We are revolutionizing our standards system.

In 2021, we began a sweeping revision of our standards framework with the aim of developing a harmonized system that incorporates outcomes focused on our Climate+ strategy. The unified standard will let us track and communicate progress more efficiently and effectively across all of the fibers and materials in scope of our certification system, while increasing the value for participants.

Standards are crucial to help us reach our Climate+ goals

Adopt best practices

Drive greater adoption of best practices in fiber and material production and sourcing, contributing to sustainability outcomes.

Positively impact our planet

Reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve soil health, increase biodiversity, and improve the use and quality of water.

Support key impact areas

Encourage best practices in the key impact areas for animal welfare, human rights and livelihoods, chemical management, and waste reduction.


Moving towards a more inclusive, outcome-focused system

  • Hybrid approach

    To make sure we are achieving our desired outcomes, we are planning to move to a hybrid approach that combines traditional, practice-based requirements with a more outcome-driven approach.

  • Animal welfare

    We are reviewing best practices for the treatment of animals and how their role in agricultural systems can bring positive impacts.

  • Human rights and livelihoods

    We are designing a new approach to evaluating the most impactful areas for people and communities that focuses on commitments, due diligence, and appropriate actions based on scale and risk.

  • Supply chain best practice

    We are aiming to drive meaningful change in the environmental footprint of first processing facilities, including chemical management, water resources, air quality, and waste reduction.

  • New fiber and material types

    We are exploring how we can expand our standards into the most impactful production areas by including new animal-based fibers, fiber crops, and forest-derived materials, such as manmade cellulosic fibers.

  • Innovative material alternatives

    We are looking at opportunities for capturing feedstocks for biosynthetics and assessing eligibility requirements for reclaimed inputs and recycling processes.

  • Simplify and strengthen standards and options for certification

    We are exploring an approach that would recognize other standards, programs, and industry initiatives in line with the outcomes identified in our standard.


Our focus area is fiber and material production.

We are also interested in seeing how we can link facility-level certification and/or practices with our chain of custody. Chain of custody through our Content Claim Standard will remain from source to end product, with the brand being the last organization along the supply chain requiring certification.


Fabric scraps, old clothing and textiles are cut into strips waiting for recycle.

Interested and impacted stakeholder groups influence our decision-making

We follow the ISEAL Codes of Good Practice, in addition to our own procedures for standard setting, accreditation, and certification. Our standards team is leading the revision process with the help of an International Working Group (IWG), which reviews, discusses, and guides decision-making. Previous IWGs have been established for single standards, but with this transition we are focusing on one IWG reviewing all of the related fibers and materials in scope for the unified standard and connecting to smaller subject matter expert groups that will inform its members.

Cotton plants.

Share your feedback on the first draft of our unified standard

In partnership with an International Working Group, Textile Exchange has created a first draft of the unified standard. The draft is now available as of May 15, 2023. It is open for public feedback until July 14, 2023.


How to share your thoughts and suggestions

  • Use our online feedback form

    Share your feedback using this form where you can track your comments as you review the standard.

  • Download and edit the excel

    Download the standard in excel and email it back to standards@textileexchange.org.


Use our summaries to navigate the draft document

To help stakeholders review the standard draft, we have written material-specific guidance that explains at a high level the main changes that have been drafted and provides highlights across different criteria categories. This information will support how to go through the draft document, and what to look for based on the relevant industry specifics.


Track our progress

Download the full timeline
  • May – July 2023

    First draft consultation

  • September – October 2023

    Second draft consultation

  • November – December 2023

    Finalize standard

  • Start of 2024

    Publish final standard

  • 2024

    Planning and preparation by all participants in the standard system, field testing through pilots, and review of claims and labeling

  • 2025

    Unified standard is effective (may be used for auditing and certification)

  • 2026

    Unified standard is mandatory for previous standards it replaces

Alpaca wool.
International Working Group

IWG members

The International Working Group (IWG0 is the group of stakeholders actively engaged in the development or revision of a standard. IWG members are approved by a designated review committee. All IWG members are required to sign a charter (IWG charter) Indicating their commitment to the goals of the standard and the time need to be engaged in the process. Together with the Textile Exchange secretariat, the IWG reviews, discusses, and guides decision-making on how to incorporate scope topic areas in the standard. The IWG approves the draft versions of the standard before they are ready for public consultation as well as the final standard before it is published. 

Representation is limited to no more than 24 members that bring the following knowledge and perspectives.


EMEA – Europe, Middle East, and Africa

Americas – South, Central, and North America 

APAC – Asia Pacific/Oceania


Raw material producers including farms

Supply chain companies

Brands and retailers

Certification bodies

Civil society 


Soil health


Water resources

Animal welfare

Human rights

Communities and smallholders 

All International Working Group members


Andean Pastoral Livelihood Initiative (APLI) 

Aquafil S.p.A. 

Bureau Veritas CPS 

Inditex, S.A. 

Control Union Certification 

Donglong Home Textile Co., Ltd. 

Eastman Chemical Company 








Patagonia Inc. 

Soil Health Institute 

TAL Apparel Ltd. 

The Schneider Group 

The North Face 

USB Certification 

Verité, Inc. 

* It is important to note that IWG membership does not signify that each organization fully agrees on decisions taken for the final content in the standard.  IWG membership is intentionally designed to bring different perspectives together for open discussion and therefore is likely to result in diverse opinions.  Decisions are first taken by consensus but may move to vote when consensus is not reached.  As the entity ultimately responsible for the standard, Textile Exchange reserves the right to make final decisions regarding standard content and shall publicly disclose any decisions, including reasoning, that differ from the quorum of the IWG.