GIFTED STANDARDS REVIEW

INTRODUCTION

In 2018, Textile Exchange was gifted five new Standards by Control Union. In 2019, each Standard will undergo its own internal assessment process to determine how it will fit into Textile Exchange’s portfolio of offerings.

INTENT AND GOALS

The five gifted Standards are in different stages of their lifecycle. Some are currently in use by our community while others are in development through piloting and research. We are looking for our community’s expertise and thought partnership to determine the role of Textile Exchange in each Standard’s future.

SCOPE

The five gifted Standards that will be reviewed are:

GLOBAL ORGANIC LATEX STANDARD (GOLS)

The GOLS addresses criteria for natural rubber latex from certified organic plantations (USDA NOP or EU) that is processed at manufacturing units. To achieve GOLS certification, a product must contain more than 95% of certified organic raw material. The Standard also addresses aspects such as human health, safety and welfare, and environment in the manufacturing process of organic latex products. Rubber plantations as well as processing units up to the final retailer are certified to the GOLS.

SUSTAINABLE FIBER PROGRAM (SFP)

The Sustainable Fiber Program (SFP) is a production and processing Standard that was designed in 2012 to address the need for a comprehensive and inclusive program on natural fibers. It is built around three main pillars: agricultural, animal husbandry and processing pillars and requires compliance with eight sections total, including general principles, quality control, social criteria, safety & hygiene, and inspection of smallholder farmer groups. From the perspective of Textile Exchange, the SFP is a Standard in development. In scope of the standard is the entire chain of custody, from farm, ginning, spinning, fabric and other manufacturing processes all the way to the brand/retail/wholesale level.

RESPONSIBLE ACCESSORy & JEWELRY STANDARD

The aim of this Standard is to define requirements to ensure that trims, jewelry and accessories are manufactured/prepared/made under positive social and environmental practices, from sourcing of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labelling in order to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer. This Standard covers the sourcing, production, processing, manufacturing, packaging, labelling, trading and distribution of all jewelry and accessories made with certified natural and/or synthetic material.

NON-GMO PRODUCTION STANDARD

The intent of the Standard is to capture the use of non-genetically modified methods for any farmer, processor, or other stakeholder. The goal of the Standard is to outline the necessary procedures for products to qualify as non-GMO production. The Standard pivots around the claim ‘no genetically engineered ingredients’ to highlight the manner of production of a product.

VEGAN STANDARD

The Vegan Standard intends to provide support for plant-based lifestyles. The aim is to ensure certified products do not contain animal products or byproducts. The Standard also aims to assess good practices in the production and processing of certified products. It covers production, processing, and transportation of certified products. The goal is to have this Standard made applicable to both food and non-food sectors.

PROJECT Activities

Each of the five gifted Standards will undergo their own assessment.

The assessment process is staggered, and we are working on more than one Standard at any given time to arrive at a recommendation to the Board as quickly as possible.

Project timeline

By early 2020, our goal is to have a clear understanding of the future of each of the five gifted Standards and how they fit into Textile Exchange’s product offering.

Stakeholder Engagement/ community input

We are looking for our community’s expertise and thought partnership as we determine each Standard’s future. During the month of April 2019, we ran a survey to identify subject matter experts on each of the Standards. If you missed the subject matter expert survey but still would like to add yourself as a subject matter expert, please email GiftedStandards@TextileExchange.org. In the months to come, we will send a second survey to those who identified themselves as subject matter experts to gather more in-depth information on the specific Standard(s) they signed up for. We will also post a survey link to that second survey on this site for the Standard we’re assessing at the time.

Since May, we’ve gathered more in-depth stakeholder feedback from subject matter experts of the Global Organic Latex Standardthe Sustainable Fiber Program, and the Responsible Accessory and Jewelry Standard. At this time, if you’d like to share your in-depth expertise with us on the Vegan Standard and the Non-GMO Standardsplease complete this survey for the Vegan Standard and this survey for the Non-GMO Production Standard.

DECISION-MAKING

Your feedback as current or prospective new users of these Standards, thorough research, analysis and select stakeholder conversations will inform a recommendation to the Textile Exchange Board who will make its final decision on the future of each Standard. Following the project close in early 2020, we will make available high level summaries of the decisions made (including feedback we received).

cONTACT US

We have compiled an FAQ that answers questions we have received to date. We will periodically update this FAQ with new questions we receive. For any additional questions, comments or feedback on this process, please do not hesitate to reach out to GiftedStandards@TextileExchange.org