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bluesign®

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Evaluation Tool

bluesign®

Tool Category

Standards, Certifications & Labels

At a Glance

bluesign® is an independent textile industry standard. It's goal is to improve environmental, health and safety conditions as well as improve resource efficiency along the whole textile supply chain. The standard supports compliance with new national and international legislative standards and aims to do this without compromising functionality, quality, or design. It is used by raw material and component suppliers that manufacture yarns, dyes, and additives, as well as textile manufacturers.

The bluesign® certified fabric, textiles and accessories are then used by brands in their products and sold to retailers.

Tool Website(s)

www.bluesign.com/; bluesign® standard: www.bluesign.com/index.php?id=151

Tool Owner/Sponsor

bluesign® Technologies AG

Type of Entity

For profit

Focus of Evaluation

Substances (chemicals, ingredients), products, companies

Product Stage of Life Evaluated

Raw materials, manufacturing, consumer use, end of life

Impact(s) Evaluated

Air emissions, environmental health, human health, material impacts, water emissions, & worker health and safety. See bluesign® standard: www.bluesign.com/index.php?id=151

Tool Description

The bluesign® standard brings together the entire textile manufacturing chain; all input streams are analyzed (from raw materials to chemical components to resources). Components are then evaluated according to their EHS impacts and placed into three categories:

  • A blue rating means that components, production processes, and technologies have met the criteria for the bluesign® standard and may be used for all applications;
  • A grey rating means that components, production processes, and technologies may be used under one or more pre-conditions following the Best Available Technology as defined in the EU Directive 96/61/EC (which minimizes pollution from various industrial sources throughout the European Union);
  • A black rating requires elimination from the manufacturing process.

In addition to criteria for the bluesign® standard, bluesign® also provides specific criteria for textile manufacturers, production sites, and chemical suppliers, and provides a bluesign® standard substances list (BSSL) that specifies the restrictions for consumer safety that are enforced by the bluesign® standard. Retailers using bluesign® approved fabric, textiles, and accessories can have the final product bluesign® safety certified.

Product Categories

Apparel & Footwear; Furniture; Textiles

Tool Requirements

Suppliers of chemical components must provide detailed chemical and toxicological data in order for bluesign® to determine if the components meet the bluesign® standard. An on-site audit of suppliers to verify the handling of chemicals and EHS management is also required. For manufacturers, EHS and general production data covering one year is collected, followed by a detailed on-site evaluation of the EHS impacts. This results in bluesign® providing a detailed report with recommendations for changes to the components and processes used.

Cost of Tool

An annual membership fee is paid by bluesign® members who actively support the development of the standard. An alternative approach is to subscribe to the bluefinder™ - an online database designed for textile manufacturers which contains bluesign®-approved components (auxiliaries, dyestuffs, finishing agents, coatings, etc.).

Evaluation Frequency

The standard is updated periodically when new chemical components and processes are introduced.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths: The bluesign® standard supports compliance with international legislative standards, without compromising functionality, quality, or design. It helps suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, and brands work together to reduce the environmental footprint of a product and foster a responsible textile industry.

Weaknesses: Allows chemicals given a “grey” rating to be used without specifying what the grey chemicals are.

Examples of Retailers That Use It

Patagonia, REI, North Face, Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC)

Similar Tools that Serve the Same Industry or Product Category

Oeko-tex® Standard 100, Global Organic Textile Standard

For More Information

bluesign® technologies ag: 41 (0)71 272 2990 , info@bluesign.com

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