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Textile Exchange, a Driving Force for Climate Action

By Partner


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With less than a decade to meet the 1.5°C climate target, Textile Exchange looks to the accelerated adoption of preferred fibers and materials to achieve its 2030 Strategy: Climate+. 

How many times in a single day does each person on the planet come into contact with one form of textile or another? Textiles and apparel are key ingredients in all of our lives, yet, as an industry, it is said to be one of the highest polluting. Textile Exchange views this as an opportunity for tremendous change.  

The lead up to 2030 will be a decade of change as Textile Exchange’s strategic intent is to be a driving force for urgent climate action in fiber and materials production. We will enable and guide the textile industry to reach a 35-45 percent absolute reduction of GHG emission or CO2 equivalent from textile fiber and materials production (pre-spinning). Based on climate science, including the UN IPCC report from October 2018 titled Global Warming of 1.5 makes it clear that we have a limited time window in which to act and if we do not act soon, we lock in certain climate impacts that will negatively impact a multitude of areas.  

Textile Exchange recognizes that if we do not successfully combat climate change, we may lose the opportunity to address these impact areas; it is urgent that we proactively address climate. “We see the need and see we have the opportunity to help the whole textile industry accelerate their actions,” said LaRhea Pepper, Managing Director at Textile Exchange, “in fact, we see it as an imperative.” 

The 2030 Strategy: Climate+, has a focus on preferred fibers and materials that allows us to measure impacts and progress, while concurrently amplifying positive impacts on soil health, water, and biodiversity. As a cornerstone, climate also gives us the place and opportunity to consider every business’s most critical assets – people. As a society, we need to address climate in a way that ensures people are protected.  

As a global nonprofit with more than 425 members collectively working towards the same goal, Textile Exchange supports our membership to accelerate the uptake of preferred fiber and material in their material portfolio. Our standards provide a base from which to build integrity and best practices in supply chains. We focus on opportunities to collaborate in addressing critical issues facing the industry. Finally, as a Trusted Authority, we provide ways to measure impact and benchmark progress.  

In fact, in 2019 170 brands voluntarily participated in the Corporate Fiber and Materials Benchmark program, which enables participating companies to measure, manage, and integrate a preferred fiber and materials strategy into their business. These brands have adopted a portfolio approach to making sourcing decisions in a more sustainable, responsible, and regenerative way.  

For years, Textile Exchange has promoted practices, standards, and resources that encourages sustainable practice adoption in the textile industry. Adopting the Climate+ strategy is a way to bring the priority of climate, biodiversity, and carbon reduction to the heart of our work with preferred fibers and materials. 

Climate+ accelerates positive change and is measurable and achievable but will require progressive action to reach the goal. Does your company have a preferred fiber and material strategy in place that creates positive impacts on climate? Learn how Textile Exchange can help. Contact us at climateplus@textileexchange.org

Photo:Fish nets - NOAA Coral Reef Ecosystem Program - CC-BY 2.0 (Flickr creative commons)

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