La Rhea Pepper is the Managing Director and a co-founder of the global non-profit Textile Exchange and an advocate for more sustainable and regenerative practices in the apparel and textile industry. For 17 years, Textile Exchange has been at the forefront of driving meaningful change towards preferred fibers. After spearheading the successful growth of the organic cotton market, Textile Exchange has expanded to include industry standards for recycled rPET, Responsible Down, Responsible Wool and Mohair with working groups on other key materials like Man-Made Cellulosic, and Bio-Synthetics, Leather and Cashmere.
In 1995, La Rhea served on the Administrative Council for Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) and two years later was elected to the Organic Trade Association’s Fiber Council Steering Committee. She joined the Organic Trade Association’s Board of Directors in 1998 where she supported the creation organic fiber processing standards and chain of custody for the industry. She was the recipient of the Spirit of Organic Award at Expo East in 2008. Continuing to serve and support advocacy for family farms, she has served as a board member for RAFI – the Rural Advancement Foundation International (2013-2017), and has recently been appointed to the Regenerative Organic Alliance Board of Directors (2018-)
Ms. Pepper holds a Bachelor of Science. in Education from Abilene Christian University (1979) and a Masters of Science. in Organizational Leadership from Lubbock Christian University (2017).