Textiles consist of fibres that bring with them different requirements and challenges in terms of sustainability or health, depending on the type of fibre. The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles distinguishes between natural and man-made fibres.
Natural fibres are mainly subdivided into vegetable fibres and animal fibres. Cotton is one of the vegetable fibres. Animal fibres are virgin wool or silk.
Risk Assessments Cotton and Wool
Identifying and knowing risks and potential harms is an essential part of businesses’ due diligence as set forward in the OECD Guidance on Multinational Enterprises and reflected in the targets of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles. With respect to sustainable development in cotton and wool production, the Textiles Partnership has identified mayor sustainability hotspots.
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Man-made fibres are, taking into account the production process and the material of the fibres, divided into three groups:
- Regeneratfasern (chemisch-technisch gewonnene Zellulosefasern),
- Synthetikfasern (chemisch-technisch erzeugte Fasern, meist durch Polymerisation aus Kohle oder Erdöl hergestellt) und
- Synthetikfasern aus nachwachsenden Rohstoffen (Nassspinnverfahren), auch Protein- oder Eiweißfasern genannt.