Archive for December, 2010

Wishing You a Happy New Year!

May the new year bring happiness, love and prosperity to you and yours.  Wishing you a Happy New Year!

31/12/2010 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

Uniting for Global Change

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~


29/12/2010 at 11:43 am Leave a comment

Wishing You a Merry Christmas

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and wonderful holiday season with family and friends!

24/12/2010 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

Big Changes for Nonwovens Industry

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.

23/12/2010 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

Proud to Partner with Hanes

WINSTON-SALEM – Activewear and sock maker Hanesbrands Inc. has received accreditation for its global social compliance program from the Fair Labor Association, a workers’ rights group based in Washington, D.C.

The company has also had its Social Responsibility and Environmental Stewardship schemes recognised in the latest report from corporate social responsibility organisation As You Sow.

The Fair Labor Association works with industry, civil society organisations and colleges and universities to protect workers’ rights and improve working conditions in factories around the world. Following a two year review process, the FLA accredited the social compliance programs of Hanesbrands and Gear For Sports, Inc., now owned by Hanesbrands.

To earn accreditation, FLA member companies are required to fulfil 10 company obligations, including conducting internal monitoring of facilities, submitting to unannounced independent monitoring audits and verification of company and supplier plants, and managing and reporting information on their compliance efforts.

“The FLA is pleased to have Hanesbrands as an accredited affiliated company dedicated to protecting workers’ rights and to meeting and exceeding international labour standards,” said FLA President and CEO Auret van Heerden. “We appreciate the company’s commitment to fair labour standards.”

Elsewhere, Hanesbrands said it had scored well for global supply chain compliance programs in an independent study conducted by As You Sow. The San Francisco-based group’s report, “Toward a Safe, Just Workplace: Apparel Supply Chain Compliance Programs,” was published in November and gave Hanesbrands’ code-of-conduct compliance program a letter grade of B, the third-highest grade of apparel companies studied.

In the report, Hanesbrands was noted for having 100% of its compliance audits conducted unannounced and for having initial and annual audits verified independently.

The full report can be read on the As You Sow website,

21/12/2010 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

NAT CEO to Speak at Texworld USA

On January 18th of 2011,  Texworld USA will kick off their fabric fair at the Javits Center in NYC.

Texworld USA is the largest sourcing event in North America for apparel fabric buyers, R&D and product development specialists, designers, merchandisers and overseas sourcing professionals.  It gives buyers an opportunity to meet with  mills and manufacturers from Asia and around the world.

Texworld recently announced their speaker and panel line up which includes our very own CEO Ken Barker discussing Fibre Innovation.

This years line up also includes reputable speakers from the eco textile industry and will cover a variety of topics from sustainability, fibre innovations, colour forecasting and sourcing within North America.

  • “An Eco Index for Everyone” – featuring Karla Magruder, president of Fabrikology, Jamie Bainbridge, Director of Fabric and Product Development at Nau Inc. and many more.
  • “Fibre Innovations”, a panel discussion with Karla Magruder, president of Fabrikology; Kenneth Barker, CEO of Naturally Advanced Technologies and Steven Usdan, founder of MDC Group.
  • “Crossing the Bridge to Spring/Summer 2012”  by Laurie Pressman, director of marketing and sales development, Pantone.
  • “Color Trends: The West Coast Perspective on Color and Lifestyle Trends”, with Fran Sude and Arnold Sude of Design Options.
  • “Spring/Summer 2012 Youth Culture” by Andrea Praet, Trend Director of Stylesight USA.
  • “Sourcing North America: Discover New Resources” by Susan Power, Publisher of AboutSources.

16/12/2010 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

Low-Impact Luxury for High-Impact Giving

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!

Marth Stewart 2010 Holiday Gift Guide

Tree Hugger Holiday Gift Guide

Design Sponge Gift Guide

Inhabitat Holiday Green Gift Guide

14/12/2010 at 5:00 am Leave a comment

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