A study conducted jointly by Consumer Research Institutes of Norway and India, explored the role of eco-labels and environmental practices in the textile market. This study included interviews with the various stakeholders (those who can affect or are affected by the activities of the textile market) of Norway and India, Indian textile workshops and consumers in Norway, Sweden, Germany, and the UK Fancia
The focus of this study is based on the sustainable challenges that the textile industry is facing and the different eco-labels that can be found and reduce the environmental impact of its production that today is very significant (large amount of water used, requiring large amounts of pesticides for cotton require much energy for the production of fibers and synthetic products and gases emitted into the air and water.).
The growth experienced by the industry, has contributed to start thinking about the sustainability in the textile production chain. Increasingly industry members pay more attention to these issues and the most popular solution seems to be the eco-labeling.
Through interviews with stakeholders it became clear that there is still no pressure from consumers, authorities, design institutes, or environmental organizations to adopt more sustainable practices and achieve eco-labeling on clothing and other textiles. This is because they have not yet fully aware of the damage to the environment for the textile and this will be a determining factor when purchasing a product (as it is the design, quality and durability). Those who did indicate be aware of these damages were the stakeholders (especially Norway) and Indian workers in the workshops.
What then motivates companies to start thinking about sustainable measures if they are not putting pressure? The answer to this question was based on the following reasons:
- Corporate Social Responsibility.
- Develop a competitive advantage.
- Build a stronger image and reputation.
Another issue in the study are the eco-labels. Today there are many that guarantee the same or different attributes, which if they were in the market may stun and confuse consumers. The GOTS standard (Global Organic Textile Standard) is recognized as the leading processing standard for textiles made with organic fiber.
Labeling is a way to inform consumers and to do so responsibly in social and political issues, this is why it is so important to understand what the different labels mean. This brings differences between producers who often do not know whether to opt for inclusive labeling or local one.
Consumers believe in labeled and has been demonstrated by other industries and in the same fabric as the baby clothes that are willing to pay a higher price to acquire better quality products and to work with the environment.
To access the full study click here
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