Brands and retailers

How Target’s new chemical strategy could transform consumer products retail: The big box retailer’s pledge for greater transparency across its product manufacturing and supply chain efforts garnered praise from consumer groups, who say the pressure’s on its rivals (14 Feb).

Sam Cam’s pricey new fashion range is made in Macedonia where some workers who make clothes earn as little as 64p an hour: “It’s billed as a luxurious ‘urban uniform for busy women who love fashion’. But Samantha Cameron’s pricey new clothing range only goes up to a size 14 and is made in Eastern Europe, it emerged yesterday. The line, named Cefinn, includes a T-shirt which costs £110. And although it is designed in London, the clothing is manufactured in Lithuania and Macedonia. An investigation in August criticised other brands for making their garments in Macedonia, where some workers were allegedly paid as little as 64p an hour and faced grim and sometimes dangerous conditions” (13 Feb).

Mango launches committed collection: “Mango has been working in different initiatives related to sustainability for many years now and this collection seemed like a natural step," communications director Guillermo Corominas told us about the launch. "We have carefully selected the materials and suppliers we wanted to work with, and it has been more or less planned at the same time as the rest of collections of the season. It's a thoughtfully crafted collection for women and men featuring fashion pieces committed to environmental sustainability” (13 Feb).

Primark’s Sustainable Cotton Programme presents third-year results: Primark recently published the results of its Sustainable Cotton Programme, now in its third year, a partnership between the textile discounter, agricultural experts CottonConnect and Indian trade union Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA). The numbers show the positive impact the programme has had on the quality of life of the female smallholder farmers: On average, the women were able to increase their income by 247 percent and use the profits for their farms, homes, their family's health and the education of their children (13 Feb).

David Beckham’s clothes sold at H&M, which used factories in Myanmar where child labour is paid at 13p an hour: Scandal-hit David Beckham championed the global fight against child labour while children as young as 13 made clothes for the high street giant selling his multi-million-pound fashion range, a Mail on Sunday investigation has found (12 Feb).

A laundry bag that can stop microfibers polluting the food chain: Two German inventors created a laundry bag to prevent shedding microfibers ending up in oceans. Now, Patagonia will start selling it to customers (12 Feb).

The Ivanka Trump brand’s supply chain is seemingly untraceable: Non-profit consumer education organization Project Just looked into the controversial brand and found... nothing (10 Feb).

Levi’s is radically redefining sustainability: “How do we make the fashion industry more sustainable? For Paul Dillinger, head of global product innovation at Levi Strauss & Co, it's not enough to simply plant a few trees to offset carbon dioxide or use less toxic dyes. To make a real impact in the world, you need to help change the way people think about clothes” (09 Feb).

Ashoka and C&A Foundation support 5 leading social innovators in Fabric of Change Partnership: Ashoka and C&A Foundation have identified the first cohort of five social entrepreneurs for the Fabric of Change Fellowship to nurture solutions to fashion industry challenges. Launched in 2015, the joint initiative Fabric of Change supports innovators at various stages of their development, unlocking the unique power and potential of social entrepreneurs and their solutions to advance a shared vision: transforming the apparel industry as a force for good (09 Feb).

German retailer KiK compensates Pakistan’s ‘industrial 9/11’ families: German textile company KiK has released $5.15 million in compensation for a 2012 factory fire in Karachi that killed 260 people. KiK and the victims’ families still disagree over responsibility of the catastrophe (09 Feb)

ISPO 2017-18 recognises three products for their eco-design: Two apparel/shoe companies have won ISPO Awards, a globally recognised award in the sports industry, for products with ecodesign features; the Deterra anorak by Swedish brand Tierra, 100% made using biological materials, was crowned ‘ecological garment of the year’. The Tankr snowshoes by Norwegian brand Fimbulvetr won the ‘ecological material’ award (07 Feb).

Patagonia boycotts major event in Utah over GOP push to undo conservation effort: Patagonia quit a major outdoor retailer trade show on last week over Utah’s move to reverse a national monument designation that former President Barack Obama made during his last weeks in office (07 Feb).

H&M's new Conscious Exclusive collection debuts recycled shoreline plastic: The new H&M Conscious Exclusive collection includes the revolutionary sustainable material BIONIC® – recycled polyester made from plastic shoreline waste. This fluid fabric used in an intricate pleated gown shows how natural it is for the best styles to be conscious of the environment (07 Feb).

An update on microfiber pollution from Patagonia: “Research about microplastics pollution is just starting to emerge among scientists and our industry, but the shedding of microfibers from synthetic garments is a real concern. We’re taking it seriously—committing significant resources to learn more about the scope of the problem and develop an understanding of what steps we can take to help create impactful solutions. Since last summer, we’ve taken more important steps to research the problem and some new actions to address key contributing factors, and we wanted to give you a full update” (03 Feb).

KiK launches initiative to improve building safety: Patrick Zahn, CEO of the German manufacturer KiK Textiles and Non-Food GmbH, will launch a new initiative to improve building safety of its Pakistani suppliers on February 2 in Karachi (02 Feb).

Reports, Guidelines and Standards

90% of cotton ‘Made in Egypt’ is fake, Cotton Association says: Egypt's most famous export, the silky soft cotton prized by makers of luxury bedding and clothing, has become so scarce as production has fallen that most supplies sold under its brand name last year were fake (14 Feb).

Overview of the textile minimum wage in Asia: Minimum wages in the Asian textile and apparel industry vary from country to country, but this chart shows almost all minimum wages were increased from 2015 to 2016. India and Malaysia had the biggest increase in their textile minimum wages, while Bangladesh and Philippine might remained the same from 2015 to 2016 (14 Feb).

Can fast fashion be ethical? Yael Aflalo, founder of the clothing company Reformation, uses tech to create less waste. Her inspiration? Tesla Motors (09 Feb).

Launch of the Guidance and Roundtable, Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector: The OECD has developed a Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector. This Guidance, developed through an intense multi-stakeholder process, supports a common understanding of due diligence and responsible supply chain management in the sector (08-09 Feb).

The Cambodian moms sacrificing their health and family to make your clothes: They are the backbone of the country's garment industry—and its economy. But poor working conditions force many factory workers to live apart from their kids (08 Feb).

Bangladesh must improve labour rights to qualify for GSP Plus: Bangladesh will have to improve its conditions in areas such as human and labour rights, environmental protection and good governance in order to obtain the GSP Plus status to the European Union, says Willem van der Geest, senior adviser for macroeconomic policy of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (08 Feb).


Textile dyeing without effluent: In total, some 24,000 cubic meters of wastewater are currently being treated in the Tirupur region every day with membrane elements and ion exchange resins from LANXESS, a specialty chemicals company (10 Feb).

International summit on textile colouration to focus on sustainability: The event will tackle some of the difficult questions around technical innovation and environmental sustainability within the textile coloration industry (09 Feb).

New textile fibre is created using cotton scraps and wood: A cellulose fibre called Refibra, created using cotton scraps and wood, has been launched by Lenzing at the Première Vision textile fair in Paris. It’s one of the first fibres of its kind produced at commercial scale using a high-volume of recycled material (08 Feb).

Indian textile deal helps modern water ship first all-membrane brine concentration unit: Modern Water has secured the first sale of its All-Membrane Brine Concentration (AMBC) technology following the successful pilot testing announced in December 2016. Modern Water will provide proprietary AMBC technology to treat wastewater produced by an India-based customer involved in the textile dyes industry (06 Feb).

Greenpeace and WL Gore reach agreement on PFCs: Ecotextile News understands from sources close to the matter that Greenpeace and WL Gore have come to a potential ground-breaking agreement on how to deal with PFCs in the outdoor clothing and footwear industries (03 Feb – subscription required to read full article).

Texollini’s latest $2 million investment includes new knitting, dyeing and finishing machines: There are five reasons for a textile mill to invest in new technology, according to Amit Bracha, president and chief operating officer with the Long Beach, Calif.–based vertical textile mill Texollini. “The first reason is the environment,” Bracha said. Whether to meet stringent regulations or to save water, an investment in new technology will yield an environmental benefit, Bracha said (02 Feb).

The Supply Chain

Cambodia’s labour shortcomings, report: A committee of labour experts has expressed “deep concern” over Cambodia’s discriminatory sacking of unionists, its controversial Union Law and its long-languishing investigation into the death of union leader Chea Vichea, in an International Labour Organization (ILO) report released late last week (13 Feb).

Dozens of workers jailed for striking in Bangladesh: The ITUC has condemned the imprisonment by the Bangladesh authorities of at least 26 garment workers, including several union representatives, for participating in strike action in favour of a living minimum wage (11 Feb).

Indian garment workers fight for justice after factory injuries: Rasu Mahalakshmi didn't celebrate when she received compensation for a factory accident that cost her four fingers. She had waited seven years for help and got just $2,000 for her life-changing injuries. Her fight is far from over - and campaigners say her plight is typical in the country's textile industry. “I lost my fingers, my livelihood and my confidence,” Mahalakshmi told the Thomson Reuters Foundation (09 Feb).

(Image, Ferdinand Stöhr, CCO)