ZURICH, Switzerland — September 22, 2016 — Chic, trendy and affordable — these are the requirements for children’s clothes. And, of course, they must also be practical, hard-wearing and comfortable to ensure that they are accepted by the little ones. Unsurprisingly, mothers and fathers want to protect their children from coming into contact with harmful substances. At the same time, they must be sure that the textiles have been manufactured under fair environmental and working conditions. Children’s fashion that is environmentally friendly and sustainable is popular with many parents and has developed from a niche to a trend topic. But, when purchasing children’s clothes, how can parents be sure that textile brand and retail companies really implement sustainability along their supply chains?
This question was considered by Stefan Kehrer, director of Materials Management
at CALIDA AG, David Pircher, Director of Business Development at the OEKO-TEX® Association, and host Anna Czerwinska, marketing and communication manager
at the Oeko-Tex Association, during a podium discussion at the Kind + Jugend
2016 fair in Cologne. Under the motto “Give mothers what they want — well-designed clothes manufactured in a responsible and transparent way”, the participants agree
that transparency plays a key role in the consumer’s buying decision. According to
Stefan Kehrer, this transparency “is granted to Calida customers in fulfilment of our responsibility” because: “they quite rightly want to know how and where we produce
According to David Pircher, consumers are increasingly demanding environmentally friendly and socially responsible production conditions as well as product safety from manufacturers, clothing brands and retailers. He says, “Oeko-Tex seized this wish as an opportunity to create a traceable consumer label for sustainable textiles, MADE IN GREEN by Oeko-Tex.” On one hand, this meets the consumer requirements and, on the other hand, suppliers of textile products can disclose their supply chain in a transparent way with regard to best practices. According to Stefan Kehrer, this was the reason why Calida presented the entire children’s collection with the MADE IN GREEN label. He adds, “With the introduction of MADE IN GREEN by Oeko-Tex, we are strengthening our long-term sustainability strategy of manufacturing Calida products with a clear conscience so that our customers can also have a clear conscience when wearing them.
In this regard, MADE IN GREEN is exactly what we were looking for.” This was the cue for David Pircher to clarify the reasons why MADE IN GREEN is perfect as a tool for increased transparency: “Every article awarded the MADE IN GREEN label has a clear product ID and/or QR code which allows consumers to track the manufacture of the product. Each product ID shows which production stages were included in the manufacture as well as the countries in which the textiles were produced.” According to David Pircher, consumers acknowledge this new level of transparency with corresponding trust. Stefan Kehrer added, “At Calida we can show how profitable our commitment to sustainability really is as measured by the service provided. And all in black and white”.
“Let’s look into the future. In your opinion, how will the clothing and textile industry develop further?” With this question, host Anna Czerwinska introduced the closing words of the discussion round. Stefan Kehrer is convinced that the information, comparison and buying options for responsible and informed consumers will increase in the future. “This offers many opportunities for all market players”, however, “transparency and trust are the key elements here.” For David Pircher, the textile development is trending toward “Smart Clothes”, i.e. textiles that carry out a particular function using components such as sensors or mini computers. But here too, given all this functionality, one must not loose sight of the fact that these complex textiles must under no circumstances be harmful to health, “This is our challenge for the future.”
World-class quality, comfort and sustainability have been the trademarks of Calida
AG since 1941. The traditional Swiss company remains true to its philosophy with its recent award of the MADE IN GREEN by Oeko-Tex label. MADE IN GREEN gives Calida customers a level of transparency that has not yet been achieved as, now, the consumer can scan the QR code or reference the test number on the label to track the production of an article. The MADE IN GREEN label provides information on the country in which production took place and which production facilities were involved. MADE IN GREEN also provides verification by an independent resource that the labelled textiles have been tested for harmful substances and that they have been manufactured using environmentally friendly technologies and in a socially responsible manner.
In spring 2016, Calida started to label several women’s and men’s products with the MADE IN GREEN label. The Calida children’s collection is the first fully labelled segment since July 2016. Their aim is to label the entire Calida collection in the coming years.
Posted October 5, 2016
Source: The International OEKO-TEX® Association