At a time when so many contentious issues are wrapped up in the clothes we buy, from climate change to minority representation, sweatshop production may have receded somewhat from public consciousness. Child labor is still a huge problem and often goes undetected due to the opaque supply chains. Penalties for missing excessive production targets can be harsh.
Some of these have been nothing more than whitewashing by manufacturers and brands to try and stem the backlash against the use of sweatshops. While some labels might be genuine in their attempts to help workers, the trouble is that the research needed to sift the worthwhile from the worthless is time-consuming, and for the average consumer, completely baffling.
By way of illustration, he calls out two as unreliable guides to sweat-free product: The Brussels-based sustainable-trade organization Amfori and the Virginia-based Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production WRAP certification for ethical manufacturing. Looking back to a time long before the anti-globalization outcry over sweatshops, Neiman recalls one certification that people really could rely on.
There was even a jingle! In , he grabbed a chance to hold up a middle finger to exploitative clothing brands. And the indie rockers who loved Converse hated Nike — so that gave us an opportunity. We priced it at the same price as Nike was pricing Converse and challenged them to do the same. But that was exactly not what these people wanted to happen.
This might come as a surprise to many who are familiar with Fair Trade labeling from the food and coffee aisles, and see it as a guarantee of conscientious consumption. But the complex, interconnected nature of supply chains means that, even in audited Fair Trade products, someone, somewhere might well be being overlooked. No Sweat helped organize student-led protests outside Nike stores in cities around the world. Since then, the age of digital communication has played a large part in adding cold, hard market-wide spending power to the placards and protests as one more effective means by which consumers can urge companies toward change.
In the past few years, campaigning groups like the Clean Clothes Campaign and Fashion Revolution have lobbied hard for brands to be fully transparent about their supply chains. Creating a market where companies are forced to compete with each other for the cleanest, most respectable reputations seems to have actually made a difference in how they act as we recently found out from speaking to the co-founder of Fashion Revolution. The RLA will provide a framework for brands to evaluate the responsibility of their full leather supply chain; the tool will recognize and leverage the many existing standards, programs and tools, many that address regional or single stage impacts only.
The RLA will be applicable only to bovine cattle leather in its first version, and Textile Exchange is working with the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef GRSB to better understand and address issues at the beginning of the supply chain. Learn more about the event and register here: www.
Through the establishment of the Responsible Leather Round Table RLRT , Textile Exchange has brought together close to stakeholders from all parts of the industry, including brands, farmers and suppliers, as well as NGOs, international organizations and special interest groups. The RLRT is committed to an open, multi-stakeholder process with representation from all interested parties.
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But how do you know as a brand or as a consumer that the leather you buy is okay? I invite you to become part of this. Visit ResponsibleLeather. The organization works to create leaders in the sustainable fiber and materials sector by providing learning opportunities, tools, insight, standards, data, measurement and benchmarking—and by building a community that can collectively accomplish what no individual or company can do alone. To learn more about Textile Exchange and our animal welfare work, visit: www.
Download the release here. Even today, our shirts could be made from sugar cane and our stockings from castor oil beans. The rapidly developing technologies of the biosynthetics which make this possible are revealed and explained in a new website launched by Textile Exchange and backed by an industry-wide Working Group. As with aboutorganiccotton, the biosynthetics microsite aims to demystify the subject and provide soundly based information and market intelligence for businesses and interested consumers alike.
We are all looking for opportunities to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions. Fibers made from polymers based on plants and other biological inputs offer huge potential. We were pleased that Textile Exchange took on the challenge of developing the microsite and are happy to support its continued development.
The Working Group is comprised of Textile Exchange members and experts listed below with an interest in the future of bio-based materials as a solution to transitioning out of non-renewables and textiles based on petroleum towards more sustainable alternatives. The entry level communication included in the microsite will enable Textile Exchange to level set understanding across brands, retailers and supply chain partners to help expedite a collective understanding and move the agenda forwards.
Sophie Mather, biov8tion. The building of this website is the first step towards education and promotion of cleaner and more innovative ways to produce our synthetic products. Bio synthetics have the potential to be the biggest industry game changer since the original discovery of synthetic fibers over ninety years ago.
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Textile Exchange would like to warmly thank all who contributed to the development of the microsite, with special thanks to Sophie Mather, Working Group Lead. Textile Exchange, founded in , is a global nonprofit organization that works closely with all sectors of the textile supply chain to find the best ways to create positive impacts on water, soil, air, animals, and the human population created by the textile industry. Textile Exchange accomplishes this by providing the knowledge and tools the industry needs to make significant improvements in three core areas: Fiber and Materials, Integrity and Standards, and Supply Network.
A truly global organization, Textile Exchange is headquartered in the U. Some would say the industry is not moving fast enough, while others are optimistic about the progress being made. We need both the cynics to nudge us further and the optimists to believe it will happen!
Oregon-based Columbia Sportswear tops the list of companies closing the gap between the usage of certified responsible down and conventional down, and placed third in total usage of responsible down amongst the reporting companies. In just three short seasons, we have sourced over 3. We will continue to work closely with our vendors and manufacturers to promote the importance of animal welfare and adhere to the standard. In particular SDG 12, which focuses on responsible consumption and production.
Textile Exchange believes the adoption of preferred fiber and materials, under internationally recognized standards, offers measurable environmental, social and economic benefits. With its Textile Sustainability Conference—whose theme this year is focused on the SDGs— Textile Exchange has commenced a strategy to mobilize the industry towards advancing the Global Goals and identifying best practices, including the adoption of preferred fiber and materials and standards to ensure the industry is meeting the targets set by the Global Goals.
The pledge was organized by Textile Exchange, a global non-profit that promotes the adoption of preferred fiber and materials, integrity and standards and responsible supply networks, through its Recycled Polyester Working Group. The participating companies represent the diverse elements of the value chain, including brands, retailers, suppliers and associated industry organizations. Sweden-based global furnishings company IKEA is one of the companies that accepted the challenge.
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New Hampshire-based outdoor lifestyle brand Timberland also signed on. The ultimate goal is to substantially increase the global availability of rPET, and drive rPET production efficiencies ultimately making it more accessible to all.
Reducing the use of virgin polyester, which is made from non-renewable feedstocks, will favorably impact SDG Target In turn, this will help alleviate the environmental and social costs that are too often associated with cotton production, including the over-use of pesticides, the release of greenhouse gases, the depletion of local water sources and rising costs of production.
There have been substantial gains made over the past few years in scaling the production of more sustainable forms of cotton, which is now higher than ever at over 3 million tonnes in However, companies are actively sourcing less than a fifth of this available sustainable cotton.
This pledge sends a signal to millions of producers that there is a real demand for a more sustainable approach to cotton production that reduces the environmental and social costs. However, all are clear that collaboration across the sector is needed to bring about transformative change. It is great to see additional brands joining this initiative to accelerate the momentum of cotton production in a way that will positively impact smallholder farmers, water quality and soil health.
Coyuchi is excited to join the pledge and the growing momentum by likeminded brands committed to a more sustainable future. We recognize that there are social and environmental costs associated with producing our products. We are continuously striving toward sustainability in our production practices, including the materials we source.
Studies have shown the positive social benefits to farming communities as well as the potential for these practices to sequester carbon into the soil. This is exciting work as we move beyond just minimizing environmental impacts to strategically creating real environmental and social benefits within the supply chain. Cotton is the most abundantly produced natural fibre and its production supports the livelihoods of over million people . Despite its global importance, cotton production can be beset by a number of environmental and social challenges.
Whilst cotton only covers 2. With around 2, litres of water needed to make just one t-shirt, conventional cotton production is highly dependent on water .
Higher temperatures and changing rainfall patterns caused by climate change are likely to cause severe water shortages in some areas, as well as increase the prevalence of pests and diseases, negatively affect yields. The challenges of the cotton sector are also social and economic, with cotton farmers and their dependents negatively impacted by the over-use of pesticides and petroleum based fertilizers, and rising costs of production and volatile market prices. Textile Exchange, founded in , is a global nonprofit organization that works closely with all sectors of the textile supply chain to find the best ways to minimize and even reverse the negative impacts on water, soil, air, animals, and the human population created by this industry.
Textile Exchange accomplishes this by providing the knowledge and tools the industry needs to make significant improvements in three core areas: Fiber and Materials, Integrity and Standards, and Supply Chain. Recycled Claim Standard 2. The newly revised versions of these GlobalRecycled standards include updates that solidify the RCS and GRS as the leading standards for recycled materials in the apparel industry and ensure continued growth in other industries, including metal, plastics, electronics, packaging and beyond.
The International Working Group IWG , led by Textile Exchange, included recyclers, manufacturers of recycled product, other recycled standard owners, brand and retail users of the standards, and certification bodies. I thoroughly enjoyed dedicating my time to the IWG. The final standards are excellent, precise and address most of the processes and concerns involved in Recycling.
We are confident that the implementation of the new RCS 2. The GRS includes additional social, environmental and chemical processing requirements. A key change in both standards is the introduction of the Reclaimed Materials Supplier Agreement. This document provides more visibility to the suppliers of reclaimed materials.
Guidelines have been introduced for added clarity and consistency of recycling claims, including post-consumer and pre-consumer.
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The MRSL has been developed by the industry to address intentional use of potentially hazardous substances. The Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals ZDHC Programme takes a holistic approach to tackling the issue of hazardous chemicals in the global textile, leather and footwear value chain.
Other changes and additions include new examples of accepted recycled inputs, updated wastewater limits, and clarifications.
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You can read more details about the changes online: www. Companies currently certified to one of the standards will be required to comply with the new versions by July 1, As the cut of the dresses have an influence from western gowns. Wreh is the daughter of the late Counselor Tuan Wreh. Her father authored numerous labor law books, maritime law books and is most remembered by his book titled, The Love of Liberty.
Cotton… a natural resource, is agriculture. Liberia has the capability to produce cotton textiles for industrial applications, home fashions, garments and fashion accessories. There are numerous applications for the use of cotton goods. Political candidate, Donald Trump makes a point about pulling all US manufacturing out of China because he believes the United States current trade deals among China lacks integrity.
I instinctively believe now is the time for West African nations, specifically Liberia, to step up trade initiatives with the United States. As the United States moves away from being a manufacturing nation, we Liberian nationals who live in the western markets should design products and create opportunities for manufacturing in Liberia. This is the most proactive way African nationals can help Africa raise economically.