Global OCRT 2017 Preferred Fiber & Material (PFM) Round Tables

Global OCRT 2017, Washington D.C. 1

When & Where

The 2017 Preferred Fiber & Material (PFM) Round Tables took place in Washington D.C. on 12th October, 2017. This highly interactive, action-oriented day gave attendees the chance to roll up their sleeves and bring into action the rich content shared during the preceding two days of the 2017 Textile Sustainability Conference. The PFM Round Table format evolved in 2017 to offer both focused sessions on specific fibers and materials, and the opportunity for the organic cotton community to come together to build regional strategies.

Watch the engaging panel discussion on SDGs and read below to re-cap on the day’s highlights and action points.

Partnership Opportunities

Team work and collaboration are key in bringing initiatives like this to their full potential. We are currently looking for partners for the PFM Round Tables, and you can explore the available collaboration opportunities using the link below. Please contact Liesl@TextileExchange.org if you would like to discuss these opportunities.

Flow of the Day

Morning

Following the morning welcome and panel conversation, there were four Preferred Fiber & Material Round Tables running simultaneously, covering: Organic Cotton, Recycled Polyester, Biosynthetics, and Man-made Cellulosics. Each of these focused, single-fiber discussions will be tailored to the “needs” of the fiber, the key challenges facing suppliers and buyers, sustainability hotspots, barriers to growth, and solutions to invest and scale. While there is plenty of support and guidance offered during each meeting, the sessions are designed to be very interactive and group-led.

Ideally, each group arrived at a set of priorities and next steps to report out to the wider audience in the feedback session. Group input helped steer the Round Tables in the right direction, enablling Textile Exchange to better support its members and the wider textile community, and to accelerate the uptake of preferred fibers and materials within the industry.

Afternoon

In the afternoon, it was all about organic cotton, but this time with a more regional focus. In the past, the three stakeholder-selected priority areas of Seed & Soils, Business Models, and Consumer Engagement had been discussed on a global level but, this year, we believed the community was ready to dive deeper into customizing strategy at the regional level. Ultimately, the same issues and opportunities exist for all, but each country is at a different stage of development and therefore requires a different strategy, alongside designated resources and networks of supporters. Over the years, some regions had had more attention than others during the OCRT, so this set-up allowed each region to shine!

It’s well understood that greater diversity across sourcing platforms, and a healthy, robust organic cotton community – locally and globally – will benefit the entire industry over the longer term. We wanted to see how we could make that happen!