bluesign® CRITERIA revision
In 2019, Bluesign began the process of revising the bluesign® CRITERIA for the bluesign® SYSTEM. This process is noteworthy as it marks the first criteria revision which took place with close stakeholder collaboration. A number of stakeholders comprised of brands, NGOs, industry consultants, chemical suppliers, and one government institution provided over 30 inputs of consideration.
The mission of Bluesign is to provide service-based support for its partners in creating a responsible global textile manufacturing supply chain that actively considers its environmental impact. The close stakeholder engagement throughout the bluesign® CRITERIA revision process has allowed for a heightened level of transparency for all stakeholders and an alignment with industry efforts.
Since its development, the bluesign® CRITERIA have been comprised of the most stringent industry requirements. Through these revisions, Bluesign continues to set the industry benchmark at ambitious, yet attainable, levels. It is through the review of global standards and Best Available Techniques that Bluesign is able to advocate for continuous forward momentum, while remaining pragmatic to the current technological capabilities.
In order to best support its partners and understand the full extent of the challenges faced by the industry, Bluesign has provided a platform for stakeholder consultation to increase transparency and collaboration.
In working towards the aim of greater transparency alignment, the bluesign® CRITERIA have refined and expanded upon definitions and terminologies to ensure consistency and conformity throughout the textile and related industries. Established and recognized definitions for key terminology is something that is often lacking in the industry, in particular for topics relating to industry claims regarding to sustainability and environmental impact. Through creating greater clarity of definitions in the revised bluesign® CRITERIA, it is the aim that this will bring ease to the future orientation, planning, and implementation of goals for partners and the industry as such.
As Bluesign continues to improve the foundational expectations of a continuously progressing industry, Bluesign has also made the decision to extend necessary sections and create new documents to highlight areas which have increased in importance. Some of these new inclusions are illustrated in the following sections.
While a rating system of production sites has been implemented in practice, the newly established written documents extend the level of understanding of these rating systems for all stakeholders. The rating system defines six rating areas, and four progress levels, beginning at “foundational”, “developing”, “progressive”, and reaching “aspirational”, and is further complimented by two rating matrices for chemical suppliers and manufacturers.
Criteria for Fiber Manufacturers
An additional contribution to the bluesign® CRITERIA is the inclusion of specific bluesign® CRITERIA for production sites for fiber manufacturers. A major aspect of this new document is in its aim to establish a chain of custody. To this end, requirements of fiber manufacturing include requirements for the traceability of recycled fibers for bluesign® APPROVED materials.
While Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) management is not a new subject matter in the bluesign® CRITERIA, the information comprising VOC management have newly been compiled into one comprehensive document, to further ensuring clarity and simplification of information transfer.
As Maren Herter, Research and Development Expert for bluesign® ACADEMY shares, “The end result is an expansion and deepening of our requirements as well as the harmonizing of them with trends and tendencies in the textile supply chain and institutions.”
Bluesign prides itself on implementing a continuous cycle of improvement. Bluesign hopes that these revisions and newly included sections will allow bluesign® SYSTEM PARTNERS to continue to strive towards industry excellence and to create a platform to enable them to be the leaders in their fields. Moreover, it is the aim of Bluesign to continue to promote close collaboration with industry stakeholders.
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