Environmental certifications engage industry and reassure consumers. OEKO-TEX 100, GOTS, ISO 14001, BLUESIGN, ECOLABEL, ECOCERT, … There are more than fifty certifications on the textile market. Hard to know who does what. Created 18 years ago, bluesign® has become a reference in the sports market. The label based in Switzerland now wants to convince the market of lingerie, underwear and beachwear.
How does bluesign® work?
Bluesign provides a holistic solution for safe and environmentally friendly textile production, working at each step of the supply chain to ensure that products meet rigorous benchmarks with focus on people, the environment and resources.
Many certifications focus on the end product, but this says nothing about substances or practices used in the previous stages of production. The solution is simply to turn this approach upside down: start at the beginning. By preventing hazardous chemicals from entering the input stream in the first place, the bluesign system creates a clean process that provides consumers the confidence they are purchasing a product that is both sustainably produced and that meets the highest consumer safety standards. This is the bluesign Input Stream Management approach. Since its founding in 2000, bluesign has used scientific chemical assessments to evaluate the hazards of 20,000 chemical formulations and assign them to one of three categories: blue – safe to use; gray – special handling required; and black – forbidden. The assessments relate to over 900 different chemical substances, whereas 600 banned substances are included. Yet it’s not enough to merely point out which chemicals to avoid – manufacturers need good and safe alternatives. That’s why bluesign created the first and most comprehensive positive list in the industry, outlining over 11,000 safe and effective alternative chemicals in what’s known as the “bluesign bluefinder”.
Cooperation with system partners
Together with system partners, bluesign’s industry experts prepare a roadmap for the company to meet the benchmarks on the focus areas. Once achieved, the system partner may then use the bluesign trademark on the applicable product, one made with minimal negative social and environmental impacts. But it doesn’t end here. While the right to use the bluesign logo is certainly a milestone along the journey, it’s not the final destination. That’s because bluesign offers more than a standard, it provides an active and growing industry forum where its over 500 system partners together find ways on collaborating on some of the industry’s most pressing sustainability challenges. This is “the blue way”.
Find the explanations of Philip Schär, Customer Relations Manager responsible for Europe at bluesign, speaking at the conference ” Sustainable development and eco-responsibility: new challenges for the industry”