Textile Exchange Launches 2020 Material Change Insights Report

The Material Change Insights Report provides one of the most data-backed and comprehensive analyses of how the industry is progressing in its shift to preferred materials, as well as alignment with global efforts like the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the transition to a circular economy. This year the report launches alongside Textile Exchange’s Material Change Index (MCI) that tracks individual company progress. Some of the major key trends are highlighted below from the 191 participating companies.

1. Participation up 10%

191 participants compared to 173 the previous year, greatest participation growth was within the Apparel/ Footwear sub-sector.

2. Index average score up 17%

The average MCI score was up 9.8 points this year (increasing by 17% from 63.24 last year to 72.53, while remaining at the Level 3 “Maturing” performance band. Companies in the MCI Level 4 Leading band increased 125% from 16 in 2019 to 36 in 2020.

3. Circularity drives the increase

The Circularity average score moved the Circularity Index average up from a Level 2 to a Level 3 (up 16.01 points from 34.82 to 50.83). Circularity scores increased on average by 37% with the biggest growth among outdoor/sports brands. Nine companies achieved the Leading Level 4 ranking in Circularity: C&A, H&M Group, Knickey, MUD Jeans, Nudie Jeans, Outerknown, Patagonia, prAna, and The North Face.

4. Preferred materials now 44% of Index portfolio

Uptake of preferred materials was up 24%, (from 1.7 million tonnes reported in 2019 to 2 million tonnes reported in 2020) and preferred materials now account for 44% of the Index portfolio (previously, 39%). Preferred renewable cotton and recycled polyester accounted for most of this growth. Preferred cotton increased by 26% (1.3 million to 1.6 million tonnes/63% of cotton uptake) and recycled polyester by 30% (from 0.2 million tonnes/17% of polyester uptake to 0.3 million tonnes/18%).

5. Greenhouse gas savings show some improvement

The most evidence of greenhouse gas emission reduction is linked to the use of recycled polyester. Savings there were 0.7 million tons CO2eq, a 16% saving over a fully conventional polyester equivalence.

The Insights Report is available for download now (https://mci.textileexchange.org/insights)  along with the interactive Leaderboard (https://mci.textileexchange.org/change-index/) and Impact Dashboard (https://mci.textileexchange.org/dashboard/). The 2021 submission window opens in June to brands, retailers, and now manufacturers and suppliers too. To participate, contact CFMB@TextileExchange.org and become a Company Creating Material Change in 2021.