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FACE2FACE | October 2019

Bluesign sees sustainability hopes improving in India

Chemical change management should touch the issues surrounding it right from the roots because resource consumption and risk reduction are important for the textile value chain. Realising this, Bluesign, which was founded in 2000, has been making rapid strides towards managing chemicals in textile industry. It has already signed with ZDHC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals) in its efforts to alleviate the suffering caused by indiscriminate use of chemicals by the textile industry.

Bluesign is taking the textile industry to the next level. At ITMA Barcelona, Bluesign’s offering was the launch of the Bluesign CUBE, the science gateway to more responsible consumer textile products; Bluesign has fully integrated its powerful set of tools into one cloud computing solution.

Speaking to the Indian Textile Journal in an exclusive interview, Jill Dumain, CEO of Bluesign, hinted that there was not much attention in India regarding environmental sustainability. “Being responsible to the environment is in line with the cultural heritage of India. But in India, there are plenty of opportunities in the textile market for environmental initiatives,” Dumain added. “We had started on a smaller level in India with a person based in Mumbai. We, from the Switzerland office, work closely with the Indian market. We learn from the practices from the international markets we work in and apply them globally,” Dumain continued.

Giving details of the modus operandi of Bluesign, Dumain said: “Bluesign was born out of the efforts of Swiss textile industry. It was with the realisation that the industry did not take on sustainability. So taking on the lessons and learning from the industry, we began with chemicals companies and on-site assessment like how are the people treated, about the water emissions, pollution, etc. Once they pass the assessment, then we go about assessing their chemical products. We assess these products and put the approved products on our blue or grey list and throw off the black ones that are harmful for the environment.”

Said Dumain: “As a result of this procedure, around 12,000 products have been approved by Bluesign so far. Black ones that are not allowed are more than 50 per cent. We have done assessment of 25,000 chemicals, in which 13,000 are not approved.”

Talking of the progress of Bluesign, Dumain said that around the year 2014, we had about 4,000 approved products, and now in 2019, we have reached 12,000 products. This is because more and more chemical companies are coming in and they are bringing in more products. We have a robust list from textile companies. There is hardly any product in textile, which is not assigned by the Bluesign SYSTEM.” And now this list, the Bluesign® FINDER, is available for free to the industry. (https://finder.Bluesign.com/index.html)

Talking of the present situation, Dumain said; “The mills can buy from this positive list, they go through an assessment, and then go through chemical change management. It is a holistic system. When you are a brand you have the ability to trace back to a chemical supplier to know what is gone into a particular product. This is nearly impossible to do if you are not starting from the beginning. From the brand perspective, it clearly gives a high degree of confidence of what you are doing. We can go deeper in our study. We can check the resource management to know how much water, how much energy, how much chemicals are used in the textile mill to make their products. This paves way for using it better, and using it smarter.”

The new service platform called Bluesign CUBE provides continuously expanding and updated information, as well as applications and modular services for chemical change management to deal with resource consumption and reduce risks at all levels of the value chain. Digitalisation is bringing new opportunities, and Bluesign’s cloud-based integration will provide additional, far-reaching possibilities for the industry and its players in a new dimension.

“The Bluesign CUBE will become an outstanding, powerful tool for responsible business decisions and investments with reduced risks. All information is based on verified data, and the services provided will drive a company’s sustainability performance”, said Christian Dreszig, Head of Marketing and Communication at Bluesign.

The Bluesign SYSTEM is the key to sustainable textile production. It eliminates harmful substances right from the beginning of the manufacturing process as well as sets and controls standards for an environmentally friendly and safe production. This not only ensures that the final textile product meets very stringent consumer safety requirements worldwide, but also provides confidence to the consumer in acquiring a sustainable product.

Bluesign technologies was founded in the year 2000. Since then, the Bluesign® SYSTEM has been adopted by worldwide leading textile and accessory manufacturers. Various significant key players in the chemical and machine industry rely on the Bluesign® SYSTEM. Well-known brands in the outdoor, sportswear, and fashion industry rely on the extensive knowledge that Bluesign technologies provides worldwide.

The Bluesign SYSTEM is the key to sustainable textile production. It eliminates harmful substances right from the beginning of the manufacturing process as well as sets and controls standards for an environmentally friendly and safe production.

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