Are you a Company Creating Material Change?

There’s a reason more than 320 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

Hover to view.

Benchmarks clarify what societies expect from industries and companies.​

Reason 2

Hover to view.

Benchmarks clarify where and how companies can contribute to sustainability.

Reason 3

Hover to view.

Benchmarks promote a race to the top.

Reason 4

Hover to view.

Benchmarks help companies track progress.

Reason 5

Hover to view.

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.

Key_Full-Assessment

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.

Key_Modular

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

Key_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 2022 Material Change Index will now open for all textile brands, retailers, suppliers, and manufacturers in June 2022. The survey submission window is open for three months.

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 2022 is now open. Join over 320 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” scorecard (see more about company scorecards below). 

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.

Participants receive a customized “scorecard” comparing their own progress year-on-year and how they rank alongside their peers. These digital scorecards are confidential to the participant and come in three versions. 

Standard Scorecard: The standard scorecard is free of charge for all participants and provides a comprehensive benchmark across all areas of the Material Change Index completed by the company. 

Advanced Scorecard: The advanced scorecard includes all the features of the standard scorecard plus a “traffic light” gap analysis and an “impacts dashboard” that models the company’s sustainability footprint in key areas, including energy, greenhouse gas emissions and water, according to the Higg Material Sustainability Index (Higg MSI). This scorecard is only available for Textile Exchange members and Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) members. 

Premium Scorecard: Premium scorecards are tailored to the needs of your company and are part of our consulting services. Please contact CFMB@TextileExchange.org to discuss. 

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  including 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.

Textile Exchange’s Climate+ strategy recognizes that climate change and biodiversity loss are inextricably linked and are best considered within an integrated strategy. Our strategic intent over the next 10 years is to be a driving force for urgent climate action in textile fiber and materials production, specifically through: Enabling and guiding the textile industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030 in the pre-spinning phase of textile fiber and materials production. Amplifying positive impacts in soil health, water, and biodiversity.

Prioritizing nature in fiber and materials management and sourcing decisions will bring long-term business benefits, more resilient livelihoods, health and well being for communities, and safer interfaces between wild and managed lands and species. For this to happen, it will require a heightened focus on designing and implementing biodiversity-sensitive raw materials strategies that drive positive action, outcomes, and impacts that can ultimately be tracked and measured. 

Discover more about it in the biodiversity section.