About the Index
Textile Exchange’s Material Change Index (MCI) is the largest peer-to-peer comparison initiative in the textile industry. It tracks the apparel, footwear and home textile sector’s progress toward more sustainable materials sourcing, as well as alignment with global efforts like the Sustainable Development Goals and the transition to a circular economy. Our family of indices tracks MCI participants as well as progress on specific materials and program characteristics.
The MCI is published in partnership with the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles and WRAP UK, with GreenBiz Group as its lead media partner. Funding support was generously provided by C&A and Tchibo. The MCI is proudly affiliated with the World Benchmarking Alliance and Textile Exchange is a supporting organization to the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action.
With our new Climate+ strategy, Textile Exchange is the driving force for urgent climate action on textile fiber and materials. By benchmarking the industry and providing actionable tools for improvement, Textile Exchange is pushing a race to the top. Join us.
About the CFMB program
The MCI is a key component of Textile Exchange’s Corporate Fiber & Materials Benchmark (CFMB) program, which enables participating companies to measure, manage and integrate a preferred fiber and materials strategy into their business. The CFMB is one of few transparency benchmarks built on voluntary company disclosure. By participating, companies demonstrate a commitment to transparency and continuous improvement around their materials sourcing strategy.
After an initial pilot in 2015, the Corporate Fiber & Materials Benchmark (CFMB) program is now in its fifth year. Alongside the MCI, the program includes sector analytics and insights, outcome and impact tracking (through our Materials Impact Dashboard) and in-person and bench-learning opportunities.
The bigger picture
Textile companies, with their business roots in the fields, forests, and deep underground, have an important role to play in the transition to a more resilient, regenerative and circular economy. Millions of people – fiber farmers, foresters, waste collectors, polymer engineers, other textile feedstock providers and their communities – 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 contributions textile companies can make to securing a sustainable future.
In October 2019, Textile Exchange launched its Climate+ strategy, accelerating the uptake of preferred fibers and materials to drive an absolute reduction of 35-45% in CO2 emissions from the sector by 2030. This objective is built on the urgency to respond to key risks for the textile industry and the huge potential to make improvements in areas such as water, land, air and the lives of people everywhere. Some of the most serious risks and opportunities occur during the production of raw materials, the stage of the supply chain that is often furthest from company influence.
By creating a benchmark program for companies, Textile Exchange not only measures and reports company and industry progress but provides strategic direction for the companies that participate. By participating in the program, companies embark on a “bench learning” journey, with the support of Textile Exchange staff and fellow participants. The exchange of knowledge creates a virtuous circle of learning and improving.
Aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are universal (for both developed and developing countries), holistic (people-centered and planet-sensitive) and measurable. Many companies are adopting the framework of the SDGs to plan a long-term approach to sustainability and value the CFMB’s ability to identify and track contributions to the SDGs.
The CFMB provides an important entry point to the SDGs, as it allows company and industry-wide progress toward 2030 to be tracked. For the textile industry, SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production is the gateway to many of the other SDGs, such as no poverty, sustainable agriculture/zero hunger, land use, life under water and industry innovation. Through improved practices on land and in processing mills, there is huge potential to reduce water and energy use, improve water quality and decrease carbon emissions. Incorporating reclaimed feedstocks not only reduces waste and strain on natural resources, but it also brings valuable secondary raw materials back into utilization.
With the introduction of Textile Exchange’s Climate+ strategy, SDG 13: Climate Action has become a greater focus for the organization. While moving to renewables can address 55% of global GHG emissions, to achieve UN climate goals it is imperative to tackle the remaining 45% which, according to the Ellen McArthur Foundation, is associated with materials. Designing out waste, keeping materials in use and regenerating farms and forests will play an important role in reducing carbon emissions.
How our benchmark supports the Global Goals
- SDG Insights Report. This briefing analyses the first two years of responses to SDG question set now included in the CFMB. Early findings suggest growth in SDG alignment, at least among the frontrunners.
- SDG Companion Guide. This guide is intended as an initial step towards further supporting the textile industry on alignment with the SDGs.
- TextileforSDGs. Visit the Textile Exchange SDGs webpage.