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Textile companies collaborate to improve sustainability

September 28th, 2015 / By: / Industry News, News

Textile Exchange’s Benchmark Program for Organic Cotton and Preferred Materials allows companies to track their progress and relate it to others’ results in four main areas: sustainability strategy; supply chain; materials usage; and sales and marketing. Image: Textile Exchange
Textile Exchange’s Benchmark Program for Organic Cotton and Preferred Materials allows companies to track their progress and relate it to others’ results in four main areas: sustainability strategy; supply chain; materials usage; and sales and marketing. Image: Textile Exchange

Textile Exchange (TE), a global nonprofit organization that works to accelerate sustainable practices in the textile industry, released the findings of a comprehensive benchmarking report that measures the progress of 57 leading textile companies in their effort to become more sustainable.

Companies ranging from small start-ups to global brands submitted detailed data about their use of organic cotton and other “preferred materials” to Textile Exchange for analysis and comparison across the industry.

According to the results, 93 percent of companies have a mission to be more sustainable. Eighty-one percent are addressing raw material use at the strategy level, and 74 percent are setting individual targets for specific materials. In addition, 70 percent of companies use a voluntary sustainability standard to help them ensure the integrity of their organic products and 64 percent are tracking other preferred materials.

Areas for improvement include policies on raw materials and animal welfare; setting long-term goals for a preferred material portfolio; and providing data on the use of preferred materials.

This is the first year of TE’s Benchmark Program. Participating companies will receive a comprehensive baseline analysis of their sustainability performance to compare with the sector average. In subsequent years they will be able to chart their own year-on-year improvements and measure their pace of change against other companies.

The benchmarking results will be featured at TE’s global Textile Sustainability Conference in October, and in a series of online workshops that will be launched later in 2015.

Source: Textile Exchange

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