosball as well as going for workouts and running.
Taylor Jones Team Member Portrait

Taylor Jones

Standards Coordinator

Taylor joined Textile Exchange as the Standards Coordinator in 2021 following her graduation from the University of Iowa, studying environmental policy and sustainability. Her passion for sustainable textiles started from a retail perspective. For five years, she worked for a local outdoor retailer in Des Moines, Iowa selling many brands certified by Textile Exchange standards. She has worked with several climate activism groups, including the Iowa City Climate Ambassador Program. During her time with the program, she worked alongside community members to identify and tackle climate problems at a local level. As the Standards Coordinator, her work supports the rest of the Integrity Team with standards revisions, stakeholder management, and standards benchmarking. She aims to increase environmental and social action through the use of textile standards.
Team 54

Terry Hyde

Convening Services Manager

Terry has previously worked at Dow Corning Wright as an Executive Administrative Assistant and for State Farm where she serviced current customer accounts and generated leads for new prospects. She joined Textile Exchange in October 2012 as an Executive Assistant. She provides Board, SAT, Platform Task Forces and IT/HR Support as well as assisting Membership and Fund Development. She is a vital member of the Conference TEam and handles registration for the event. Terry also publishes the “The Times of Textile Exchange” monthly newsletter and is coordinating the Textile Exchange effort to put systems and standard operating procedures in place. Terry was promoted to Administrative Coordinator in 2017 and to Systems Manager in 2020.
Team 55

Trini Gantner

Standards Manager

Trini joined Textile Exchange in 2019 to design and lead the assessment process of several standards that were gifted to Textile Exchange. She is the lead on Textile Exchange’s Global Recycled Standard (GRS), the Recycled Claim Standard (RCS), the Responsible Down Standard (RDS), as well as the Content Claim Standard (CCS). Over the past couple of years, Trini played a key role in the development of fair trade standards across multiple product categories. She is an ambitious and resourceful self-starter with a diverse background in standards development, international trade, project management, product development and management, multi-stakeholder engagement, relationship building, research, and process optimization and implementation. The apparel and textile space has always carried a special place in her heart and she is eager to co-create its future. A dual citizen of both Germany and the United States, Trini currently resides in Seattle, Washington. She holds a BS and MS in sociology from the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany.
Team 56

Val Colden

Standards Assurance, Manager

Val joined Textile Exchange as an expert in auditing and supply chain certification with nearly 15 years’ experience. She entered the certification world as an intern at the Forest Stewardship Council, before working with Rainforest Alliance’s certification division. At Rainforest Alliance, she developed extensive experience in auditing and certification body systems, primarily focused on the forestry, wood and paper sectors. Val then worked for Control Union, where she audited companies and standards in the forestry, textile, bioenergy and food sectors, including RDS/CCS audits.

Ambassadors

Team 57

Atila Ertem

Regional Fiber and Material Ambassador, EMENA & Cental Asia

Atilla has been an Organic Pioneer in Turkey since 1986 and started growing organic cotton in 1989. Since then he has been somewhere in organic cotton & textile as consultant, buyer, and project expert in SEA. Atiala’s path crossed with TE in 2010 and he has been trying to help in the Turkish organic cotton & textile sector on behalf of Textile Exchange as country ambassador.
Team 58

Carlotta Cataldi

Graphic Recorder & Events Facilitator

Carlotta has a Master´s degree in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability obtained at the Blekinge Institute of Technology of Karlskrona, Sweden. While writing her thesis on Slow Fashion, she acquired different skills and became a professional graphic recorder and a group facilitator. Passionate about spreading awareness and knowledgeable about the best practices in the fashion industry, she also works as an educator in her community and collaborates with companies to help them identify the most efficient and rewarding path towards sustainability.
Team 59

Joy Luxford

Consultant-SFP Standards, Assurance, Governance, and Matrix

After having worked for years in the professional services and corporate sector, Joy Saunders moved into the not-for-profit world where she was the CEO of Integrity Action (2011-2016), a global NGO that seeks to build integrity in some of the world’s most challenging settings. For her role at Integrity Action she was awarded Director of the Year (2013) by the Institute of Directors for demonstrating increased impact and operational effectiveness within the third sector. She has written and presented in various fora on the importance of closing the feedback loop, metrics and measuring impact in the anti-corruption field and sat as the only civil society representative for the OECD Anti-Corruption Task Team. She has worked with various government, organizations and sector-wide initiatives on practical ways to introduce incentives that improve integrity. Based in Bath, UK, she currently works as a consultant for Textile Exchange on improving integrity within organic cotton as well as helping with strategy discussions.
Team 60

Jun Zhao

Regional Fiber and Materials Ambassador, Asia

Jun has built up solid experience in rural and agricultural development in China over the past two decades. The projects he has engaged in include poverty reduction, pro-poor value chain development, food safety and livestock waste management. His most recent interests are in organic farming and certification, producers’ groups/farmers’ cooperative development and relevant policy studies. He got his Ph.D. in Public Policy (farmers cooperatives) from University of Saskatchewan, Canada in 2010.
Team 61

Mitsuya Inagaki

Ambassador Asia

Mitsuya is a specialist of textile production, especially plant-based materials and their sustainable ways of production. He worked for 15 years as production manager and buyer of cotton fabrics (from 1987-2002). He has established an organic cotton retail brand in 2002; it was the first retailer of certified organic cotton shop in Japan. He started “Peace India Cotton,” the transition project for the local farmers from conventional to organic agriculture, after Japanese NPO rescued child labors at the villages. He has worked on the Governance Board of Textile Exchange from 2007 to 2019. He established and NGO – M.S.I (Material Sustainable Institute) in 2019 to encourage sustainable textile into the Japanese Market. Working with Japanese high school students, he has started to introduce sustainable materials to school uniforms and their daily clothes. They are now connecting with manufacturers in Japan as “School Strike for Textile in Japan.” Founder of M.S.I; Board of Director, Peace by Peace Foundation; Technical Committee of National Institute of Technologyh and Evaluation Japan.
Team 62

Silvère Tovignan

Regional Fiber and Materials Ambassador, Africa

Silvère has been the Regional Director in Africa since 2006. Before joining Textile Exchange, he completed his PhD at Giessen University in Germany where he wrote a dissertation on “Gender perspectives in the adoption of organic cotton in Benin: a farm household modeling approach.” In Benin, he has been involved in many socioeconomic research programs tackling issues related to small scale farmers’ income and well-being. He joined OBEPAB (a Beninese NGO promoting organic farming) a member organization of the worldwide Pesticide Action Network (PAN) in 1998 where, for 4 years, he coordinated an information and training program on organic farming.
Team 63

Silvio Moraes

Regional Fiber and Materials Ambassador, Latin America

Silvio studied agronomy at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, acquiring a master’s degree in soil science and microbiology. Still in college, he met the pioneer ecologist José Lutzenberger, with whom he began his professional career and has developed numerous projects in the field of sustainability. In the early nineties moved to Germany and worked for EPEA and Hamburger Umwelt Institute, developing projects inspired by the Cradle to Cradle concept. Back in Brazil, for over 25 years Silvio develops consulting for organic farming projects and environmental management systems for various companies in Latin America.
Team 64

Valentina Zarew

Ambassador and Strategist- Oceana

A creative entrepreneur with a career background in consumer behavior, marketing communications and sustainability, Valentina is focused on creating collaboration within the industry in the aim of igniting innovation for positive social and environmental change. Her work with Textile Exchange as the local ambassador is focused on industry engagement, education and international collaboration to foster positive transformation within the textile supply chain.