Eco labeling is becoming a differentiating factor on

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about the whole lifecycle. Eco-labeling is becoming a differentiating factor on a worldwide scale in retail markets for textile and apparel purchases. Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned with the adverse impacts of industrial pollution on the environment and their health, resulting in mounting pressure on the textile and fashion industries to adopt more eco-friendly chemicals and manufacturing processes. Environmental concerns raised by production systems have been rec- ognized since the late 1960s. Attempts to move towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly approaches have been through a range of regulatory measures, from green taxes to strict bans. One approach gaining increasing importance is that of environmental labeling or eco-labeling. According to Piotrowski and Kratz ( 2005 ), environmental labeling is broad, covering a range of labels and declarations of environmental performance, with a focus on consumption rather than the production of a given product (e.g. recyclable material). Eco-labels, on the other hand, are a subgroup of environmental labeling. They convey environmental information about a product to the consumer and communicate that the environmental impacts are reduced over the entire life- cycle of a product, without specifying the production practices. An eco-label pro- vides brief information on environmentally related product qualities. It enables consumers to identify products that are environmentally safe, have been manu- factured using eco-friendly materials, and do not contain chemicals that are harmful to the user. Certi fi cation, such as eco-labels, plays a major role in giving credible assurance to retailers and end consumers that products comply with standards based on social, ecological, and environmental standards. The characteristics of an eco-label are as follows: 154 A.K. Roy Choudhury
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It identi fi es the overall environmental preferences of a product. It carries information on environmentally related product qualities. It is a tool for consumers to identify environmentally safe products. It assures that a manufacturer has used eco-friendly raw materials and ingredients. It is an additional product quality that can be used as a marketing tool. It can be issued by a private or public body. It assures less stress on the environment. It increases the selling value of products. The bene fi ts of eco-labeling (Sivaramakrishnan 2012 ) include the following: (1) Global marketing: Manufacturers and retailers of textile goods come under pressure to comply with the international eco-labels. (2) Improved product quality: Eliminates substances in the fabric that may be harmful to the customer. (3) Financial savings Results in saving of water, chemicals, and energy through process optimization and improvements. Frequently, the processing time is reduced by adopting a Right the First Time approach. These bene fi ts gen- erally offset the incremental costs of using eco-friendly chemicals or of adopting a modi fi ed process.
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