Cotonea leaves Textile Exchange

Cotonea Austritt aus Textile Exchange

After 20 years of commitment
Cotonea, the pioneering brand for sustainable business in the textile industry, is ending its membership in the global industry initiative Textile Exchange with immediate effect, justifying this step with a statement.

Roland Stelzer, Managing Director of the family-owned company Elmer & Zweifel, explains this step: "Textile Exchange was founded under the original name 'Organic Exchange' as a representative of global organic cotton farmers. We have unreservedly supported the original goal of the initiative to promote global organic and fair trade production for many years, especially since we at Cotonea pursue the same goal. In the meantime, however, Textile Exchange has become a mouthpiece for the big brands and the fast fashion industry. In doing so, Textile Exchange has lost sight of its actual goal, and has also created an internal culture that we no longer want to support."

After 8 years of membership, Roland Stelzer describes his experiences: "Many employees of Textile Exchange, who stood for organic and fair trade, have now left the organization. The original round table for the exchange of experiences and joint development of measures has also given way to a top-down culture. This instruction for action, decreed from above by financially strong members, does not correspond to our values neither in terms of content or culture. Unfortunately, Textile Exchange is no longer characterized by the spirit of organic and fair cotton cultivation, but by fast fashion with a partly green coat."

Cotonea regrets this development, as Textile Exchange remains the main supplier of global data on the organic cotton market. However, the industry initiative does not take advantage of the opportunity it offers to further develop sustainable fibre cultivation. For example, the cultivation of organic cotton has positive effects on the fertility of the soil. In addition, organic soils store more CO2 and retain available water better than soils used in agro-industrial agriculture. Fast fashion, on the other hand, is neither ecologically meaningful nor fairly produced.

Roland Stelzer adds: "Of course, we support the commitment of major brands to sustainable textiles, as they have a great leverage effect. However, this presupposes that the announcements are followed by concrete actions." Regardless of this, Cotonea will continue to advocate for the further development of organic cotton in international associations and initiatives.