• When

    22nd October 2018

  • Where

    Red 1&2, Milano Congressi, Milan, Italy

  • Agenda

    Click here

OCRT 2018 Milan: Highlights

The 2018 Organic Cotton Round Table (OCRT) in Milan, held on October 22nd, saw the launch of a co-created new approach; the General Assembly for Organic Cotton.

Since the first OCRT in Hong Kong in 2012, our Global OCRT gatherings have really lived up to their aspiration of being a Platform for Collective Action and an Incubator for Great Ideas. But the new General Assembly approach took us to the next level.

This structure, inspired by the United Nations approach, provided a model for uniting global and regional OCRTs and encouraging a two-way flow of information between the regional communities – linking pathways for region-based growth with a strengthened interaction between regions, supply networks and global thinking. Delegations from each region came together alongside brands, retailers and other stakeholders, to report out ‘globally’ on their regional updates, activities and successes.

“Being a first timer at the OCRT was incredibly inspiring. The access to industry thought leaders from Burkina Faso to Jaipur helped me gain a clearer picture of the challenges and immense promise of Organic Cotton. I walked away from the day feeling well informed and part of a larger ecosytem of smart and dedicated people committed to organic cotton and sustainability. It made me proud to be an OCRT sponsor. Thank you!”Linda Cabot, Founder, Linda Cabot Designs



This first hour of the day gave regional delegations the place and space to discuss matters they saw as most pressing, and also to prepare for the General Assembly later in the day. It was an “open space” set up so and all other OCRT participants were invited to take a seat at their chosen region’s table (or move between a few) and listen in or contribute as they wished.


Participants were invited to take a walk around the room and meet key players from each of the main organic cotton producing region of the world – without leaving the room! The bell rang every 10 minutes, at which point they could choose to move to another region, or stay where they were to learn more. This was a fantastic opportunity for brands and other interested participants to ask their burning questions to those who know the regions best.


The OCRT General Assembly is a new approach that we were excited to introduce in Milan in 2018. To kick things off, we had a number of exciting updates to share, as well as some inspiring speakers to get us all thinking.

Opening and Welcome

Heinrich Schultz, Managing Director, OrganiMark | TE Catalyst Chair
Christine Goulay, Sustainable Sourcing Specialist, Kering

Connected Organic Cotton Communities

La Rhea Pepper, Managing Director, Textile Exchange
Kathleen Wood, Associate, The Partnering Initiative

The OCRT: An Evolving Platform

Liesl Truscott, European & Materials Strategy Director, Textile Exchange

Chetna Coalition

Rhett Godfrey, Co-Founder, Chetna Coalition

Organic Cotton Accelerator 2.0

Crispin Argento, Executive Director, Organic Cotton Accelerator

Veja’s Story

François Morillion, Co-founder, Veja

 Nature as inspiration

Linda Cabot, Founder, Linda Cabot Designs

Fairtrade & Dressmann

Chessa Nilsen, Senior Buyer and Sustainability Manager, Dressmann
Subindu Garkhel, Cotton Manager, Fairtrade Foundation

C&A Foundation Global Update

Ipshita Sinha, Programme Manager, C&A Foundation


Host: Evonne Tan, Textile Exchange


Veronica Yow, Rare
Debra Guo, Stella McCartney
Mr. Man, Esquel
Alison Ward, CottonConnect

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Host: Atila Ertem, Textile Exchange


Maximilian Abouleish SEKEM
Pierfrancesca Solinas Filmar
Jens Soth Helvetas
Elif Yaraşık GOTS
Aydin Unsal Egedeniz

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Host: Silvio Moraes, Textile Exchange


Orlando Rivera Bergman Rivera
Giuliana Ortega Instituto C&A
Zack Angelini Timberland
Vinicius Malfatti Instituto Lojas Renner
Alexander Grisar SOCiLA

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Host: Silvère Tovignan, Textile Exchange


Tobias Meier, ecos
Simplice Davo Vodouhe, OBEPAB
Boubacar Kamissokho, Catholic Relief Services

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United States of America

Host: Sandra Marquardt, Textile Exchange


Sally Fox, Foxfiber / Vreseis
Jimmy Wedel, TOCMC
Marci Zaroff, Metawear

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Host: Amish Gosai, Textile Exchange


Arun Ambatipudi & Rhett Godfrey, Chetna Coaltion
Manavi Bhardwaj, OFCS & C&A Foundation
Monika Messmer, FiBL
Vivek Rawal, bioRe India
Imran Asgher, SIA Foundation Pakistan
Bart Vollaard & Jaskiran Warrik, OCA
Arvind Rewal, CottonConnect
Sreeranga Rajan, Good Textiles Foundation
Ashish Mondal, ASA

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In 2018 in Milan, we co-created a new approach – a General Assembly for Organic Cotton.

In the six years since the first Organic Cotton Round Table (OCRT) in Hong Kong, the gatherings have really lived up to their aspiration of being a Platform for Collective Action and an Incubator for Great Ideas. With our new approach, we have gone to the next level.

We believe this structure, inspired by the United Nations approach, provides a model for our development, uniting global and regional OCRTs and encouraging a two-way flow of information between the regional communities. Delegations from each region come together, alongside brands, retailers and other stakeholders, to report globally on their regional updates, activities and successes.

The General Assembly takes the informal linkages of the current OCRT to a more focused and mindful model of engagement between stakeholders. All of the ingredients that make the OCRT so valuable to stakeholders remain, such as the multi-stakeholder, accessible, and catalytic principles, with the added impact of a global and regional strategy that aim to link the pathway to region-based growth to a strengthened interaction between regions, supply networks and global thinking.

In Milan, time was dedicated to explaining the new model, discussing how a General Assembly can benefit us all, and ensuring next steps are developed with broad stakeholder input.

Participating Companies


“Very comprehensive, interesting and informative”

“Excellent global insight and education”

“Inspiring, dedicated people with one common goal”

“Rich day with a lot of experience shared between organic cotton actors”

“The OCRT is very important to educate all value chain actors (producers, users and government) to support organic cotton which contribute to people development”

“Regional info was the most interesting”

“The dialogue was content rich”

“Especially good to hear from South America and Turkey”

“Very well organised round table, many good topics discussed”

“Lot of experience shared in between OC actors”

“Great to hear so many voices, very democratic”

“We believe now is the time to embed a common agenda through a connected community, to drive meaningful adoption of organic cotton, and to solidify our role in the sustainable cotton continuum.”La Rhea Pepper, Managing Director, Textile Exchange

OCRT 2018 sponsors







Consumer Engagement
Seeds & SoilsSeeds & Soils
Business Models
Fair Financing
Consumer Engagement


  • La Rhea Pepper
  • Liesl Truscott
    Director of European & Materials Strategy
  • Alice Dos Santos
    Organic Cotton Program Coordinator
  • Sarah Compson
    Organic Cotton Ambassador and Liaison
  • Amish Gosai
    South Asia Manager
  • Atila Ertem
    Ambassador - Turkey, Egypt and Central Asia
  • Silvio Moraes
    Ambassador Latin America
  • Evonne Tan
    Director of Data Management & China Strategy
  • Silvère Tovignan
    Ambassador Africa
  • Sandra Marquardt
    Ambassador, North America
  • Lisa Barsley
    Materials Program Manager
  • Simon Cooper
    MOSP Partner | Change Agency

Regional Delegations

“We need to look at livable incomes in a specific geographical region and determine the true cost of production, making sure that there is a sustainable margin on that.”Heinrich Schultz Organimark, & Chair of Textile Exchange Catalyst


Out Of The Box – OCRT Thoughtleader Interview Series

A Taster of the OCRT: Hamburg 2016

Textile Exchange OCRT in 90 seconds

Quick Links

About organic cotton

Organic cotton is cotton that is produced and certified to organic agricultural standards.

Learn more

2018 Market reports

The 2018 Preferred Fiber & Materials Market Report and the Organic Cotton Market Report are now available.

Read more

PFM Benchmark

The Preferred Fiber & Materials (PFM) Benchmark helps companies measure, manage and integrate a PFM strategy.

Read more


A framework for assessing the environmental, social & economic impacts of organic cotton agriculture.

Learn more


A selection of some of the key terms and abbreviations that are used in the industry.


contact us

  For more information don’t hesitate to contact the team at: OCRT@textileexchange.org