Transitional Cotton Challenge: Catalyzing Years of Change

About the Initiative

Welcome to Textile Exchange’s resource page for The Fair Fashion Blended Cotton Challenge! We have developed this resource page to support participants of Glasgow Caledonian University’s The Fair Fashion Center’s Blended Cotton Challenge. Below you will find information about organic and transitional cotton (sometimes also called ‘cotton in transition’). Contact LaRhea Pepper or Liesl Truscott for additional support.

Sponsored by:

what is organic cotton?

Organic cotton is cotton that is produced and certified to organic agricultural standards. Its production sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people by using natural processes rather than artificial inputs. Importantly organic cotton farming does not allow the use of toxic chemicals or GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Instead, it combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote a good quality of life for all involved.

Farm Engagement

Our Farm Engagement Program helps organic cotton producers build business capacity, gain access to sustainable textile and apparel markets and link to Textile Exchange’s large network of brands, retailers and manufacturers seeking organic cotton. We also help raise awareness of the proven environmental and socio-economic benefits of organic cotton, increase farmer visibility and promote best practice business models. Our objective is to catalyze growth in more sustainable textile production and markets; promoting organic as the preferred cotton fiber. This means growth that is based on economic fairness and returns, transparency in the supply chain, promotion of best practice business models, ensuring ethical conduct and good relations between producers and the value chain – as well as environmental sustainability.

Our Goals are to support organic cotton farmers:

  • Gain access to stable and rewarding value chains
  • To become better organized (as Producer Groups) and better informed
  • To understand and contribute to agro-ecological sustainability
  • Combine a successful business with community needs such as food security
  • Achieve organic status by design not by default


If you use cotton in your products and are looking to improve the sustainability of your supply, it’s essential to create a robust cotton strategy. Change doesn’t happen by default, it happens by design.Textile Exchange can advise you on how to implement a 4 point action plan:


    Network and sourcing regions


    Leverage existing supply network and either convert or insert organically grown cotton with existing spinners.


    For Fair Fashion Center and Textile Exchange to assist with implementation.


    Learn from members of Textile Exchange and/or collaborate on sourcing strategies

Are you interested in Creating a Strategy using a Portfolio of Sustainable Cotton Initiatives? Read more about Creating a Preferred Cotton Strategy here.

New Guides on organic cotton trade and fiber classification

Kering and Textile Exchange published two comprehensive guides on the organic cotton trade today in order to provide a blueprint for companies sourcing organic cotton, and incorporating it into their supply chains. As easy-to use tools, the guides demonstrate best practices and sourcing models for a more responsible trade.  Overall, the guides lift much of the burden off of sourcing organic cotton. Through alleviating many of the challenges in the trade, this can enable more companies to uptake more organic cotton, thereby leading to a virtuous cycle, resulting in increased organic cotton supply and usage in products. Ultimately, this will also create more sustainable cotton supply chains for farmers and for the good of the environment.

DOWNLOAD: A World Beyond Certification: A best practices guide for organic cotton trade models

DOWNLOAD: Organic Cotton: A fiber classification guide


As businesses, we all need to have a real understanding of our dependence and impact on the raw materials we use. Kering was motivated to develop these guides to support the scaling up of organic cotton, which we believe will positively impact the trade overall. We hope the guides will be useful for our peers in identifying sources for organic cotton and in structuring their supply chains in a more environmentally and socially sustainable way.Christine Goulay | Sustainable Sourcing Specialist, Kering | As said at the 2017 Textile Sustainability Conference in Washington D.C.

tools and resources

To guide you to add organic cotton to your portfolio, Textile Exchange has also developed the following tools and resources:

Consumer facing transitional logo information:


“We work hard to make sure the supply chain from farmer to retailer is transparent, efficient, and equitable. Without any of those pillars, the process is unbalanced.”La Rhea Pepper, Organic Cotton Farmer, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Textile Exchange

supplier directory


R Hariharan

*Extra Long Staple
Mani Chinnaswamy


Eric Ducoin

bioRe India
Vivek Rawal

R. Nanda Kumar

* Projects in India and China, possibilities in Peru
Alison Ward

Eco Farms
Anand Mor

Prahtiba Syntex
Avinash Karmarkar


This program has been created in partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University FairFashion Center.

gcu fair fashion

The GCNYC Fair Fashion Center focuses on the intersection of profitability and sustainability. With the unique mission to facilitate the incorporation of sustainable practices into fashion, the Fair Fashion Center (FFC) is proving the business case for sustainability by turning global issues into industry opportunities.  The FFC develops market-based solutions that combine economic value creation with environmental stewardship, social inclusion, and sound ethics to create systemic change in the fashion industry. Changes individually to each entangled area begin the momentum but the inertia of the collective actions will create a quantum redesign of the industry. Learn more here.


Coming Soon

contact us

If you use cotton in your products and are looking to improve the sustainability of your supply, it’s essential to create a robust cotton strategy. Change doesn’t happen by default, it happens by design.

LaRhea Pepper | Managing Director, Textile Exchange

Liesl Truscott | European Materials Director, Textile Exchange