Organic Exchange (OE), the non-profit which has helped drive global sales of organic cotton apparel and home textile products to an estimated $4.3 billion in 2009, will announce its expanded role as the organization driving development of the global sustainable textile industry under the new name, ‘Textile Exchange’, at its annual conference in New York City, 27-29 October 2010. The broadened focus positions the organization to serve as the non-profit convener, catalyst, and market-maker for the sustainable textile industry worldwide.
Textile Exchange (TE) will work to increase the global market for sustainable fibres, focussing initially on those that are bio-based, organic and recycled, while retaining a core focus on organic cotton. It will also tackle pressing textile industry production concerns such as water and air emissions, energy use and its impact on climate change, waste production, and the widespread use of toxic inputs. Change is vital given the huge and unsustainable economic, environmental, and social costs of current textile production methods and a projected global population of over nine billion by 2050, all needing clothing and other textiles.
A focus on textile sustainability enables the entire value chain to find cost savings and production efficiencies and pass those savings on to customers while reducing the impact of textile production on people and the environment.
The change will be announced at TE’s Global Sustainable Textiles Conference, with approximately 300 textile industry-related representatives from 29 countries already registered to attend. TE’s global conference includes representatives from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, adidas, Anvil Knitwear, C&A, Disney, Eileen Fisher, Gap, H&M, Lenzing, LL Bean, Nike, Nordstrom, Patagonia, PUMA, REI, Target, Walmart, and Williams-Sonoma. Topics to be covered include sustainable textile processing, eco-indexing, traceability and transparency, organic fibre production, and environmental footprinting.
In November, TE will roll out a dynamic website (TextileExchange.org) which will dramatically improve the ability of producers, manufacturers, brands and retailers, funders, and the general public to interact, find important information, locate supply chain partners, and improve traceability, transparency, and integrity in the textile industry supply chain. The website – created by Silicon Valley’s SourceN, aims to drive efficiency, cost savings, and visibility in the global textile value chain.