The 2017 Textile Exchange Sustainability Conference

The 2017 Textile Exchange’s Sustainability Conference took place near Washington D.C. during the week of 9-13 October. According to the event organisers, this was their largest conference to date, with over 500 people participating from 37 countries and 328 different companies.

The Textile Exchange (TE) is a global non-profit organisation that works closely with their members to drive industry transformation in preferred fibers, integrity and standards and responsible supply networks. They identify and share best practices regarding farming, materials, processing, traceability and product end-of-life to reduce the textile industry’s impact on earth’s water, soil and air, as well as on the human population. OrganiMark, with retail members of the Sustainable Cotton Cluster (SCC) attended this conference.

Both OrganiMark and the SCC (as Cotton SA) were sponsors of the 2017 TE’s Sustainability Conference and played a prominent role during this international event. Heinrich Schultz, MD of OrganiMark, had the honour of acting as programme director for the opening day of the conference.

The TE inspires and equips its members to accelerate sustainable practices in the textile value chain, focusing on minimising the harmful impacts of the global textile industry and maximising its positive effects. For us, as a South African cotton textile and apparel programme, the TE provides meaningful international benchmarking opportunities.

Some photo highlights from the conference:

South African delegates at the 2017 Textile Exchange Conference:

Back: Kyle Matthews (MRP Group), Noël Paulson (Edcon), Tanya Aucamp (SCC) Heinrich Schultz (OM), Ruan Schultz (OM), Ralph Jewson (Woolworths) and Paulo Goncalves

Front: Gloria Goncalves (OM), Inge Kruger (OM), Imraan Bux (Imraan Textile Mills), Christine Schultz (SCC), and Alison Lloyd (Woolworths).


South African stakeholders who are part of the Sustainable Cotton Cluster programme:

Back: Kyle Matthews (MRP Group), Heinrich Schultz (OM), and Ralph Jewson (Woolworths).

Front: Noël Paulson (Edcon), Imraan Bux (Imraan Textile Mills), and Alison Lloyd (Woolworths).


OrganiMark team members Inge Kruger, Gloria Goncalves, Heinrich Schultz, Christine van Niekerk and Tanya Aucamp (representing the SCC).


The Schultz brothers, Ruan and Heinrich – proudly South African.


A crazy photobooth moment…