Posts tagged ‘RITE Group’
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~
Some leading European retailers were caught out earlier this year when it was discovered that the certified organic cotton garments they were selling in-store were actually made from genetically modified (GM) cotton fibre.
As a result, issues surrounding the use of genetically modified technology within the clothing and textile industries have been laid out in a new document prepared by the RITE Group (Reducing the Impact of Textiles on the Environment.
This short, factual document was created to clarify and inform on the issue of GM textiles. RITE intends to develop an objective, independant and authoritative position on GM textiles and how this type of biotechnology relates to the environmental impacts on the industry.
This years RITE Group Conference takes place on October 6th at Central Hall Westminster in London UK. Organizers have confirmed that exhibition space has been sold out and that a line up of notable figures from the fashion and textile industries will be speaking. Speakers include;
- Vicky Murray of Forum for the Future
- Sara Giorgi of Brook Lyndhurst
- Anna Harvey of Marks & Spencer
- Dorothy Maxwell, Global View Sustainability Services
- Paul Hulme of Huntsman Textile Effects
- Tom Podkolinski of Finisterre Outdoor and Surfwear
- Thomas Ursem of Rabobank
This years theme, “Shaping Tomorrows Industry”, focuses largely on sustainability touching on subjects such as;
- Fashion Futures 2025: Making Sense of Uncertainty. Scenarios for the Future of the Industry
- Reducing the Impact of Textiles on the Environment – A Chemical Manufacturers View
- Consumer Attitudes and Behaviours Around Textile Purchasing, Use and Disposal.
- Global Cotton Production: Trends and Challenges in sustainability
- Sustainability in Textiles – Progress and Next Steps?
- Ethical Sourcing Issues
The goal and vision of RITE Group as stated on their website is to develop and provide advice and fact based information to reduce the negative environmental effects of the production, use and disposal of textiles and to drive forward the sustainable and ethical production of textiles and apparel throughout the global supply chain. They provide a forum for different sectors of the textile industry to share views and best practice and our success is based on the facilitation of discussions between industry, retail, academia, media, scientists, designers and government.