NSF International and Textile Exchange partnering to advance textile Sustainable Practices
Strategic Partnership Expands Textile Exchange’s Global Reach and Enhances NSF International’s Sustainability Services
NSF International, a global not-for- profit public health organization operating in more than 165 countries, today announced a strategic partnership with Textile Exchange, a global not-for-profit organization working to make the textile industry more sustainable. NSF International is a multifaceted organization working to protect human health and the environment in a variety of ways, including development of standards and testing and certifying products for the water, food, health sciences, sustainability, organic and consumer goods industries. Textile Exchange provides knowledge and tools to the textile industry to make significant improvements in three core areas: fibre and materials, integrity and standards, and supply network.
“By working together, we can expand our reach globally, work more deeply within existing programs and maximize the positive impact we’re making,” said LaRhea Pepper, Managing Director of Textile Exchange. “Both of our organizations and our members will benefit from this new strategic relationship.”
Together, NSF International and Textile Exchange possess technical and scientific expertise in sustainability standards development and certification as well as supply chain consulting, training and education services. NSF International has more than 70 years of standards development experience, including development of American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards. Textile Exchange’s focus on the textile industry helps to broaden NSF International’s sustainability scope beyond its current expertise in animal welfare, food, safer chemicals, building products and materials, and water quality.
“Our organizations have similar missions and we’ve worked together closely in the past,” said Jenny Oorbeck, General Manager of Sustainability at NSF International. “This strategic partnership is a natural fit since we’re both committed to, and working diligently to, protect the environment and human health through sustainability standards, certification and supply chain services in several sectors.”
NSF International will make targeted investments in Textile Exchange’s global operations, information systems and personnel. Additionally, NSF International will share expertise and resources related to standards development, certification, proprietary supply chain technology and global marketing capabilities. The partnership enhances both organizations’ sustainability services and gives NSF International access to Textile Exchange’s deep expertise and best practices in the preferred fibre and materials (PFM) industry.
Textile Exchange works closely with some of the world’s largest brands and retailers. “They are a well-respected organization and a thought leader in the textile industry,” said Oorbeck. “Their global staff works with the full range of textile supply networks including farmers, processors, manufacturers and multinational brands.”
Textile Exchange developed a suite of preferred textile standards that complement NSF International’s existing sustainability standards. The partnership will enable the organizations to develop new standards and harmonize existing standards, such as NSF International’s Global Traceable Down Standard and Textile Exchange’s Responsible Down Standard.
“We plan to harmonize these similar standards to minimize market confusion among brands and manufacturers that want to source down and feather material responsibly,” Oorbeck said.
While NSF International and Textile Exchange will share resources and work closely in many ways, Textile Exchange will remain a separate legal entity and neutral standards body — giving open access to all qualified certification bodies that want to certify to the organization’s standards.
We’re creating a structure that will allow us to partner with NSF International in the ways it makes sense while still keeping our preferred textile standards independent and neutral,” Pepper said. “We will continue working with any qualified certification body.”
NSF International: NSF International (nsf.org) is a global independent organization that develops standards, and tests and certifies products to these standards for the water, food, health sciences and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment. Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. Operating in more than 165 countries, NSF International is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center on Food Safety, Water Quality and Indoor Environment.
NSF International’s Sustainability Division offers a range of standardized and proprietary methods of measuring sustainability for organizations, products, processes, supply chains and services. Through its National Center for Sustainability Standards, NSF International has developed animal welfare and sustainability standards for product categories such as down, chemicals, building products and materials, and water quality. NSF International works with leading regulators, scientists, engineers, public health and environmental health professionals, and industry representatives to develop these transparent, science-based standards, protocols, and product category rules.
Textile Exchange (TE), founded in 2002, is a global nonprofit organization that works closely with all sectors of the textile supply chain to find the best ways to minimize and even reverse the negative impacts on water, soil, air, animals, and the human population created by this $1.7 trillion USD industry. TE accomplishes this by providing the knowledge and tools the industry needs to make significant improvements in three core areas: Fiber and Materials, Integrity and Standards, and Supply Chain. A truly global organization, TE is headquartered in the United States with staff and ambassadors located in 10 countries.