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Leaders in chemicals adopt for a brighter blue is collaboration

Agreeing to meet to begin working toward a set of practices that will serve the industry at large, international leaders in the chemical industry for textiles have adopted a tagline that says that the key to a brighter blue is collaboration.

The effort to unite competing companies is part of the mission of the House of Denim, a not-for-profit industry organisation based in Amsterdam and Kingpins Transformers to incite real change that will improve the sustainability of the denim supply chain.

Amsterdam is home to some of the world’s leading jeans brands, but we are fully aware that to clean up this industry, we need to collaborate across borders and involve players from the various stages of denim: this is a complex global industry, said James Veenhoff, founder of House of Denim in a statement.

Although there’s a lot of hard work ahead, it’s exciting to see industry visionaries from as far apart as India, China, Europe and the Americas so unanimous in their support for this direction. We need our leaders to lead – and it appears that this is what is happening, starting from the world of chemistry, he added.

The conversation began during the October 2016 Kingpins Transformers event where chemical experts and company representatives discussed the challenges of providing sustainable solutions. However, they agreed that brands’ and retailers’ well-intended but inconsistent initiatives were creating a proliferation of unnecessary approaches to safer chemistry, and subsequently increasing the complexity of the solution.

Transformers initiator Andrew Olah observed that public opinion and concerns over the environment and safety have done a solid job at ‘shocking’ big brands into action. But to be honest, the chemical side of things is so complex that no company or brand is able to influence things on their own. That’s why this collaboration is so essential for real change to happen.

Earlier events of Transformers covered topics in water, chemistry and waste and have included presentations by Lenzing. The next conference will take place the day after Kingpins Amsterdam on April 21, and will focus on the cost of sustainability.

The first half of the event will invite experts throughout the supply chain to briefly describe what can be done in their segment of the supply chain to make sustainability more accessible, followed by a lively discussion for all to take part. Andreas Dorner, Commercial Director of Europe and Americas from Lenzing, will be presenting on the value of sustainability.

Target has signed on to sponsor the event for the first time, a move that Olah says corresponds with the retailer’s mission to make the apparel industry cleaner.