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Dark Waters, the film that tells the story of a lawyer, Robert Bilott, and his long struggle to hold DuPont accountable for leakages of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) into the environment, and more disturbingly, its alleged attempts to cover up information relating to serious health issues caused by it, is a film worth watching. In the film, a West Virginian farmer, Wilbur Tennant, notices that after DuPont starts dumping chemicals in a nearby landfill facility, his cattle start dying and he discovers enlarged organs, tumours and other physical deformities which he believes are due to chemicals seeping into the stream from which his animals drink.

Meanwhile, on July 4th 2020 it will become illegal to use, or place products that are chemically treated with water repellents based on C8 telomers on the EU market – with some exceptions for critical end uses. These chemicals, based on fluorinated 8-unit carbon chains, are the most effective water and stain repellents available but it is known that a very small amount of PFOA is produced as an unintended by-product during the manufacture of the C8 telomers.


  • Thursday, 22 October 2020

    New EU chemicals strategy – what it means for textiles? Premium Article

    BRUSSELS – Less than 10 days ago, the European Commission published details of a new chemical strategy to control the production of hazardous chemicals and related pollution by progressively banning their use in consumer goods. Calling it a tough…
  • Monday, 12 October 2020

    Wool Connect 2020 calls out elephants in the room Premium Article

    It might have been a little like letting loose a pack of wolves in a field of lambs. But the Wool Connect 2020 virtual conference – and to a lesser degree the Baltic Wool Conference – managed to call out the elephants in the room without breaking…
  • Thursday, 06 August 2020

    Cleaning up the industry's act Premium Article

    With hygiene a top concern for customer uptake, an eco-cleaning and repair infrastructure is badly needed to loop garments into a circular economy. Traditional dry cleaning won’t cut it because clothing reuse business models ought to positively…
  • Wednesday, 29 July 2020

    Could COVID-19 help cotton find a future Premium Article

    Perhaps ironically, Sally Uren believes the current coronavirus pandemic could help the Cotton 2040 initiative find a way forward towards more sustainable practices in the medium to long term. “I think COVID-19 is shining a really bright light on…
  • Wednesday, 06 May 2020

    Standing tall Premium Article

    It was in Davos, the picturesque Swiss town dwarfed only by the vast stretches of mountain and woodland which surround it, that quite fittingly hosted the unveiling of environmental NGO Canopy’s new action plan, entitled Survival - A Pulp Thriller:…
  • Wednesday, 26 February 2020

    A second chance Premium Article

    Integrating repair services into a company’s operations, as well as including product care guidance, is a surefire way of extending any product’s lifespan. When executed well, such measures not only drive customer loyalty, but can safeguard brands…
  • Friday, 31 January 2020

    Is sharing caring? Premium Article

    Elaine O’Hare, senior associate at law firm Stevens & Bolton LLP, explains how brands can shout about sustainability innovations while still protecting their intellectual property. Fast fashion’s terrible reputation for ‘sustainability’ means there…
  • Thursday, 19 December 2019

    Let’s talk … Premium Article

    Just as new technologies and communications are reducing the environmental impact of textile production – could the lives of garment workers benefit from similar advances? Recent news headlines show how environmental sustainability in the apparel…
  • Wednesday, 11 December 2019

    Breaking Good Premium Article

    Chemistry is often maligned for its potential to be hazardous, when in reality it can be a key component of any new, emerging circular textile industry. Driven by the enormous quantities of textile waste the fashion industry produces, many brands…
  • Wednesday, 04 December 2019

    The nature of biodegradability Premium Article

    Silver bullet solutions capable of tackling overconsumption and waste are, unsurprisingly, few and far between. Increasingly, however, innovations are cropping up which look to offset concern and are ever-increasingly marketed as either bio-based,…
  • Thursday, 03 October 2019

    The biology of textile dyeing Premium Article

    There’s been a lot of press talk about ‘new bio-synthetic dyes’ for the textile industry. But much of this news is often recycled, and inaccurate. So, what’s really going on? John Mowbray gives readers an insight into the current state of play. It’s…
  • Tuesday, 03 September 2019

    Major minor setbacks Premium Article

    With the cacophony of discussion around how to make fashion ‘sustainable’ and ‘circular’ it’s easy to lose sight of the sector’s other pressing issues. David Styles examines several recent child labour reports which urge the industry to act in…
  • Monday, 05 August 2019

    We aren’t the robots Premium Article

    The massive scale and granularity of personalisation in online fashion retail will be impossible to manage without the help of artificial intelligence. But what does it mean for sustainability? John Mowbray talks to Arti Zeighami, head of AI and…
  • Wednesday, 03 July 2019

    Transparency gets a reboot Premium Article

    Control Union criticised ‘dubious companies’ for the European Commission’s decision to withdraw its organic certification license in five key regions. But, with blockchain snapping at its heels, what does the future hold for traditional ‘physical’…
  • Thursday, 13 June 2019

    The rise of rental Premium Article

    Rental fashion offers perhaps the most disruptive alternative yet to the high volume, low price sales business model that has ruled the apparel industry for decades. Following the launch of its new apparel subscription service, David Styles caught…
  • Thursday, 11 April 2019

    Everlane outlines its 'sustainable' goals Premium Article

    Using radical supply chain transparency to guide its ‘anti-fast fashion’ business model, Kim Smith, Everlane’s head of apparel gave John Mowbray an insight into how the US retailer works. We first came across Everlane around eight years ago when our…
  • Friday, 22 February 2019

    Blue Signs Premium Article

    While calls for sustainability in the denim sector accelerate among NGOs, social media and other observers, market realities are sometimes conveniently overlooked. Today, the price of synthetic indigo is high and for the next few months will only…
  • Friday, 01 February 2019

    The ups and downs of ‘closing the loop’ Premium Article

    Recycling is a key component in ‘closing the loop’ for the textile and apparel sectors. Historically, much has drifted towards downcycling as the material is often worn thin, damaged, stained or the product out of fashion. But perhaps not for much…
  • Friday, 01 February 2019

    Value judgements Premium Article

    “If garbage goes in garbage comes out.” To communicate sustainability, digital systems of all kinds have become indispensable and are becoming more important and sophisticated with every passing day. Pamela Ravasio takes a look at the value – or…
  • Wednesday, 02 January 2019

    Turning off the tap Premium Article

    The Plastic Leak Project is a new multi-stakeholder initiative that kicks off in January 2019, which aims to counter the environmental threat posed by marine plastic pollution using a Life Cycle Analysis approach. Lead by Quantis and Shaping…
  • Monday, 19 November 2018

    Foundations of change Premium Article

    Upon the launch of most apparel sector initiatives, those organisations which have been instrumental in a start-up’s inception are thanked for their contribution. One name which crops up more often than most is C&A Foundation. 
  • Monday, 22 October 2018

    The way to B Premium Article

    The certification which self-identifies as being to business what Fair Trade is to coffee and USDA Organic is to milk, B Corp is becoming an increasingly sought after moniker in the apparel sector. David Styles assesses whether this easily…
  • Thursday, 27 September 2018

    SDGs offer opportunity for industry progression Premium Article

    KPMG and Textile Exchange have released a new report, Threading the Needle: Weaving the Sustainable Development Goals into the Textile, Retail and Apparel Industry in order to build upon the body of work of both organizations in support of the…
  • Smart by design
    Friday, 31 August 2018

    Smart by design Premium Article

    Fashion trade show Première Vision Paris has stepped up its focus on sustainability and will double the size of its new space dedicated to environmental issues at its show in September.
  • Friday, 10 August 2018

    Bilateral beneficiaries Premium Article

    While the environmental benefits of international second-hand apparel trade may not appeal to a Trump White House, the economic argument could well gain more traction. David Styles speaks to Marjorie Norton, a professor at Virginia Tech University,…
  • Blockchain reaction
    Monday, 30 July 2018

    Blockchain reaction Premium Article

    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…
  • Wednesday, 25 July 2018

    Ivanka Trump: An inadvertent ethical fashion champion? Premium Article

    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…
  • Could recycled polyester help avert looming environmental crisis?
    Monday, 09 July 2018

    Could recycled polyester help avert looming environmental crisis? Premium Article

    NEW YORK - As the environmental arm of the UN raises questions about how the western world is coping following China's foreign waste ban, could an increase in the production of recycled PET fibres for use in the garment sector provide the ideal…
  • Monday, 11 September 2017

    Sustainability has wonderful shades Premium Article

    EUROJERSEY is an all-Italian company and a leading manufacturer of a technical patented family of fabrics under the brand name of Sensitive Fabrics, which services the swimwear, ready to wear, activewear and lingerie market sectors. The head offices…
  • Planet Textiles
    Wednesday, 12 April 2017

    Planet Textiles to tackle water challenges Premium Article

    The issue of water availability, water conservation in wet processing, wastewater discharge, the circular economy and the rise of environmental awareness in India will dominate this year’s Planet Textiles Summit on sustainability on 24th May at the…
  • Monday, 24 October 2016

    Due diligence in cotton sourcing Part III – economy and society Premium Article

    After exploring some of the environmental considerations for due diligence in the textile supply chain, here we will now tackle economy and society, and how brands and retailers will need to consider these issues down on the cotton farm. Key areas…
  • Friday, 14 October 2016

    Due Diligence in cotton sourcing – Part II. The Environment Premium Article

    In the second of this series of advisory articles on due diligence in the cotton textile supply chain, Simon Ferrigno looks at the issue of ecosystems where biodiversity, soils, existing land cover, water resources and overall land value can…
  • Friday, 23 September 2016

    Risk assessment Premium Article

    Although the development and commercial launch of nanotechnology continues to gather pace, regulation and legislation governing its possible hazardous effects continue to lag seriously behind. The increased consumer demand for durable and functional…
  • Monday, 01 August 2016

    Where does our old clothing end up? Premium Article

    What happens to the old clothing that customers drop off in stores as part of apparel brand clothing take-back initiatives? Brett Mathews recently found out when he visited the huge textile sorting and recycling plant of German company, Soex, parent…
  • Thursday, 23 June 2016

    SAC agrees on Higg Index transparency roadmap to 2020 Premium Article

    The Sustainable Apparel Coalition has launched a new transparency roadmap, which will allow members to roll out previously confidential Higg Index scores to the general public. The move comes as the SAC membership pushes for greater transparency on…
  • Friday, 10 June 2016

    A problem shared is a problem halved Premium Article

    Phil Patterson says it's not surprising we are witnessing a rise in the pooling of knowledge on textiles and environmental issues from competitors to help individuals accomplish their own goals within their respective organisations.
  • Monday, 04 April 2016

    New online Textile Standards & Legislation tool Premium Article

    MCL Global and the European Outdoor Group have launched a unique, easy-to-use online resource that details over 70 textile sustainability labels, regulation and standards, in a bid to cut through the confusion surrounding environmental and social…
  • Thursday, 11 February 2016

    Biodegradability: just a load of rubbish? Premium Article

    Phil Patterson casts his eye over claims of biodegradability in textiles and asks if it would be better to adopt a more circular approach where textiles – and the chemicals used to make them – are more durable and infinitely recyclable.
  • Friday, 08 January 2016

    Did Patagonia make right call on Ovis 21? Premium Article

    Outdoor brand Patagonia recently severed business ties with Argentinian wool supplier, Ovis 21, after PETA released footage of sheep being mistreated at various farms around the world – including at two farms from the Ovis 21 network. While…
  • Barcodes
    Wednesday, 16 December 2015

    Online tool tracks textile supply chain Premium Article

    The challenges facing apparel businesses as they seek to gather robust, accurate information about their supply chains are addressed in a newly updated online solution that allows the sharing of information between organisations at every stage of…
  • Thursday, 19 November 2015

    Plasma-based textile DWR coating creates new interest Premium Article

    MILAN – Europlasma has developed a new range of low-pressure plasma-applied finishes for durable water and oil repellant high-end functional textiles. Although the new range of DWR finishes are based on fluorochemisty, the company says because the…
  • Tuesday, 06 October 2015

    Recycled PET demand to remain solid despite challenges Premium Article

    Cheaper crude oil prices in future could reduce the value of recycled PET, says UK-based consultancy PCI Fibres. Yet the likelihood is that demand for RPET for making recycled polyester yarns will remain strong, as countries look closer at plastic…
  • Wednesday, 02 September 2015

    Active chemicals – a regulatory balancing act Premium Article

    As politicians and health leaders call for action to tackle antibiotic resistance and hospital acquired infections, we look at some of the obstacles textile manufacturers face in getting antimicrobial products to market while complying with…
  • Law
    Thursday, 30 July 2015

    PM confirms Slavery Act details Premium Article

    LONDON - The UK Modern Slavery Bill was passed in law earlier this year. But how will this new legislation impact the apparel industry? This week UK Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed that businesses with a £36 million turnover or above will…
  • Chemical testing
    Wednesday, 22 July 2015

    Fluoro-chemistry cocktail found in outdoor garments Premium Article

    A major international research project has discovered what has been described as a “cocktail of everything from C4 chemistry upwards,” including C8 related contaminants on garments which brands believed had only been treated with C6-based chemistry.
  • Wednesday, 10 June 2015

    Polluters should now pay Premium Article

    From an environmental perspective, doing the right thing, or doing the better thing, must also be the most financially rewarding option if the global textile sector is to improve the way it operates. And taxation could be the answer, argues Phil…
  • Rana Plaza
    Friday, 24 April 2015

    What have we learnt from Rana Plaza? Premium Article

    As we approach the two year anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse, which killed more than 1100 people – mostly garment workers – Stacey Dove looks at progress made by brands, governments, and new initiatives in the wake of the deadliest garment…
  • Friday, 27 March 2015

    CSR needs board buy-in to succeed Premium Article

    Lack of senior commitment and engagement to CSR and sustainability performance could hit a company’s bottom line and damage investor confidence. By Pamela Ravasio, head of sustainability with the European Outdoor Group.
  • Tuesday, 24 February 2015

    Sustainable cotton in India Premium Article

    India is a major grower of cotton and remains the biggest producer of organic cotton in the world. However, the organic cotton sector is faced by many persistent challenges of which supply chain transparency is perhaps the biggest.
  • Tuesday, 27 January 2015

    NGO activism and the progress paradox Premium Article

    Pamela Ravasio, CSR & sustainability manager with the European Outdoor Group, suggests NGOs need to adopt a more pragmatic approach to drive real, long-term change among consumers. The last few years have been intense for our industry in terms of…

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