Organic cotton drives meaningful change in the textile industry to address the interconnected climate, biodiversity, soil, and water crises we face. Organic cotton comes from a farming system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems, and people, by relying on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions. However, without a central structure to support the community, it’s difficult to scale organic cotton at the rate that is needed.
That’s why Textile Exchange’s global Organic Cotton Round Table (OCRT) is a space for all organic cotton stakeholders – from producer groups to brands and retailers – to come together, share learnings and collectively tackle challenges in the organic cotton sector. The OCRT also includes regional platforms that connect experts, organizations, farmers and brands to address region-specific barriers to growth.
We convene via in-person and virtual Global and Regional OCRT Summits, regular Working Group meetings, and the OCRT HUB, which serves as the virtual home of the OCRT and keeps the community connected all year round. We also provide tools and resources for the organic cotton sector such as an Organic Cotton Producer Directory; the annual Organic Cotton Market Report; and our Out of the Box Interview Series showcasing organic cotton trailblazers.
Since its inception in 2012, the OCRT has catalyzed a number of initiatives such as the Organic Cotton Accelerator and the Chetna Coalition. The OCRT is currently focused on scaling in-conversion cotton to sustainably address the surging demand for organic.
2021 Global OCRT Summit | Dublin & Virtual | November 19
On Friday November 19 the Organic Cotton Round Table (OCRT) will be hosting its annual Global OCRT Summit as part of Textile Exchange’s 2021 Textile Sustainability Conference (Dublin, Ireland, 15 – 19 November). The Global OCRT Summit is the place for everyone in the organic cotton community – from farmers to manufactures to brands – to come together to drive the growth of organic cotton.
This year we’ll be hosting jam-packed virtual and in-person sessions exploring the role of organic cotton in tackling the climate and nature crises, tried and tested approaches to sourcing in-conversion cotton and addressing price challenges, and the best ways to measure the impacts of organic cotton. As always, we’ll have plenty of experts on hand for all your burning organic cotton questions, whether you’re a newcomer looking to learn more about sourcing organic cotton, or an organic cotton aficionado seeking to measure and maximize your impact.
Registration: To register for Textile Exchange’s 2021 Textile Sustainability Conference and Round Table Summits, whether joining virtually or in person, please click here. If you only wish to attend the Global OCRT Summit and not the whole conference, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Virtual attendance to the OCRT is free for all, but there is a small charge for in-person attendance.
2021 Regional OCRT Summit Series | Virtual | Beginning – mid November
Five virtual Regional OCRT Summits will be held between the end of October and middle of November, ahead of our 2021 Global OCRT Global Summit on November 19. Each event will dive headfirst into the most pressing issues, all with the aim of removing the barriers to the growth of organic cotton in key cotton growing regions across the world, including: Africa; EMENA, Western & Central Asia; Latin America & the Caribbean; and the United States.
We’re kicking off this year’s Regional OCRT Summit Series in Africa on November 1, with the latest news from the Pan-Africa Sourcing Working Group and updates from the field on yield and production and impact data.
Plus, we’ll be mythbusting some common misconceptions about African organic cotton around demand, fiber quality, sourcing models and processing. Our pioneering speakers include: Prama Bhardwaj, CEO and Founder at Mantis World; Maximilian Daebel, Vice President of Purchases and Sales at Otto Stadtlander GmbH; Heather Chaplet, Founder and Designer at Xoomba; Jacqueline Shaw, Founding Director of Africa Fashion Guide; Muktar Dodo, Africa Representative at GOTS; Marco Baenninger, Head Trader at Paul Reinhardt AG and Rajan Bhopal, International Project Manager at the Pesticide Action Network (UK).
November 1 @ 3 – 5:30pm CET & WAT | 5 – 7:30pm EAT | 4 – 6:30pm CAT | Register here.
Languages: English; French – TBC
On November 3, we’re bringing you a jam-packed session addressing how to expand organic cotton growing in the U.S. We’ll provide an update on organic cotton production and manufacturing before diving into hot topics such as pricing, contracts. weather, and the transition to organic. We’ll also learn how to transform obstacles into opportunities to realize the potential for the expansion of U.S. organic cotton production in time for the 2022 planting season.
Our expert guests include: Kelly Pepper, Manager at the Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative; Cannon Michael, President and CEO at Bowles Farming Company; Steve Dyer, Global Head of Marketing at Louis Dreyfus Company/Allenberg/Procot; Brent Crossland, Founder of 5 Loc Cotton; Scott Wilson, President of USTRIVE Manufacturing; Bena Burda, Founder and CEO of Maggies Organics; Barry Cik, Founder and Technical Director at Naturepedic Organic Mattresses; and Francisco Luna, Director of Sourcing and Production at Patagonia.
November 3 @ 5 – 6:30pm CET | 12 – 13:30pm EDT | 9 – 10:30pm PDT | Register here.
On November 4, we’ll be learning about the latest developments in in-conversion and organic cotton in EMENA & Central Asia. Together, we’ll figure out how to build a supply chain that works for everyone – from farmers to ginners to brands and retailers. We’ll explore what type of support farmers need to scale up organic and in-conversion cotton and how innovative projects and partnerships are unlocking the potential of organic cotton in the region.
November 4 @ 12 – 2:30pm CET | 2 – 4.30pm TRT | Register here.
Language(s): English; Turkish – TBC
On November 9, we’ll be hosting the South and Southeast Asia Regional OCRT Summit, in partnership with the Organic Cotton Accelerator (OCA), to help you turn insights into action. Together, we’ll explore how to address surging demand and interest in organic cotton, with a focus on in-conversion cotton.
We’ll be looking at paths to progress in Pakistan and taking inspiration from India with our expert panelists, including: Asad Imran, Director, Sustainable Agriculture & Food Programme at WWF Pakistan; Dr. Babar E. Bajwa, Senior Regional Director, Asia at CABI Agriculture and Bioscience; Faiza Jamil, Sustainability and Communications Manager at Artistic Milliners, Kavya Jain, Programme Officer at OCA and Amish Gosai, Senior Manager, Supply Network and South Asia at Textile Exchange.
November 9 @ 12 – 2:30 pm CET | 4:30 – 7pm IST | 4-6:30pm PKT | Register here.
We’ll be closing our Regional Summit Series on November 9 in Latin America and the Caribbean, where we’ll find out more about how organic cotton farmers are growing cotton using regenerative and agroecological farming practices. We’ll be learning about ways to monitor the positive impact of organic cotton on the climate and how to implement GHG emissions reductions at industry level.
We’ll also discuss how to maximise the growth of organic cotton production in the region. Join us for insights from trailblazing brands, producers and researchers, including Beth Jensen, Climate+ Director at Textile Exchange.
November 9 @ 6 – 8:30 pm CET | 2 – 4:30pm ART & BRT | 12 – 2:30pm PET | Register here.
Language(s): English; Spanish and Portuguese simultaneous translation will be available, technology permitting
Sign up form available in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, and Turkish (use the dropdown menu in the form to select language).
Join the OCRT HUB to find all the latest information on OCRT Summits, webinars, Working Group activities, and more. It is also where you can connect with other OCRT members, engage in topical discussions, and find resources in our library.
The OCRT HUB is housed in Textile Exchange’s membership portal, the HUB, but it is open to all; membership in Textile Exchange is not a requirement.
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