21 Years in the 21st Century: BLUESIGN, The Gold Standard in Resource and Chemical Management
13 Jan 2021
In 1997, in Switzerland, an effort was made to develop a textile product with the lowest possible environmental burden, resource-improving production as well as safety for workers and consumers. In order to make this concept accessible to as many textile companies as possible, an independent company was formed from the project: BLUESIGN. The founding goal was to motivate suppliers, manufacturers and top brands to reduce the overall footprint of textiles, with a particular focus on the chemicals used.
Years before the REACH regulation went into force, BLUESIGN laid the groundwork for its comprehensive chemical management with the most comprehensive list in the world of chemical substances, the Restricted Substances List (RSL). More than 20,000 chemical products from the industry were identified and classified. Today, the RSL includes over 900 chemical substances and approximately 600 substance bans. With the introduction of the first positive list for textile chemicals, hundreds of tons of hazardous chemicals could be replaced with safe alternatives in the global manufacture of textile products. As a result, the risk to people and the environment were drastically lowered.
Advising companies with regard to resource-improving production reduces the impacts on people and the environment while saving money. BLUESIGN is convinced that the use of the best technology available, smarter chemistry and intelligent processes allows for tremendous savings to be achieved globally – a significant portion of which would contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
BLUESIGN BRIEF HISTORY:
- 2000: Environmental Solutions, 20 Years Ahead of its Time
- 2001-2002: First in Industry: Banned & Positive Chemical Lists & bluesign Product at ISPO
- 2003: First in Industry: Search Engine for Responsibly Produced Material
- 2011-2012: Launch of the World`s Most Extensive List of Chemical Substances; bluesign® SYSTEM SUBSTANCE LIST (BSSL) is introduced with more than 900 chemical substances and 600 banned substances
- 2014: From Outdoor to Runway; The bluesign® SYSTEM becomes the model principle used for the outdoor industry and is introduced as a solution for the fashion industry
- 2017: 500 Partnerships; 133 chemical suppliers, 338 manufacturers, 89 brands, and 2 industry machine firms recognized the need for an increased systematic approach towards sustainability.
- 2019: The Sustainable Need for Data Transparency; Data becomes King. Through the launch of the bluesign® CUBE, the consumer demand for radical transparency and supply chain traceability can be fulfilled. This platform allows for verifiable measures on eKPIs and creates an ease of system standardization for companies and manufacturers.
- 2021: Built on 20+ years of expertise with a system built on partnership
ABOUT BLUESIGN: bluesign® is a full-service sustainability solutions system for the fashion supply chain with a focus on responsible chemistry. Through on-site assessments, Input Stream Management, and chemical inventory verification, the bluesign® team uses a holistic approach with their system partners, including brands, manufacturers and chemical suppliers, to develop unique solutions to improve environmental performance, working conditions (OH&S), and resource consumption to create the highest level of safety for people (workers), planet and consumers.