Are you a Company Creating Material Change?

There’s a reason more than 190 companies voluntarily participate in Textile Exchange’s Corporate Fiber & Materials Benchmark (CFMB) program, making it the largest peer-to-peer comparison initiative in the textile industry.

With increasing urgency for global social and environmental action and rising customer and stakeholder expectations, companies need the right tools, resources, data, and forums to transform the way they do business.

The CFMB program launched the Material Change Index (MCI) in 2019 to drive a race to the top. The MCI tracks the apparel and textile sector’s progress towards more sustainable materials sourcing, as well as alignment with global efforts like the Sustainable Development Goals and the transition to a circular economy.

Benefits of benchmarking

Participating in the CFMB program is voluntary and free. Your company will receive:

  • The opportunity to demonstrate leadership through the public Material Change Index.
  • A digital scorecard for engaging and communicating results to team members, executives, boards of directors and external stakeholders.
  • A roadmap to help build a more robust fiber and materials strategy. 
  • A framework for reporting fiber uptake targets, consumption data and progress.
  • Performance tracking with peers and participation in a learning community.
  • A focal point for sector alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Contribution to Textile Exchange’s Climate+ target of a 45% CO2 reduction by 2030.

The CFMB is a great tool and has helped us develop insights and strategies into areas for improvement. It’s not about being first or last on the chart, it’s more about learning and moving forward as an industry in a positive manner.

– Manu Rastogi, Head of Product Innovation and Product Sustainability, Kathmandu

Why benchmarking works

Benchmarking is an effective performance improvement tool – so effective that it’s growing in popularity across a wide range of sectors. As a benchmarking pioneer, Textile Exchange sits proudly, alongside the most reputable benchmarking organizations, as member of the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA). They cite the following 5 reasons why benchmarking works: 

Reason 1

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Benchmarks clarify what societies expect from industries and companies.​

Reason 2

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Benchmarks clarify where and how companies can contribute to sustainability.

Reason 3

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Benchmarks promote a race to the top.

Reason 4

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Benchmarks help companies track progress.

Reason 5

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Benchmarks promote dialogue and are a proven and effective engagement tool for companies.

Participation options

Companies have the option to participate in the benchmark at different levels, with full participation earning eligibility for the overarching Material Change Leaderboard.

MCI

Material Change Index (full assessment)
Companies completing the full survey receive a placement in the Material Change Leaderboard, Material Circularity Index and Material SDG Index, as well as placements for each Materials module completed.

Modular

Modular (partial assessment)
Companies completing one or more Materials modules receive index placements for each module completed.

Progress-Tracker

Progress Tracker (uptake tracking)
Companies reporting on their uptake targets and volumes are listed as participants in the Material Change Index for all reported materials.

To reaffirm our commitment to good data and strong processes, we engaged ELEVATE to externally assure our process every year. Textile Exchange validates all survey submissions, checks calculations and carries out consistency checks year-on-year, but we do not verify the accuracy of the data. That responsibility remains with the participating company. View our disclaimer.

The benchmark cycle

The CFMB Program follows a cyclical and systematic approach to supporting companies at every stage of their preferred materials journey. The 2021 Material Change Index is now open for all textile brands, retailers, and suppliers. The survey submission window is open from Friday, June 25 to Thursday, September 30.

Survey submission (June – September)
Participants register and complete the survey

Validation (October – December)
Submission review

Analysis (January – February)
Results preparation

Reporting (March)
Company scorecards and industry insights

Review (April – May)
Stakeholder consultation and program upgrades

Bench learning (All year round)
Conference, webinars, workshops, peer learning

Being part of the CFMB helps Veja’s team to understand and recognize all the work Veja has been doing by adopting 100% organic cotton in its products and by having built its own supply chain for this crucial material used in the industry. The program also assists the team to comprehend what has been done in relation to other materials and encourages Veja’s team to reach a more sustainable supply chain in the coming years.

– François Ghislain Morillion, Co-founder, Veja

Getting started

The Material Change Index 2021 is now open. Join over 200 apparel and textile companies creating material change.

  • Free to participate.
  • Business led.
  • A race to the top. 
  • Confidential company scorecard.

To get started on your benchmarking journey, we recommend you:

Frequently asked questions

All brands, retailers and suppliers of textile products are eligible to participate in the Material Change Index (MCI)​. In fact, the more companies taking part, the more meaningful the results for all involved. Even if your company is not a member of Textile Exchange, it can still participate in the benchmark program. ​

There is no fee to participate. The priority is to grow participation rates by making the CFMB accessible for all. However, as the program continues to grow, Textile Exchange is looking for partners to ensure the long-term sustainability of the program and the resources required to deliver a high-quality benchmarking product. We have also introduced a voluntary participation fee and an “advanced” report card (see more about company report cards below). Program development in 2019 was kindly supported by C&A and Tchibo.

All participants receive customized and confidential company scorecards. Company scorecards offer a useful tool for each participating company to share with important internal and external stakeholders, including the investment community.

This year we have significantly changed company feedback reporting. In response to popular demand and system improvements, report cards are now digital. This means they are more graphic and less text based, allowing for interactive displays of data driven information. We have also introduced two levels of report card: standard (free of charge for all participants) and advanced (for a fee of US$3,000). Textile Exchange Partner level members receive a complimentary advanced report card, and supporter members pay a discounted US$2,000 fee. Small and Medium Enterprises (SME/friend-level membership) can receive an advanced report card for US$1,000.

The benchmark framework provides a holistic approach to fiber and materials reporting. Companies submitting a full survey response are eligible to be recognized in the Material Change Index’s overarching Material Change Leaderboard, Material Circularity Index, and Material SDG Index, as well as placements for each Materials module completed. Companies completing one or more Materials modules receive index placements for each module completed. 

Since 2019, our family of indices is based on management as well as uptake data, replacing the volume-based version of the past.

Circularity is playing an ever increasing and critical role in reducing the industry’s dependence on natural resources. In addition, textile waste is increasingly serving as a feedstock to displace some of the virgin materials the industry currently relies upon. Addressing textile waste and its “re-invention” as a valuable resource has become a critical part of a fiber and materials strategy, which is why we are now tracking circularity progress through our Material Circularity Index.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are an overarching set of goals that can connect the textile industry to the world’s most important agenda. The SDGs cover environmental, social and economic themes that will be critical to the health and prosperity of people and planet – and the long-term viability of business. The CFMB helps companies make this connection, and progress toward alignment with these goals is tracked in the Material SDG Index.