In Conversion Transitional Cotton

In-Conversion/Transitional Cotton At-a-Glance

In-Conversion/Transitional Cotton

Brands wishing to incorporate organic cotton into their supply chains may find there isn’t enough to meet their needs. Demand for organic cotton has increased dramatically in recent years to the point that, without a plan to convert more conventional acreage to organic acreage, brands may not be able to ensure a future supply.

Brands wanting to secure future supplies of organic cotton need to send clear demand signals to farmers so that farmers can make the switch to “in-conversion” or “transitional” cotton and feel confident that there will be a market for it.

Establishing an organic management system requires an interim period, known in different countries as either the “in-conversion” or “transitional” period (hereafter “in-conversion”). This varies in time based on the organic standard being applied but is up to 36 months. During that time, farmers implement all the practices required to achieve organic certification (including not using inputs and practices prohibited in organic farming) and are audited annually by certification bodies as per international organic agriculture standards. In-conversion cotton is the output of the farms during this conversion period.

Through the Organic Cotton Round Table (OCRT) Textile Exchange is working with the global organic cotton community to expand the production of organic cotton and facilitate the journey to get there. Click here to join the OCRT community.

Next Steps

    Through the OCRT, Textile Exchange has several initiatives underway: 
  1. Providing a webinar as part of the OCRT e-Learning series: Part 1 – How to Incorporate In-conversion Cotton into your Preferred Materials Strategy.” (March 2, 3-4 pm GMT | 10-11am EDT). Learn more and register here
  2. Surveying the industry for demand forecasting.Textile Exchange will carry out a brief stakeholder survey to enable the industry to plan for expansion most efficiently and accurately and to better understand brands’ five-year forecasted amounts of fiber, qualities, and sourcing regions. Insights will be anonymized and reported back to the industry alongside recommendations. If you are interested in taking part in this important research, please contact OCRT@TextileExchange.org. 

Important Information

In-Conversion to Organic Cotton: The Basics

This brief document provides background information on what in-conversion cotton is – including discussion of standards, fair pricing, and claims that may be made. Download here.

The Organic Content Standard (OCS)

The Organic Content Standard (OCS) is an international voluntary standard that sets requirements for third-party certification of certified organic input and chain of custody. The goal of the OCS is to increase organic agriculture production.

Announcement: Temporary OCS Exemption for In-Conversion Cotton

In January 2021 Textile Exchange released guidance that permits material which is in-conversion to be verified under the OCS, including from OCS-recognized organic standards – such as the U.S. National Organic Program – that do not recognize in-conversion material. However, public facing claims for in-conversion products may not reference the OCS at this time.

Approved OCS Certification Bodies

Certification to Textile Exchange standards is performed by independent, third-party certification bodies (CBs). The searchable list shows the CBs that are currently licensed to conduct certification to Textile Exchange standards, including the OCS.

Examples of General Marketing Language

The following are links to brands that are successfully incorporating in-conversion cotton into their products, introducing the public to the concept of and promising them an organic future.

FAQs

Contact Us

For more information, please contact:  OCRT@TextileExchange.org for in-conversion and organic cotton queries.  Assurance@TextileExchange.org for standard and assurance/claims queries. 
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