Archive for December, 2010
May the new year bring happiness, love and prosperity to you and yours. Wishing you a Happy New Year!
A new coalition of some of the world’s biggest clothing brands, which together amount to around 60% of global apparel sales, has agreed to develop a new environmental hang-tag for clothing that will allow shoppers to immediately assess the environmental impact of their purchases. The news of a brand new ‘Sustainable Apparel Coalition’ was revealed by Yvon Chouinard, founder of outdoor brand Patagonia, in early November. His company has been working with the likes of Wal-Mart, C&A and Levi Strauss on the new project after a meeting at Wal-Mart where the idea was first raised. “We have been working with Wal-Mart to ‘green’ its business which has ultimately led to the formation of a new coalition of retailers and brands which make up between 50 – 60% of world clothing sales”, he said.
Non-disclosure agreements have already been signed and it’s expected that the European/US outdoor eco-index and Nike’s Considered Index Tool will be put at the disposal of the other non-outdoor brands involved in this ground-breaking project. The formation of the new coalition will be officially announced in January 2011.
Chouinard told Ecotextile News that the coalition also includes household names such as JC Penney, Nike, Gap, Coles and “many others” who are working towards “an eco-index for consumers so that they can instantly identify the sustainable credentials of a product”. He said the new consumer label project is expected to take two years to finalize and complete – a very ambitious time-scale. “The industry has decided to take this step in advance of government legislation”, Chouinard told us, “the brands wanted to take the initiative before governments did”.
The coalition is sure to have a revolutionary effect on the global textile supply chain and provides an interesting insight into current brand thinking but it also raises some concerns within the textile sector about how this new eco-textile label can be both policed and certified. “The opportunity for greenwashing is an obvious concern”, said one textile NGO, “they will need the involvement of credible, third-party organizations to help develop the new label system”. The brands will also have to map their entire supply chains – a huge undertaking on its own.
To ensure this project is transparent, Ecotextile News calls for the full engagement and involvement of the relevant NGO’s in the USA, Europe and Asia. In particular this includes the new Textile Exchange in the USA, the RITE Group in Europe and perhaps the SFBC in Hong Kong. Regional consumer protection organizations should also be engaged to ensure it actually delivers what it sets out to achieve.
~Reported by John Mowbray of Ecotextile News~
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and wonderful holiday season with family and friends!
Recent market research reports examining the technical textile markets indicate that the nonwovens industry could become the first sector to move away from synthetic fibres based on petrochemicals. This is now looking increasingly likely following an announcement by the giant consumer goods company Procter & Gamble (P&G) that it will switch to the use of 100% renewable or recycled materials in all of its products.
Its Auburn, Maine site became the first P&G manufacturing plant in North America to achieve zero waste to landfill. The feminine care facility, which produces household brand Always®, worked with both employees and suppliers to implement a process that beneficially uses 100 percent of its waste. A majority – more than 60 percent – is recycled or reused, while the remainder is converted to energy.
Their GARP (Global Asset Recovery Purchases) team connected the plant with a site solution provider, who helped sort all recyclable materials and convert existing non-recyclable materials to energy through incineration. The electricity from incineration is used by the incineration facility and the excess is sold to the local power company. The GARP team says it has diverted tens of thousands of tons from landfills while delivering tens of millions of dollars in cost recovery to the company in the past year alone.
The achievement of these sites to reach zero waste to landfill demonstrates continued progress toward P&G’s long-term environmental vision. This vision includes having zero manufacturing waste globally going to landfills, instead being beneficially reused and ending up in valued waste streams. The company also has a goal to achieve less than 0.5 percent disposed manufacturing waste by 2020.
Christmas can be a hectic time of year for many people but you can ease the stress by choosing to shop online. You can’t beat having items shipped directly to your front door in place of busy streets and pushy crowds.
With only 2 weeks left until Christmas, you’d better get busy shopping. Whether you’re buying for friends, family, colleagues or that “hard to buy for” people in your life, we’re sure you’ll find something perfect in one of the following Gift Guides.
Enjoy shopping and know that you’re making a difference by choosing to support handmade, independant and eco friendly companies!