What is Bluesign?
Many outdoor companies have placed great importance on environmental sustainability and many more brands are starting to realise the significance of it now. Either way it is good to know that more companies are considering their environmental impact in production processes for their goods. This focus on factors other than profit goes hand-in-hand with the increasing consumer awareness and understanding around ethical and environmental issues.
Consumers are getting more and more aware of sustainability issues. In this sector of industry they want to know under what conditions their textiles were manufactured. At the same time they do not want to miss out on innovation and functionality. The bluesign® system provides both.
It is nice to have an understanding of which brands or products are environmentally sound but it is just important to understand how they are manufactured in this way. For example, down products have had the Responsible Down Standard certification to prove that the down feathers used to produce that item adhere to the high standards set out to protect animal welfare. Other fabric and chemical producers have been improving environmental production processes which led to the bluesign® standard being created in 2000 for sustainable textile production.
The bluesign® system is based on five principles:
- Resource productivity
- Consumer safety
- Water emission
- Air emission
- Occupational health & safety
How does Bluesign work?
The bluesign® system is a solution for a sustainable textile production. It eliminates harmful substances right from the beginning of the manufacturing process and sets and controls standards for an environmentally friendly and safe production. This not only ensures that the final textile product meets very stringent consumer safety requirements worldwide but also provides confidence to the consumer to acquire a sustainable product.
The bluesign® system states that "To you as a consumer the bluesign® system focus guarantees the application of sustainable ingredients in a clean process at which end stands a safely manufactured product. As a result, the textile industry manages the natural resources soundly and responsibly, reduces water and air emissions, improves its waste water treatment and generally reduces its ecological footprint. With this holistic approach, the bluesign® system unites all partners of the textile industry in order to realize an environmentally friendly, sustainable textile production worldwide.
Any bluesign® system partners only use approved chemicals and components according to the high standards. They have to go through rigorous on-site tests in order to verify compliance with bluesign® criteria. Once, they meet the high requirements of the bluesign® criteria their products will be awarded the bluesign® system labels. That applies to textile manufacturers and chemical suppliers too."
Bluesign Brand Partners
There are now lots of brands, textile manufacturers and chemical companies who are bluesign® partners. As a consumer you probably won't recognise many of the companies involved but some of the brands themselves will be pretty familiar.
As for textiles companies you may recognise Polartec, Schoeller, Pontetorto, 3M insulate and Allied Down, all of which are partners with bluesign®. There are obviously many brands who use materials from these companies to produce their gear but there are a few who are full partners with bluesign®. Any bluesign® product is clearly labeled and contains components that are resource saving and sustainably manufactured according to the bluesign® criteria. That includes not only fabrics but also accessories as zippers, buttons, buckles etc. Furthermore, the suppliers and manufacturers have been verified their compliance with the bluesign® criteria controlled by bluesign® experts.
The full bluesign® partner brands we stock are: