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The idea of a cotton sourcing hub in West Africa has recently resurfaced, but this time it’s being tied to a goal to which could massively increase the production of organic cotton. Simon Ferrigno catches up with Tobias Meier of Swiss-based consultancy Ecos to learn more about the initiative which is scheduled to kick-off in Burkina Faso in September.

Producer groups are being organised from four countries: Mali, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Benin and want to reach a local organic cotton market share of 5 per cent within the next few years – effectively making ten times more organic cotton available from the region than there is now.

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NEW YORK – As Ivanka Trump’s eponymous apparel and jewellery brand has announced its imminent closure, has the daughter and confident of one of the most divisive US presidents in living memory provided much sought-after proof that ethical trading is a vital element in the future of fashion? David Styles reports.

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A term cited in press releases and conference speeches with an ever-increasing frequency over recent months and years, blockchain is one of the textile sectors hottest topics. David Styles explores what this technology means for the industry and where its applications may lie.

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TOKYO – A new NGO has been set up in Japan that aims to help both local and international apparel firms to identify supply chain problems and is already working with global textile firms Teijin, Mitsui Fashion, as well the AEON Group which is the largest multi-channel retailer in Asia.

The new organisation has told Ecotextile News that it timed its launch to coincide with the run up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, where Japan’s government plans to invite more foreign workers from South East Asia. 

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OSLO – A new study has been published to examine whether there is evidence to suggest the use of textiles changes systematically between different fibre types.

The research also highlights the shortcomings of LCA lifecycle assessments given that, while garment production only occurs once, the maintenance of apparel is undertaken at an inconsistent and innumerable rate.

While the research and findings are undoubtedly very thorough, the individuals behind the report admit that several issues in this area of industry-wide interest are like comparing “apples and oranges.”

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AMSTERDAM – The ‘Eco-Passport’ certification standard from Oeko-Tex has today been accepted by the ZDHC as a level 3 standard for conformance with its manufacturing restricted substance list (MRSL).

This means the ZDHC has the highest level of confidence (Level 3) that textiles certified to the Eco-Passport also meet its strict MRSL criteria within the Chemical Gateway.

“Since Eco Passport was announced as an indicator of ZDHC MRSL conformance in September 2017, several formulators added their Eco Passport certified chemical products to the ZDHC Gateway – Chemical Module. We are delighted to also recognise them as an indicator of ZDHC MRSL Level 3 conformance,” said Scott Echols, ZDHC Programme Director. 

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LONDON – Luxury brands such as Gucci, Prada and Chanel sit alongside low-cost apparel retailers, such as Asda, Lidl and online brands Boohoo and Missguided when it comes to transparency in their viscose textile supply chains, according to a new update from the UK-based Changing Markets Foundation.

The update follows a year on from its original report on viscose pollution, which implicated fashion brands such as H&M, Marks & Spencer, Levi Strauss and Zara in viscose pollution incidents in China, India and Indonesia.

No actual sampling of wastewater from viscose mills was done in 2018, although seven apparel brands have now signed up to a new roadmap for change, while viscose suppliers Lenzing and Aditya Birla have agreed to ensure all their sites meet EU Ecolabel requirements by 2022.

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Through undertaking an innovative research programme, Nordic non-profit Swedwatch has offered a fresh perspective on the lives and working conditions of a Bangladeshi workforce which has, all too frequently, been deprived its chance to speak out. David Styles reports.

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FRIEDRICHSHAFEN – The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) has confirmed that over the four-day agenda of the 25th OutDoor show it has raised more than €25,000 for conservation projects and, in the process, gained three new member organisations.

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MADRID – The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is ramping up its efforts to ensure that tourism is fully utilised as a medium by which sustainability messages – with a particular emphasis on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – are disseminated far and wide.

An online tool has now been launched by the organisation as a way to make this concept more accessible; a move it is hoped will enable tourists with a particular interest – such as fashion – to greater understand the work being done in their industry of choice and, potentially, become involved in a movement towards the ultimate aims of the SDGs.

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