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Report | April 2019

SGS helps textile cos reduce harmful chemicals

Consumers are already looking for products that are sustainably sourced and better for the environment.

SGS offers assistance to textile manufacturers looking to reduce their reliance on hazardous chemicals. Through hazardous substances control workshops and other services, they provide companies with the right knowledge to achieve compliance with regulations while maintaining competitive advantage and building better reputations.

Textile production uses around 9.3 million metric tonnes of chemicals a year and the harmful effects of this are now being fully recognised. The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) has recently published “Footwear and textile clothing: consumers need better protection from the risks of skin allergies and irritation”. It notes that most irritations are caused by chemicals.

In addition, the sector is now being recognised as the “second biggest polluter in the world”, a quote attributed to high-end clothing retailer Eileen Fisher. Pollution from the clothing industry is now so bad in some places, for example the Citarum River in Indonesia and the city of Xintang in China, that the natural environment is no longer safe for humans. In both cases, rivers have become too polluted to swim in or drink.

The ANSES report included recommendations for how authorities can improve the industry. This included, among other suggestions, the recommendation that retailers should only stock clothing or footwear that their suppliers can prove do not include carcinogenic, mutagenic, reprotoxic (CMR) substances, and/or skin sensitising and irritating substances. This will require a better knowledge of chemical usage in the whole supply chain.

Part of the problem stems from rapid growth in the sector over the last few decades. It has led to long supply chains, meaning retailers aren’t always sure of the full extent of the number of economic operators in them. At the same time, stakeholders are often too willing to rely on the advice of chemical suppliers, rather than gaining the necessary technical understanding to control the flow of chemicals themselves.

The impact of remaining unaware of the full extent of chemical usage may be great. Consumers are already looking for products that are sustainably sourced and better for the environment. Knowledge of the chemical flow in the supply chain has therefore become very important; it is the key to the effective control of hazardous substances.

This knowledge also has several benefits for businesses:

  • Reduced risk of non-compliance with market regulations
  • Improved reputations from reduced pollution and better living conditions for workers
  • Better protection of consumers from skin allergies and irritations

To better understand production and improve systems, SGS is advising stakeholders to gain technical expertise in the following areas:

  • Production
  • Chemical knowledge
  • Water management

This understanding will create better, more efficient productions systems while reducing waste. In addition, stakeholders can also reduce the use of hazardous chemicals and restricted substances by directly managing chemical sourcing. This will ensure:

  • Only chemicals that do not contain restricted substances are used
  • Chemicals are used properly – avoiding waste due to improper formulations
  • Correct storage of chemicals
  • Chemicals are discarded properly

Deeper understanding of the processes involved in production will also reduce the water usage. It should be remembered; a simple tee shirt will use over thousand liters of water in its manufacture. Reducing this amount will also be good for the environment.

With the damaging effects of chemical usage in the clothing industry become apparent, customers, authorities and retailers are looking to manufacturers to improve and reduce their use of chemicals. The key to better chemical usage is knowledge of the processes and chemicals involved in the production of footwear and textiles. This will result in lower levels of waste, improved efficiencies, more cost-effective methods of production, and better profit margins.

SGS provides a range of services, including hazardous substances control workshops, to help suppliers understand the chemicals being utilised in their supply chains. As regulatory authorities begin to focus more and more on the harmful effects of hazardous chemicals on consumers and on their effect on the environment, they have the technical expertise in place to provide companies with the correct knowledge to remain compliant, maintain competitive advantage, and build better reputations.

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognised as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 95,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,400 offices and laboratories around the world.

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Ltd      Voltas Ltd      Weavetech Engineering Pvt Ltd      Yale Synthlube Industries      A.T.E Enterprises Pvt Ltd      A.T.E Huber Envirotech Pvt Ltd      AB Carter India Pvt Ltd      ACIMIT- ITALY      Advanced Graphic Systems      Angel Mechtronik      Apsom Technologies (India) Pvt Ltd      Arvind Rub-Web Controls Ltd      Associated Autotex Ancillaries Pvt Ltd      B & R Industrial Automation Pvt Ltd      Barnet India Pvt Ltd      Batliboi Ltd      Best Power Equipments India Pvt Ltd      Bharat Beams Pvt Ltd      Bharat Bijilee Ltd      Biancalani Srl      Bracker AG (Rieter)      Bruckner Textile Technology GmbH & Co Kg      C.Gheewala And Co.      Colorjet India Ltd      Condair      DCC Print Vision LLP      Dhara Engineering Works      DN Associates      Elgi Electric and Industries Ltd      Embee Corporation      Eppinger Tooling Asia Pvt Ltd      Excel Traders      Fadis India Pvt Ltd      Fourwents Engineering Company      Gandhi Automations Pvt Ltd      Gem Equipments Ltd      Groz-Beckert Asia Pvt Ltd      Indigo Prints Smart Pvt Ltd      Innova Machines      Inspiron Engineering Pvt Ltd      ITEMA WEAVING (INDIA) PVT LTD      Jaysynth Dyestuff ( India) Pvt Ltd      Jogindra Industries Pvt Ltd      Jumac Manufacturing Pvt.Ltd      K.U. Sodalamuthu and Co. Pvt Ltd      Kirloskar Brothers Ltd      Konica Electronics Enterprise      Kusters Calico Machinery Pvt Ltd      Labelmach      Lakshmi Card Clothing Mfg Co. Pvt Ltd      Lakshmi Machine works Ltd      Loepfe Brothers Ltd (Masterline)      Luwa India Pvt Ltd      MAG Solvics Pvt Ltd      Marvel Gloves Industries      Mayer & Cie. GmbH & Co. KG      Mayur Reeds And Healds Pvt Ltd      MESDAN India Pvt Ltd      Mohler Machine Works Pvt Ltd      Nestling Technologies      Peass Industrial Engineers Pvt Ltd      Perfect Equipment Pvt.Ltd      Picanol N V      Prashant West Point Machinery Pvt. Ltd      Precision Rubber Industries Pvt Ltd      Premier Evolvics Pvt Ltd      Rabatex Industries      Rieter India Pvt Ltd (Novibra)      Rieter India Pvt Ltd (Suessen)      Rieter India Pvt. Ltd      Rieter India Pvt. Ltd      Sabar Machine Tools Mfg. Co.      Savio India Ltd      Savio Texcone (P) Ltd      Schoch Reeds India      Shakti Textile      Sheeba Engineering Co      Skaat Machine Works India Pvt Ltd      Sopromatex (UCMTF)      SRE Corporation      Sri Lakshmi Fire Controls      Stovec Industries Ltd      Sudarshan Gears      Sunrise Industries      Swissmem      Texcoms Textile Solution (E-Products INC)      Texfab Engineers (India) Pvt Ltd      Thies GmbH and Co.      Thymas Electronics Pvt Ltd      Truetzschler India Pvt Ltd      Umargaon Textile Machinery Pvt Ltd      Unitop Aquacare      Vetal Hitech Machines Pvt. Ltd      Voltas Ltd      Weavetech Engineering Pvt Ltd      Yale Synthlube Industries