Landmark criteria revision by Bluesign

Through a landmark stakeholder collaboration, Bluesign releases new criteria for continued environmental impact reduction for fashion and textile supply chain

On March 16, 2020, Bluesign released newly revised bluesign® CRITERIA. These revisions are a significant development in the ongoing mission to advance the global fashion and textile industry in reducing the industry’s negative environmental impact and by increasing safety for both end consumers and workers.

 “Bluesign never stands still when it comes to achieving our vision of responsible and sustainable manufacturing of textile consumer products, and it is continually improving its services to meet this goal. To ensure this continuous improvement, Bluesign has revised its criteria including broad stakeholder consultation in order to align with the industry’s efforts and to raise the bar in order to accelerate achievements. As a pioneer in sustainable manufacturing in the textile industry, we are honored to be supported by so many companies and experts, who have provided valuable input to drive the impacts of textiles for the better,” says Jill Dumain, Chief Executive Officer at Bluesign.

 These revisions are especially noteworthy as it marks the first occasion in which the criteria revisions have taken place through close stakeholder collaboration. Starting in 2019, a number of stakeholders comprised of brands, NGOs, fellow industry consultants, chemical suppliers and a government institution, provided over 30 points for consideration with the aim of raising the benchmark and ensuring industry conformity.

 A primary goal of stakeholder collaboration was to increase transparency and to align expectations to set ambitious expectations while remaining pragmatic given the Best Available Techniques currently at hand for the textile industry.

Two key points of considerable influence for the industry are increased consideration on definitions and terminology, and the implementation of new sections such as the criteria for fiber manufactures.

Bluesign recognises a need for clear, uniform definitions, a critical void from internationally regulating bodies, particularly with the fashion and apparel industry for topics relating to sustainability and claims relating to environmental protection. By establishing greater clarity within the revised bluesign® CRITERIA, the intent is to simplify the planning and implementation of goals, as well as to increase industry conformity to one set of understood definitions.

Newly created criteria documents include specific guidelines for fiber manufacturers’ production sites, have been realized to bring into effect a chain of custody throughout the supply chain. To this end, requirements of fibre manufacturing include traceability of recycled fibres for bluesign® APPROVED materials.

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 other institutions.”

The bluesign® CRITERIA come into effect immediately as of March 2020, with a transition period of one year.

 The updated bluesign® CRITERIA will bring the industry much closer to reducing impact and increasing safety for both end consumers and workers. Bluesign hopes that these will allow the 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.