Preferred Fiber and Materials
We’re helping the industry access meaningful data on the production of different materials.
Our annual Preferred Fiber and Materials Market Report pulls together data on the production volumes and availability of different fibers and raw materials, as well as sharing insights on emerging fiber trends. We share these numbers publicly to give fashion and textile companies a clear picture of how their sourcing decisions translate.
Sharing data helps the industry discover sourcing opportunities and address challenges.
The Preferred Fiber and Materials Market Report collects data from government agencies, certification and accreditation bodies, and independent organizations. We do this work to show the industry where change needs to happen and accelerate action, helping companies to discover sourcing opportunities and pinpoint challenges.
Key insights from the 2021 global fiber market
Global fiber production increased to a record 113 million tonnes, reversing slower growth seen during COVID-19. This figure has almost doubled in the last 20 years and is expected to boom to 149 million tonnes by 2030 if business as usual continues.
The low cost of virgin fossil-based synthetic fibers still makes them a popular choice. Polyester still holds the highest market share of any fiber at 54%, of which only 14.8% is recycled. This is due to the competitively low price of fossil-based polyester.
Long-term relationships along the supply chain are needed to boost preferred cotton supply. The market share of cotton grown through our recognized programs decreased from 27% to 24% in 2021, hinting that deeper commitment from brands is needed to understand farmers’ needs.
Brands use the recycled materials available, but more investment in circularity is needed. While the share of recycled fibers increased from 8.4% to 8.9% in 2021, this was mainly due to use of bottle-based polyester fiber. Less than 1% of the global fiber market was from recycled textiles in 2021.
Next-gen materials show promise, but their market share needs to grow to drive change at scale. Bio-based polyester and polyamide represent just 0.03% and 0.4% of those materials’ total market share, while recycled manmade cellulosic fibers account for 0.5% of the MMCF market.
Without urgent action, the industry will go beyond what is needed to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Urgent action across three areas—material substitution, scaling innovation, and reduced production—is needed to ensure the industry can reduce its emissions enough to protect the 1.5 pathway.
Access the Insider Series and Member Spotlights
Each year, during the Preferred Fiber and Materials Market Report preparation, we interview suppliers and other stakeholders to seek unique insights from their work. Links to the interviews and excerpts are shared in the report, but you can read the full interviews online in our Insider Series and Membership Spotlight.
Another tool that accompanies the Preferred Fiber and Materials Market Report is the Supplier Mapping. While the basic supplier mapping and excerpts are shared in the publicly available report, the full supplier mapping is an exclusive benefit for supporter and partner level members and stored in the member community on the HUB. The basic supplier mapping and links to the full supplier mapping are included in the PFMR. If you want to access the latest version, you can download the PFMR 2022 (pages 104–107).
References and Feedback
A significantly growing number of organizations and publications are referring to our Preferred Fiber and Materials Market Report. We want to start tracking the references to our report and hear your feedback. Please share your feedback and inform us about references to our report.
The Preferred Fiber and Materials Market Report is the most comprehensive report on the market for more sustainable fibers and materials. It helps the industry to measure progress towards global goals and supports people in their decision-making. To help us continue publishing the report as an open-source document, we are looking for partners to support this work. If you are interested in learning more about the opportunities available, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.