Bluesign, the Swiss company that is setting up an independent standard for the entire outdoor industry and beyond to establish a high quality of environment, health and safety is happy to welcome more major brands that meet the Bluesign requirements. Helly Hansen and Haglöfs have decided to join the club that includes important players such as Vaude, The North Face, Zimtstern and Patagonia.
The company also screens firms on the supply level, such as manufacturers from the Far East. Bluesign is now examining AGC, Asahi Glass Company of Japan, a marketer of water- and dirt-rejecting equipment for apparel and other products. Other Far East manufacturers that are being examined by Bluesign are Synnix Industries and G-Fun, both from Taiwan.
The difference between Bluesign and other eco-driven standards is, according to the company’s chief executive, Peter Waeber, that Bluesign watches the entire supply chain of a product from the suppliers to the shop. Waeber says that there are quite good standards at the market, but they put their focus exclusively on consumer protection and do not have in mind working conditions in terms of safety as well as the ecological cost of having a product that meets highest standards of consumer safety and well-being.
Bluesign does not only put its focus on environment, health and safety, but also on productivity as far as the resources are concerned. Waeber explains that 25 percent of the chemical products are used for textiles. It takes between 8,000 and 40,000 liters to process one kilogram of cotton. A large company such as Nike needs enough water to fill 43,000 Olympic-size swimming pools just to process textiles. That’s where the idea of Bluesign came from: Environmentalism does not start with protection of consumers, but with the entire supply chain.