LEARNING CENTER/HOME


Textile Exchange’s Mission is to inspire and equip people to accelerate sustainable practices in the textile value chain. We hope that these pages will be a tool to get you started on your journey with us – a journey to create a global textile industry that protects and restores the environment and enhances lives.

On this page, you will find a general introduction to sustainability and the materials used in the textile industry. Information will be more advanced the further you journey through each material. Each section will guide you: start by learning about a new fiber and end with opportunities to join the leading-edge, industry-wide conversation around address industry challenges.



THIS PAGE IS CURRENTLY UNDER DEVELOPMENT. SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE.


WHY DOES SUSTAINABILITY MATTER?


In many supply chains, it is an overwhelming challenge to identify and monitor raw material suppliers, the source of fiber and materials for the textile industry. The textile and apparel industries have an incredible opportunity to minimize the harmful impacts of the global textile industry and maximize its positive effects, through the use of Preferred Fiber and Materials.

Impacts associated with raw material production are broad and include the following:




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The U.N. Sustainable Development Goals is an inter-governmental agreement of the United Nations and 193 countries around a set of 17 specific, aspirational goals that address the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. With 169 targets to be met by the year 2030, and over 232 indicators for measuring progress, the Global Goals were designed to stimulate action in the following areas: people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnerships. The themes covered by Global Goals all reflect current challenges and risks facing the textile value chain. Read more on Global Goals or access our key resources on the right. 


  • SDG Guides & REPORTS

    Use these references to help guide you on how to start, how to report and also to review case studies.

    SDG Guides & Reports
  • SDG MAPPING RESOURCES

    Use this Resource for a brief overview of the SDGs, Targets, and how industry Initiatives can advance the SDGs.

    SDG Mapping Resources
  • SDG VALUE CHAIN RESOURCES

    Use this Resource to explore sustainability tools suitable for specific roles in the Value Chain.

    Value Chain Resources
  • REGIONAL RESOURCES

    Use this Resource to discover local and regional SDG actors & initiatives by sourcing country and region.

    Regional SDG Resources


ESSENTIAL TERMINOLOGIES


Biobased: A biosynthetic fiber consists of polymers made from renewable resources, either wholly or partly.

Integrity: Making truthful claims; integrity is essential in maintaining the trust of farmers, processors, sellers and consumers, and in ensuring that the targeted social and environmental benefits are actually achieved.

Organic: Fibers that are produced, and certified, according to organic agriculture standards. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, expand biologically diverse agriculture, and prohibit the use of synthetic toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, as well as genetically engineered seed.

Manmade Cellulosics (MMCs): Man Made Cellulosic (MMC) fibers come from plants that are processed into a pulp and then extruded in the same ways that synthetic fibers like polyester or nylon are made. Viscose (rayon) and acetate are the most common man made cellulosic fibers, derived from natural raw materials such as wood, bamboo or cotton linters.

Recycled: Material that would have otherwise been disposed of as waste or used for energy recovery but has instead been collected, reclaimed and reprocessed to be used as a material input, in lieu of new primary material. (adapted from ISO 14001).

rPET: Recycled Polyester

Supply Chain: The progression of business entities involved in the supply and purchase of materials, goods, or services, from raw materials to the final textile product.

Traceability: The ability to trace the history, application, or location of a given material.

Transparency: Disclosure relating to the operations, inputs, and materials used in the production of a final product.

Full list of Glossary & Abbreviations



LEARNING MODULES / BASICS


>  Material Summary: Cotton Better  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Cotton Cleaner  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Cotton Conventional  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Cotton Fairtrade  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Cotton made in Africa  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Cotton Organic   •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Cotton Recycled  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: CRAILAR   •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Down  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: EVA  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Hemp   •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Leather  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Leather Preferred  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Linen •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Nylon  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Nylon Recycled  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Polyamide 11  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Polyactic Acid  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Polyurethane •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: PTT •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Polyester  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Polyester Chemically Recycled  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Rubber Recycled  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Rubber Synthetic  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Silk  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Spandex •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Tencel  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Viscose  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Viscose Bamboo  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Wool Organic  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Wool Recycled •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Wool Non-Mulesed  •  pdf | member/paid



LEARNING MODULES / BASICS


>  Material Summary: Cotton Better  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Cotton Cleaner  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Cotton Conventional  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Cotton Fairtrade  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Cotton made in Africa  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Cotton Organic   •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Cotton Recycled  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: CRAILAR   •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Down  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: EVA  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Hemp   •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Leather  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Leather Preferred  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Linen •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Nylon  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Nylon Recycled  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Polyamide 11  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Polyactic Acid  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Polyurethane •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: PTT •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Polyester  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Polyester Chemically Recycled  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Rubber Recycled  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Rubber Synthetic  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Silk  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Spandex •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Tencel  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Viscose  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Viscose Bamboo  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Wool Organic  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Wool Recycled •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Summary: Wool Non-Mulesed  •  pdf | member/paid



LEARNING MODULES / APPLICATION


>  Certification Toolkit: Basic  •  pdf | public

>  Certification Toolkit: Supplier Package  •  pdf | public

>  Certification Toolkit: Essential Series  •  pdf | member/paid

Case Study: Building Integrity – H&M (recycled)  •  pdf | public

Case Study: Building Integrity – C&A •  pdf | public

Case Study: Building Integrity – prAna (organic) •  pdf | public

 

>  Introduction to PFM Benchmark Program  •  pdf | public

>  Preferred Fiber & Materials Market Report (PFMR): 2017  |  2016  •  pdf | public

>  Preferred Fiber & Material Benchmark – Insights Report 2017 •  pdf | member/paid

>  Preferred Fiber & Material Benchmark Sector Report: 2016  | 2015  •  pdf | public

>  Textile Exchange Sustainability Conference Overview:  2017 | 2016  |  2015   •  pdf | public

>  All In: How Reformation Leads by Doing  •  webinar | public


>  Material Snapshot: Acrylic  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: BCI Cotton  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Chemically Recycled Polyester  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Cotton – China  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Cotton – India  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Cotton – USA   •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Eva Foam  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Flexible Polyurethane Foam  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Hemp  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Linen   •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Nylon 6 •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Nylon 6,6  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Pigskin Leather  •  pdf | member only

>  Material Snapshot: Organic Cotton  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Polyurethane Spandex  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Solid Polyurethane  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Recycled Nylon •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Rubber  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Solution Dyed Mechanically Recycled Polyester  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Stamped Aluminium Eyelets  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Solution Dyed Virgin Polyester   •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Sorona   •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Tencel •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Virgin Polyester  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Thermoplastic Polyurethane  •  pdf | member/paid


LEARNING MODULES / APPLICATION


>  Certification Toolkit: Basic  •  pdf | public

>  Certification Toolkit: Supplier Package  •  pdf | public

>  Certification Toolkit: Essential Series  •  pdf | member/paid

Case Study: Building Integrity – H&M (recycled)  •  pdf | public

Case Study: Building Integrity – C&A •  pdf | public

Case Study: Building Integrity – prAna (organic) •  pdf | public

>  Introduction to PFM Benchmark Program  •  pdf | public

>  Preferred Fiber & Materials Market Report (PFMR): 2017  |  2016  •  pdf | public

>  Preferred Fiber & Material Benchmark – Insights Report 2017 •  pdf | member/paid

>  Preferred Fiber & Material Benchmark Sector Report: 2016  | 2015  •  pdf | public

>  Textile Exchange Sustainability Conference Overview:  2017 | 2016  |  2015   •  pdf | public

>  All In: How Reformation Leads by Doing  •  webinar | public

>  Material Snapshot: Acrylic  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: BCI Cotton  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Chemically Recycled Polyester  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Cotton – China  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Cotton – India  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Cotton – USA   •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Eva Foam  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Flexible Polyurethane Foam  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Hemp  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Linen   •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Nylon 6 •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Nylon 6,6  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Pigskin Leather  •  pdf | member only

>  Material Snapshot: Organic Cotton  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Polyurethane Spandex  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Solid Polyurethane  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Recycled Nylon •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Rubber  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Solution Dyed Mechanically Recycled Polyester  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Stamped Aluminium Eyelets  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Solution Dyed Virgin Polyester   •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Sorona   •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Tencel •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Virgin Polyester  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Material Snapshot: Thermoplastic Polyurethane  •  pdf | member/paid


LEARNING MODULES / ADVANCE


>  Fiber: Guide to Organic Cotton  •  video | member/paid

>  Fiber: Guide to Building a Preferred Fiber & Materials Strategy  •  video | member/paid

>  Fiber: GMO’s and the Supply Chain  •  video | member/paid

>  Integrity: Chain of Custody  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Integrity: Supplier Training   •  pdf | member/paid

>  Integrity: Brand Certification  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Integrity: Certifications and Sustainability Roadmap  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Supply Network: Supply Chain Mapping  •  video | member/paid

>  Supply Network: Sustainable Sourcing  •  video | member/paid

>  Supply Network: Best Practices  •  video | member/paid

>  Strategy: Part One – Developing a Sustainability Strategy •  pdf | member/paid

>  Strategy: Part Two – Embedding Sustainability  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Strategy: Part Three – Strategy into Action  •  pdf | member/paid



LEARNING MODULES / ADVANCE


>  Fiber: Guide to Organic Cotton  •  video | member/paid

>  Fiber: Guide to Building a Preferred Fiber & Materials Strategy  •  video | member/paid

>  Fiber: GMO’s and the Supply Chain  •  video | member/paid

>  Integrity: Chain of Custody  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Integrity: Supplier Training   •  pdf | member/paid

>  Integrity: Brand Certification  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Integrity: Certifications and Sustainability Roadmap  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Supply Network: Supply Chain Mapping  •  video | member/paid

>  Supply Network: Sustainable Sourcing  •  video | member/paid

>  Supply Network: Best Practices  •  video | member/paid

>  Strategy: Part One – Developing a Sustainability Strategy •  pdf | member/paid

>  Strategy: Part Two – Embedding Sustainability  •  pdf | member/paid

>  Strategy: Part Three – Strategy into Action  •  pdf | member/paid


FIND OUT WHO IS MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN SUSTAINABILITY.

The Insider Series showcases an eclectic mix of industry leaders speaking from “inside” their organization.

Insider Series
 

WORKSTREAM QUICKLINKS


ORGANIC COTTON :
RECYCLED POLYESTER :
BIOSYNTHETICS :
MANMADE CELLULOSICS :
ANIMAL FIBERS :

About  →  Key Challenges  →  Best Practice  →  Collaboration
About  →  Key Challenges  →  Best Practice  →  Collaboration
About  →  Key Challenges  →  Best Practice  →  Collaboration
About  →  Key Challenges  →  Best Practice  →  Collaboration
About  →  Key Challenges  →  Best Practice  →  Collaboration