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Common Nordic Guideline on Supply Chain Management of Chemicals in Textiles

  • Published on November 27, 2018
Of interest to textile and clothing brands (especially SMEs) wishing to have better control over chemical use in their supply chains. Also useful for policymakers and branch organisaiotns wishing to develop tools for assisting these companies. An online platform that takes companies/buyers through a step-by-step guide on how to control chemical use down the supply chain. The platform is specifically aimed at brands in Nordic countries but also valid for brands elsewhere.
Long and complicated supply chains for garments can present a challenge to brands that want to engage in cleaner processes. It can be difficult for SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) in particular to establish and monitor requirements on complex issues such as chemical use in production. This project aimed to assist Nordic companies in managing the use of chemicals in their suply chains by developing an intuitive step-by-step guide tailored to their needs. The following activities were carried out: - establishment of a network of textile trade organisations and companies across the Nordic region to support the activities in the project. Three network meetings were held during 2017. - mapping and comparison of existing tools that assist companies in managing chemicals in supply chains - Interviewing brands/companies on their needs and experiences with existing tools and what they found was missing - development of a tool based on actual needs and identified weaknesses of existing tools - consensus building on necessary chemical restrictions for the Nordic region The results of the project include the following: - A step-by-step online tool and resource database that assists purchasers and managers in textile brands and especially SMEs to identify and avoid restricted chemicals in their supply chains - A guidance section in the tool that provides a comprehensive library of relevant databases, collaborative initiatives, assessment tools, links to relevant legislation (in EU and Nordic countries) andlinks to environmental and product quality tools and information. - A Common Nordic Guideline on chemical restrictions in the value chain of textiles based oin the Restricted Substance List developed by the Apparel and Footwear International RSL Management (AFIRM) Working Group The tool is free and has been well-used by Nordic brands as a useful and easily accessible resource especially for small companies with limited resources that can be dedicated to chemical control.

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