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July 26, 2021

LWG, Textile Exchange join hands on reciprocal membership

The Leather Working Group (LGW) has partnered with Textile Exchange to grant reciprocal membership of their respective organisations, to drive alignment, and facilitate better collaboration and resource sharing.

By Beth Wright

The agreement will provide each organisation with reciprocal membership, allowing them to access each other’s resources, join member-only events and discussions, as well as foster a stronger working relationship to reduce the impact of the leather industry.

Previously, the LWG signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Textile Exchange in 2018, to align their efforts for driving environmental improvement in tannery operations and leather manufacturing. Since then, the partnership has developed, as LWG joined the Responsible Leather Round Table and helped Textile Exchange to create the Leather Production Environmental Standards Benchmark for the Leather Impact Accelerator (LIA), based on the LWG Audit Standard.

“Through the dedication of the technical experts that make up the LWG Technical Sub-Group, our audit standard will continue to be developed to ensure it remains relevant, valuable, and impactful within the leather industry. We can only address the challenges facing the leather industry by engaging multiple different stakeholders across the supply chain and driving alignment, and we are committed to carry on working in collaboration with Textile Exchange as their benchmark is developed,” says Christina Trautmann, programme manager of the LWG.

As a member of the LWG, Textile Exchange will be able to actively take part in the former’s activities, contribute to working groups on specific topics of value to the industry, as well as access the LWG Audit Standards and other technical documentation.

Conversely, the LWG is now able to join the Textile Exchange Hub, a secure portal for members of the textile and leather industries to share knowledge and resources.

Anne Gillespie, director of impact acceleration at Textile Exchange, adds: “Textile Exchange respects the work Leather Working Group has done to provide solutions to address sustainability in leather production and value the support they have given us in the development of the Leather Impact Accelerator. We look forward to future opportunities for collaboration.”

Both organisations were granted reciprocal membership as of 1 July 2021 and plan to continue for the foreseeable future.

Textile Exchange’s ‘2021 Organic Cotton Market Report’ recently revealed 2019/20 saw the largest ever volume of organic fibre harvested globally – with growth set to skyrocket in 2020/21.

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