Textile and apparel value chains are long and complex, spanning many types of companies, each with its own social and environmental sustainability challenges. IDH’s Materials Program is mature and is driving impact at scale, achieving market transformation in the global cotton value chain by creating both supply and demand for Better Cotton. We continue to build on this strong foundation of sectoral expertise by convening partners, funding research, and working with brands to scale innovative solutions that address sustainability issues in sourcing materials other than cotton.

Given the linkage between material use and design, IDH is extending its focus on alternatives for cotton including polyester and man-made cellulosic fibers (MMCFs) to identify innovative solutions addressing key sustainability challenges.

Our approach

IDH will broaden and deepen engagements with the textile sector, focusing on three material categories: cotton, polyester, and MMCFs; that have been identified through our existing engagement with textile retailers and brands and an in-depth understanding of their socio-economic and environmental impacts from global consumption figures.

IDH will deliver a package of material interventions across the cradle-to-gate life cycle from farm to production. We are in an optimal position to leverage our existing network in key cotton-growing countries as well as major garment manufacturing hubs including China, Vietnam, Pakistan, and India, to solve potential cross-value chain barriers. We are also well placed to continue working closely with 90+ brands and retailer partners in the EU and USA to drive systemic changes.

  • Our approach to polyester and MMCFs is driven by the identification of a sustainable alternate material to conventional counterparts. We will identify and strategically invest in an innovative alternate material that is sustainable, resource-efficient, scalable and achieves a better environment.
  • We will convene the industry to create an enabling environment, addressing bottlenecks and production challenges, to secure brand commitment and cultivate both demand and supply. We will facilitate innovation and engineer co-investing structures for driving the selected material to scale.
  • This approach will deliver greenhouse gas (GHG) savings, aligning with leading brand commitments to achieve science-based targets (SBTs).

Relevant SDGs

  • Life on land
  • Responsible consumption and production

For more information contact us