Textile Exchange and the Organic Trade Association (OTA) have entered a joint effort to strengthen the North American organic textile industry’s public policy influence and public relations efforts. The two groups will work together on legislative advocacy, public outreach and consumer education initiatives.
The agreement was signed in conjunction with the recent formation of the OTA’s Fiber Council, which was created to provide a cohesive voice across fiber categories within OTA and to grow the North American organic fiber sector overall.
According to the Washington, D.C.-based association’s 2015 Organic Industry Survey, U.S. organic fiber sales were the fastest-growing nonfood sector, reaching $1.1 billion in 2014, up 18 percent from the previous year.
The leading organic fiber is cotton; in 2014, U.S. growers planted organic cotton on 18,234 acres—the largest number of U.S. acres devoted to organic cotton since 1995. According to O’Donnell, Texas-based Textile Exchange’s 2014 Organic Market Report, global sales of organic cotton products reached an estimated $15.7 billion in 2014, up 10 percent from 2013.
According to the press release, a major goal of the partnership is to boost outreach to North American consumers on the benefits of organic fiber and textiles, particularly the environmental and social benefits of growing and processing them.
Founded in 2002, Textile Exchange is a global nonprofit that works with all sectors of the textile supply chain to find the best ways to minimize and reverse the negative impacts on water, soil, air and the human population created by this $1.7 trillion industry. The Organic Trade Association is the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America.