Why Integrity?

Change in the industry

Individuals, companies and organizations are committing enormous energy and resources to bring greater sustainability to the textile industry, and many significant improvements have come along as a result; fibers are being grown organically, materials are being recycled, non-renewable resources are being replaced by renewable ones, fewer and less toxic chemicals are used, emissions are reduced and energy, water and inputs are all being used more efficiently. Without integrity along the full supply chain, companies are at risk; they may not be getting what they have paid for, and the claims they are making about themselves or their products may not be true, leading to potential brand risk and even legal implications.

What is integrity?

Integrity can be defined as business practices that are consistent with publicly stated principles. In the case of creating a more sustainable textile industry, all of the actions being taken and claims being made must be truthful and reflect relevant positive change.

Integrity in business is about more than just purity of intentions: it means understanding and taking all of the necessary steps to ensure that positive change is being achieved for the environment and/or communities. This involves understanding the sustainability issues being addressed, having a life-cycle approach taking steps to verify the truth and accuracy of all claims being made, and being transparent.

Building integrity in the industry

Textile Exchange sees integrity as core to the successful growth of the sustainable textile industry, and we support industry integrity through tool development, education, information sharing and collaboration with key stakeholders. We have developed a number of standards to address gaps that existed in product claim verification, we support supply chain transparency and traceability, we work with industry stakeholders to identify and address issues, and we have created numerous resources that explain the certification process and the responsibilities of the different players. We are continually reaching out at conferences, tradeshows and to individual companies to promote and explain the different aspects of standards, certification and integrity.

[1] Life Cycle:Consecutive and interlinked stages of a product or service system, from the extraction of natural resources to the final disposal.
- ISO 14040.2 Draft: Life Cycle Assessment - Principles and Guidelines