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Sustainable materials, certifications driving apparel industry

"More and more companies are acquiring industry materials and manufacturing certifications as a part of their sustainability goals and brand building. The latest include the Oeko-Tex’s Eco Passport certification, recognised as a Level 3 ZDHC MRSL Conformance Indicator for the ZDHC Roadmap to Zero Program. This shift indicates that Eco Passport certified chemical substances meet the ZDHC’s (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals) guidelines for safer textile chemistries that are also verified as being responsibly manufactured. ZDHC MRSL Conformance Level 3 covers chemical substances that are limited or banned from use in apparel and footwear materials production and trimmed to protect workers, consumers and the environment."

 

Sustainable materials certifications driving apparel industry 2More and more companies are acquiring industry materials and manufacturing certifications as a part of their sustainability goals and brand building. The latest include the Oeko-Tex’s Eco Passport certification, recognised as a Level 3 ZDHC MRSL Conformance Indicator for the ZDHC Roadmap to Zero Program. This shift indicates that Eco Passport certified chemical substances meet the ZDHC’s (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals) guidelines for safer textile chemistries that are also verified as being responsibly manufactured. ZDHC MRSL Conformance Level 3 covers chemical substances that are limited or banned from use in apparel and footwear materials production and trimmed to protect workers, consumers and the environment.

Delivering sustainable products

Oeko-Tex program’s Eco Passport analyses a broad set of chemicals, including colorants, scouring agents, adhesives, inks, pigments and auxiliaries in a confidential, three-step process that confirms the formulations and individual ingredients that meet specific criteria for sustainability, safety and regulatory compliance. Its chemical formulations are checked against the comprehensive Oeko-Tex list of substances of concern and then verified through laboratory evaluation to ensure that they don’t contain unsafe contaminants.

Sustainable production is verified with on-site observance of the manufacturer’s occupational safety methods,Sustainable materials certifications driving apparel industry 1 water and air protection mechanisms, and quality control practices in line with STeP by Oeko-Tex guidelines for sustainable production facilities. Certified formulations are eligible to be listed on the ZDHC Gateway–Chemical Module and the Oeko-Tex Buying Guide.

This helps apparel and footwear manufacturers desiring to incorporate sustainable chemistries to recognise them. It also aligns with Oeko-Tex’s mission to provide standardised solutions that optimise customers’ manufacturing processes and help deliver more sustainable products.

Ensuring consumer safety

Along the same lines, DuPont Industrial Biosciences has joined with Bluesign for its bio-based, high-performance polymer Sorona. The Bluesign system unites the textile supply chain to jointly reduce its impact on people and the environment, ensure responsible use of resources and guarantee a high level of consumer safety.

DuPont Sorona, a versatile polymer comprises 37 percent renewable plant-based ingredients, using 30 percent less energy and releasing 63 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions as compared to nylon 6 fibers. In addition to reducing a reliance on fossil fuels, Sorona polymer combines eco-efficiency with function, making it applicable for a variety of performance-oriented products. Its attributes include softness, inherent stain resistance and durability.

To qualify for the Bluesign system partnership, DuPont Sorona completed a comprehensive assessment and roadmap meeting to demonstrate its merit for the certification of its products. As a Bluesign system partner, DuPont Sorona joins a growing collection of chemical suppliers, manufacturers and brands that are responsible acting parties in the textile value chain.

For risk-free environment

Its input stream management approach ensures approved chemicals and raw materials, such as DuPont Sorona polymer. These are used in all steps of the manufacturing processes to reduce risks to both people and the environment at the very beginning of the supply chain.

Bolger & O’Hearn Specialty Chemicals has collaborated with Bluesign and ZDHC to place several of its chemistries on the official ZDHC list of sustainable, approved textile industry chemistries. Chemistries developed by Bolger & O’Hearn that are now approved by Bluesign and ZDHC include: Stormproof/Breathable OmniBloq, an advanced durable water repellent technology engineered to keep apparel dry and consumers comfortable in extreme conditions, and Altopel F3, an advanced fluorine-free water repellent.

 

 
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