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Trade association’s Fiber Council to take part in Textile Sustainability Conference

Council messages will focus on organic integrity, best labeling practices for textiles

Maggie McNeil
(202) 403-8514
(202) 615-7997
Washington , DC
October 9, 2019
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In an effort to enhance consumer trust in the organic label, the Organic Trade Association’s Fiber Council will focus on organic supply chain integrity and best labeling practices for organic textiles when it participates in the 2019 Textile Sustainability Conference in Vancouver, BC, Canada, later this month. The Fiber Council is made up of Organic Trade Assocition member companies in the organic fiber supply chain, from farmers to manufacturers, certifiers, researchers, retailers and more, from wool and cotton clothing companies to organic mattress retailing.

The Fiber Council will host a booth in the exhibit hall to answer questions about the benefits of organic agriculture and actions companies can take to both protect organic integrity and achieve transparency in organic claims. Fiber Council members also will actively participate in a full agenda of workshops and educational sessions, as well as the Organic Cotton Round Table where Fiber Council Secretary Sandra Marquardt will lead the U.S. Regional Dialogue and Gwendolyn Wyard, Vice President of Regulatory and Technical Affairs at the Organic Trade Association, will participate as a thought leader in a session on supply chain integrity.

The aim of the Fiber Council at the conference will be primarily to promote the Organic Trade Association’s recently adopted ‘Best Labeling Practices for Textiles’ and its new groundbreaking ‘Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions’ program in which organic businesses may now voluntarily enroll.

“Consumers need assurance in the organic label, and certified organic brands need confidence in fair market conditions,” said Wyard. “The formal release of the Organic Trade Association’s ‘Best Labeling Practices for Organic Textiles’ coupled with the launch of our comprehensive organic fraud prevention program will promote and optimize compliant and truthful labeling, and encourage leadership by companies committed to consumer trust and supply chain integrity. Ultimately, our efforts will lead the charge in stamping out misleading and fraudulent organic claims in the marketplace.”

Protecting against fraud in the organic supply chain, she noted, is a critical priority for the Organic Trade Association and its members.

The Fiber Council works to strengthen and grow the organic fiber and textiles sector. Members of the Council address not only the latest in related organic and international policy, but also what can be done to grow the U.S. organic textile industry. The Council has hosted consumer-facing events, developed fact sheets with information vital to organic businesses, organized trainings about the Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS) and kicked off research into the impacts of the conventional cotton production supply chain in collaboration with The Organic Center.

Organic fiber continues to be the largest and fastest-growing sector in the U.S. organic non-food industry (including organic textiles, household products, personal care products, supplements, pet food and flowers). According to the Organic Trade Association’s 2019 Organic Industry Survey, organic fiber product sales increased 15 percent over 2017 to $1.8 billion in 2018 -- with most of those sales in organic cotton. Overall, sales of organic food and non-food products in the U.S. totaled a new record of $52.5 billion in 2018, up 6 percent from the previous year.[1] Increasing consumer awareness and the growing knowledge that what we put ON our bodies is as important as what we put IN them are driving growth in the organic textiles and fiber market.

Textile Exchange’s 2019 Textile Sustainability Conference will take pace October 15-18. It is one of the largest gatherings of sustainable textile leaders ever in North America.

The Fiber Council is chaired by Michael Twer of Delliah Home. Angela Wartes-Kahl of Oregon Tilth Certified Organic serves as Vice Chair, and Sandra Marquardt of On the Mark Public Relations is its Secretary. The Fiber Council includes: All Natural Dog Beds, Avocado Green Beds, Boll & Branch, Control Union, Coyuchi, Dhana, Fiberactive Organics, Fibershed, Gallant International, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Good Earth Natural Foods, James Wedel Farms, Japan Organic Cotton Association (JOCA), Jeffco Fibres, Karlin Strategic Consulting, Linda Cabot Design, MetaWear, MOM’s Organic Market, Naturepedic Organic Mattresses, On the Mark Public Relations, OneCert, Oregon Tilth (OTCO), Organic Cotton Plus, Outerknown, PACT, Patagonia Works, Pepper Farms, Ramblers Way, Richard D. Siegel Law Offices, Sleep on Latex, Synergy Organic Clothing, Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative (TOCMC), Textile Exchange, Timberland, Under the Canopy, Vreseis Ltd. (FoxFibre® Colorganic®), WearPACT, and Whole Foods. 

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America. OTA is the leading voice for the organic trade in the United States, representing over 9,500 organic businesses across 50 states. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. OTA’s Board of Directors is democratically elected by its members. OTA's mission is to promote and protect ORGANIC with a unifying voice that serves and engages its diverse members from farm to marketplace.