How to participate

There’s a reason more than 170 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 was created to support companies and drive a race to the top. It tracks the apparel and textiles 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.

Participating in the CFMB 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 35-45% CO2 reduction by 2030.

Benefits of benchmarking

Since Textile Exchange started benchmarking, other sectors and issue campaigners have initiated benchmarks in fields such as corporate human rights, deforestation, water and sustainable seafood. The most reputable benchmarking organizations come together under the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA), of which Textile Exchange is a member and proud ally.

According to the WBA, benchmarks work for five core reasons:

  • First, they clarify what society expects from industries and companies.
  • Second, benchmarks identify where and how companies can contribute to sustainability.
  • Third, they promote a race to the top.
  • Fourth, they help track progress.
  • Fifth, benchmarks are a proven and effective engagement tool.

The growth of benchmarking in an increasing number of arenas is testament to its effectiveness as a performance improvement tool.

For more details, visit the World Benchmarking Alliance website.

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, Kathmandu

Getting started

The CFMB follows a cyclical and systematic approach to supporting companies at every stage of their preferred materials journey.
mci cycle
To get started on your benchmarking journey, we recommend you take 15 minutes to watch the recorded introduction, and then use the additional tools and resources to guide you through the process. Please note that the 2020 survey launches in April 1st, 2020 and remains open for submissions until July 1st, 2020. Further information on the program cycle and the benchmark framework can be found further down this page. If you wish to be notified of important benchmark information, please join our mailing list by emailing CFMB@TextileExchange.org.

Library

  • Getting Started (pdf)
  • Survey Guide (pdf)
  • Technical Guide (pdf)
  • Fiber Uptake Calculation Guide (pdf)
  • Fiber Conversion Methodology (pdf)
  • SDG Companion Guide (pdf)
  • 2019 Results Guide (pdf)
  • 2019 Scoring Methodology (pdf)
  • 2019 Materials Impact Dashboard Guide (pdf)
  • 2019 – Sector Scorecard (pdf)
  • 2018 – SDG Insights Report (pdf)
  • 2018 – PFMB Insights Report (pdf)
  • 2018 – PFMB Sector & Sub-Sector Feedback Report (pdf)
  • 2017 – PFMB Insights Report and Key Insights (pdf)
  • 2016 – PFMB Sector Report (pdf)
  • 2015 – PFMB Pilot Report (pdf)

Frequently asked questions

All brands and retailers of textile products are eligible to participate in the Corporate Fiber & Materials Benchmark (CFMB). In fact, the more companies taking part, the more meaningful the results for all involved. Due to popular demand, Textile Exchange is considering the applicability of the CFMB for suppliers and manufacturers of textile products and will be embarking on expanding scope of participation in 2020.

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. 

One important change for 2019 is that our family of indices is now based on management as well as uptake data, replacing the volume-based version of the past . A driver for this change came from the Textile Exchange Board, who made a decision last year that leadership materials sourcing should not only reflect how much of a specific preferred fiber is being used, but how well it is being managed.

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.