Nonprofit Textile Exchange has announced the winners of its inaugural Ryan Young Climate+ Awards, honouring five sustainable textile industry leaders, recognised for their work in organic, recycled and regenerative solutions.
Each recipient has been acknowledged for their role in driving progress towards Textile Exchange’s Climate+ Strategy goal of achieving a 45 percent greenhouse gas reduction in the textile fibre and material production phase by 2030.
Two titles are awarded to recipients. Individuals, teams or departments within an organisation that display an overall commitment to this strategy are considered to be ‘Climate Leaders’, while the ‘Rising Star’ title recognises young leaders with up to three years of sustainability experience and have already demonstrated impressive leadership.
The announcement occured during the Textile Exchange’s ongoing 2021 Textile Sustainability Conference, hosted in Dublin, Ireland. In a partnership with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, the event looks to encourage impact and sustainable efficiency through a full week of presentations, panels and networking opportunities.
“It is exciting to honour several award recipients who are just starting out in their careers alongside others who have been driving impact reduction for many years,” said Beth Jensen, Climate+ Strategy director at Textile Exchange, in a release.
She continued: “The sense of urgency we face as an industry and a global community has never been greater, and it’s only through efforts like these that we will have any chance of evolving the way we do business in our industry toward preserving a livable and abundant way of life for all.”
The Ryan Young Climate+ Awards 2021 winners
Four ‘Climate Leaders’ were awarded at the ceremony, including Rebecca Burgess, the executive director of Fibershed. Burgess dedicates her work to collaborating with growers, scientists and textile brands to research and demonstrate ‘climate beneficial’ cotton and wool. Prama Bhardwaj and the Mantis World team has also been awarded, with the printwear company responsible for multiple brand transitions to certified organic cotton.
Coyuchi’s team and lead Margot Lyons are additionally among the recipients, jointly recognised alongside the team of the Spanish organisation, Recover. The two companies partnered on supplying recycled materials to Recover’s ‘2nd Home Take Back’ programme, turning discarded textiles into reusable fibres.
Two ‘Rising Star’ recipients have also been revealed, including Annabelle Hutter, global creative director of Säntis Textiles, and Landon Nash, the founder and CEO of Tact & Stone. Tact & Stone, the menswear company, has utilised organic and recycled fibres since its launch, while Hutter is being recognised for working closely with fashion brands in regards to Säntis Textiles’ RCO100 recycled cotton programme.
The awards were established in memory of Ryan Young, Textile Exchange’s CEO from 2017 to 2020. Young led the development of the organisation’s Climate+ strategy and assisted in the development of eco-conscious goals to be adopted company-wide.