Sustainability

2017-03-27

Textile Exchange Preferred Fiber & Materials benchmark report released

Textile Exchange conference on Preferred Fiber & Materials (PFM) in 2016 in Hamburg (c) 2017 TexData
71 Companies have stepped up to the mark and put themselves forward for benchmarking against their peers and competitors in the Textile Exchange Preferred Fiber & Materials (PFM) Benchmark Program, linking their efforts to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
61% of companies have set targets for switching to a more sustainable source of cotton, three quarters having a specific target for organic. Liesl Truscott, Materials Strategy Director for Textile Exchange said:

“Millions of people – cotton farmers, foresters, and other textile feedstock providers – form the base of the textile supply network and are impacted by the decisions brands and retailers make every day. Influencing improvement in fiber and material production is one of the greatest opportunities textile brands and retailers can contribute to securing a sustainable future. “

“Preferred” is another way of saying “more sustainable.” Textile Exchange defines a “preferred” fiber or material (PFM) as one that is ecologically and socially progressive and has been selected because it has more sustainable properties in comparison to conventional options.
“The mix of fibers in your product range can be just as important as the sustainability profile of each fiber,” Truscott added. “It’s great to have a forward-thinking cotton program, but if most of your range is synthetic you should be concentrating on recycled choices. Our benchmarking will point companies towards that.”

Textile Exchange recommends a “portfolio approach,” building a suite of preferred fiber and materials from a choice of preferred options, through the consideration of impacts and product range priorities. The goal is that PFMs are produced to a globally accepted standard, with strict criteria that qualifies the product as preferred, and can be traced through the supply chain.

Nanda Bergstein, Head of Vendor Relations & Sustainability (Non Food) for Tchibo, said “Our goal of a 100% sustainable business model challenges us to think about completely new, innovative models of doing business. One of them is our partnership with the Appachi ECO-LOGIC Cotton Project in India which brings together a value chain from the farmers to the customers. The key is the partnership and working together – and we see this as pivotal for the entire industry.

This is why we are proud to support the Preferred Fiber and Materials Benchmark. It is not only a tool to benchmark our individual progress as a company within the index community, it also creates motivation for the industry to increase the conversion from conventional into sustainable materials and products.”

71 companies (up from 57 last year), ranging from adidas to Woolworths, completed a bespoke online survey and have received confidential Company Feedback Reports revealing their individual results. An Industry Report – containing the combined results of all participating companies – is to be released this week.

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