Environmentally friendly goods from China

Kate Riley went to China to assess candidates for the Ecolabel and to look at sustainable textiles.

Dr Kate Riley has recently returned form a ten-day trip to Shanghai, and Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces in China. The reason for the trip was to inspect three companies that have applied for the EU Ecolabel under the ‘Textiles’ product category. 

Inspections are an important part of the EU Ecolabel application process, and happen once a thorough desktop assessment of a dossier supplied by the company applying for the label has taken place.  Inspections involve a visit to the site where the candidate products are manufactured, to see first hand how the criteria for the EU Ecolabel are being met. These inspections are also an excellent way for the Ecolabel assessor to get to know license holders better and to continue building a relationship with them.

In the case of the inspections carried out in China, the products being certified for the EU Ecolabel included wool tops (treated and untreated) and undyed and dyed 100% merino wool yarns.  As an Ecolabel assessor, Kate held meetings with senior staff on each of the inspection visits to talk through the desktop assessment paperwork, and followed up by inspecting the facilities where production takes place.  She then had all the information she needed to make a recommendation on the application. 

The trip was also used as an opportunity to meet with Covestro, who are working heavily in developing sustainable textiles, particularly polyurethane (PU) coated fabrics which use a waterborne technology developed in-house to create a solvent free material – something which is a great alternative to other methods of production which use harmful solvents.  It was great to see the technology first hand and understand more about what Covestro are doing in this area.  To find out more about their technology, click here.

Simon Strick