Chemical and Environmental Management
In modern textile production, a large number of chemicals are used. Particularly in the production step of so-called wet finishing, i.e. bleaching, dyeing or impregnating clothing, many chemicals are used, some of which are dangerous to people and the environment. In production plants, there is often a lack of awareness of the problem. As a result, chemicals are stored and used in an unsafe manner, workers are not adequately protected and waste water is not properly treated. In addition to the risks to workers and the environment in the producing countries, the use of toxic chemicals can also pose a risk to textile consumers.
Furthermore, non-harmonised requirements of western textile brands and retailers make compliance to different standards and policies difficult. The reason are sourcing practices of brands: Usually, a production factory supplies more than one brand and is thus confronted with different requirements. These various requirements lead to confusion and costs for the production factories.
The aim of the Partnership Initiative Chemical and Environmental Management (duration: 01.12.2017 - 31.12.2019) was to raise awareness of these problems, harmonising production conditions and product requirements and successively replacing hazardous chemicals in the value chain. This was intended to protect people and the environment, especially in the production countries in the Asian region. Furthermore, cooperation in dialogue formats was used to exchange views on the further development of sustainability requirements and to support the harmonisation of international standards and their requirements.
A Factsheet of the Partnership Initiative can be found here.
The Partnership Initiative promoted access to workshops, trainings and training materials in order to raise awareness for a sustainable and responsible use of chemicals within textile production. Together with the Partnership members, a Guidance on chemical management as well as three Short Videos have been developed to inform about the risks that come with the use of chemicals.
To improve limited access to training options, the Partnership Initiative has developed two training opportunities that have been coordinated by Systain and delivered locally by selected trainers since early 2020:
The aim is to achieve sustainable improvements in local supplier factories with textile wet stages. Experience from past training courses has shown that there is a high level of interest in such training on the part of brands and factories.
The Partnership Initiative also participated in global dialogue formats or initiatives such as the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) and was in exchange with the chemical industry. The aim was to systematically improve chemicals management in international supply chains and to jointly identify innovation and substitution opportunities in the use of chemicals.
19 members of the Textiles Partnership participated in the Partnership Initiative: ALDI Einkauf GmbH & Co. oHG (for ALDI Nord), ALDI SÜD (represented by HOFER KG), Amfori, Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ), Brands Fashion GmbH, Bundesverband der Deutschen Sportartikel-Industrie e.V. (BSI), Deuter Sport GmbH, EDEKA ZENTRALE AG & Co. KG, Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit, Hej Support, KiK Textilien & Non Food GmbH, Stiftung OEKO-TEX Service GmbH, ORSAY GmbH, Otto GmbH & Co. KG, REWE Group, Takko Holding GmbH, Tchibo GmbH, Umweltbundesamt (UBA), Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Foundation (ZDHC).
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Partnership for Sustainable Textiles
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Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
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