Preferred Fiber and Material Matrix

A framework for holistically assessing preferred materials in the textiles industry

Up to 80% of a garment’s environmental impact is determined at the product design stage, so sourcing decisions can be critical. Together with partners, Textile Exchange is proud to announce the Preferred Fiber and Material Matrix, an interactive resource for assessing the trade-offs of different sustainability certifications, initiatives and branded materials.

The Preferred Fiber and Material Matrix aims to help apparel, footwear and home goods companies make informed sourcing decisions by providing transparent data and consolidated, validated guidance on over 65 of the industry’s most commonly used materials. Not merely a ranking, but a robust way to assess materials across broad impact areas, the PFM Matrix combines quantitative and qualitative data that allows for detailed comparisons within each specific material category. Impact criteria including soil health, water contamination, human rights, and animal welfare. Building on Gap Inc.’s Preferred Fiber Toolkit, the framework leverages existing tools like the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Higg Materials Sustainability Index (MSI), Textile Exchange’s Animal Welfare Framework, and third-party assessment of certifications and initiatives.

Coming Soon

The PFM Matrix is currently in beta and only available to Textile Exchange members to access click here. It will be available to the public in 2022. Thank you for your input and patience!


  • A textiles assessment tool, created for the industry, by the industry.
  • Over 65 programs and materials assessed.
  • Robust methodology considers 6+ indicator themes: climate and GHG, water use and pollution, chemicals and toxicity, soil health and land management, human rights, waste, and animal welfare.
  • Transparency of assessment criteria provides nuanced context — not just a score.
  • Ability to make comparisons within material types to inform sourcing decisions.
  • Created in partnership with Gap Inc., the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, and others.

With special thanks to:

Gap Inc. Logo
Zalando Logo

Textile Exchange would like to thank Gap Inc. for their generous gift of this tool and Zalando for their generous contribution to the update of the PFM Matrix

The Preferred Fiber Toolkit was originally developed by Gap Inc. to help inform their designers and product teams of the impacts of their fiber and material choices. While Textile Exchange was part of the early days of the work, we are grateful to be given the responsibility and ownership of the tool starting in 2020. Thank you to all of the programs who have participated in the development process of the PFM Matrix, the brands who provided feedback on the UX, and to Anthesis who supported on the original Gap Preferred Fiber Toolkit. We will continue to improve upon the foundational work of Gap Inc. to create a tool that combines quantitative and qualitative data from materials into a decision-making tool for the industry. This tool will drive the work of Textile Exchange to meet our Climate+ goals.