Sinha, Pammi and Shah, Rohit (2010) Creating a global vision for sustainable textiles. In: "Textiles: A Global Vision" the Textiles Institute Centenary World Conference, 3-4 November 2010, Manchester, UK.

Certification, 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 & environmental standards. Of the 309 eco-labels identified world wide, 41 cover textiles (Ecolabelling, 2008) and some 9000 textile & clothing manufacturing companies have been certified. Organic Exchange Fibre Report (2008/09) estimated a 54% increase in cultivation of organic cotton from the previous year, but production of organic cotton only 0.959% of conventional cotton, ie the growth in eco-labelled textiles is not reflected in consumer demand, raising questions about the impact eco-labelled or ‘sustainable’ textiles. A number of issues may impede the spread of eco-labelled textiles through the supply chain: costs and time required to achieve, use and renew the eco-label, recession and potential loss of competitive advantages. This paper will present the findings from in depth interviews examining the decision making around buying and sourcing of eco-labelled fibre, fabrics or textile products. The seven companies located both in India and the UK, spanned the supply chain, from fibre to product: textile manufacturers, eco-parameter testing labs, Certification Company and retailer. The aim of the research was to understand and investigate the marketing strategies for sustainable textile products. Our goal was to understand how designers, manufacturers and retailers may collaborate to deliver eco-labelled textiles attractive to the end consumer and we conclude by reflecting on potential implications for the supply chain integration

Keywords: eco-label, textiles supply chain, consumer

Creating a global vision for sustainable textiles
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