The Key Drivers of Sustainability in the Textile Supply Chain

Regulatory Standards

Legislation promulgated at the local, regional, national or international level and which each company must comply with depending on their physical (geographical) location and their position in the supply chain.

The main types of legislation affecting the textile and clothing supply chain are:

  • Chemical control legislation e.g. REACH, KKDIK

Voluntary Standards

Independent 3rd party standards or labeling schemes operated on a voluntary basis by national or international bodies, NGOs and Not-for–Profits, or on a commercial basis by testing laboratories, consortia or consultancies.

The most commonly encountered labels or standards in the textile and clothing field from a chemical/environmental standpoint are:

Brands & Retailer Standards

Many leading textile and clothing brands and retailers have developed Restricted Substance Lists (RSLs) in order to prevent hazardous chemical contamination on the garments sold to the public and thereby comply with their general duty under Consumer Product Legislation to sell safe products.

Over the last few years a few global leaders have also introduced water and energy use guidelines and wastewater treatment standards designed to address the major environmental impacts of their product manufacturing chains.

In response to increasing pressure from new regulatory requirements and from NGOs, brands and retailers are now requiring greater chemical disclosure along the supply chain. This developing trend to greater transparency and traceability is a result of companies having to work harder to protect their reputation and brand integrity from negative publicity in the media and on social networks.

A recent development has been the formation of the Joint Roadmap group of brands and retailers who have committed to eliminate hazardous chemicals from their supply chains by 2020. This commitment to Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) was made in response to a series of reports and campaigns by Greenpeace.

The signatory brands have requested information from dye and chemical suppliers on which of their products do not contain any of the priority chemical substance groups targeted by Greenpeace.

DyStar assures that their provided products comply with legal requirements. DyStar also provides Product Compliance Lists that list DyStar products that comply with voluntary and Brand & Retail (RSL) requirements. 

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