Sustainability is becoming more of a marketing tool

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Sustainability is becoming more of a marketing tool of the fashion supply chain, forcing textile producers to respect high environmental standards in their production methods (Caniato et al. 2012 ). To answer the needs of consumers for eco-friendly products, several eco- labeling systems have been developed, especially since the 1990s (Moore and L. Almeida ( & ) Department of Textile Engineering, Universidade Do Minho, 4800-058 Guimaraes, Portugal e-mail: [email protected] © Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2015 S.S. Muthu (ed.), Roadmap to Sustainable Textiles and Clothing , Textile Science and Clothing Technology, DOI 10.1007/978-981-287-164-0_7 175
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Wentz, 2009 ). Also within this trend for sustainability, an increased demand for organic products has emerged in the beginning of the 21st century. Eco-labels in the textile products (either garments or home textiles) are a way to show to the consumer that the products are: Safe in terms of human health: this corresponds to the so-called human ecology and is a main requirement for consumers. Produced with environmentally friendly materials and technologies: this corre- sponds to the real ecology, which takes into account the rational use of resources (especially nonrenewable natural resources, water, and energy), air emissions, wastewater, solid waste, use of clean technologies, water and energy recovery, etc. Produced with regard to the health and safety of the workers: adequate measures should be used to prevent occupational accidents and protect the health of workers, including the use of collective and personal protective equipment, reducing dust and noise, preventing contact with dangerous and unhealthy chemicals, etc. Produced with respect to social criteria in terms of the human rights of workers, namely according to the International Labor Organization standards. Eco-labeled products must also have certain performance quality levels. The different ecolabel systems impose criteria that affect the entire textile chain, with special emphasis on the dyeing, printing, and fi nishing processes. An overview of the requirements of the major ecolabels that are used for textile products is presented in this chapter. 2 European Union Ecolabel The EU Ecolabel, also called the fl ower label due to its logo, was launched in 1992, according to the Council Regulation (EEC) No 880/92 of 23 March 1992. At that time, apart from private labels, some Member States were launching national labels. The European Commission used this regulation to create conditions for ultimately establishing an effective single environmental label in the European Union. It was also a way to contribute to the consolidation of policies related to the environment, particularly at preventing, reducing, and eliminating as much pollu- tion as possible (prioritizing the source); ensuring sound management of raw material resources; and highlighting the importance of developing a policy towards clean products. The EU Ecolabel system has been fully revised, according to the Regulation (EC) No 66/2010.
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