More than 240 industry executives attended the fourth Bluesign conference in St Gallen, Switzerland

More than 240 industry executives attended the fourth Bluesign conference in St Gallen, Switzerland

Bluesign Technologies has teamed up with leading chemicals companies to develop a new on-line tool to help textile mills cut water, energy and chemicals consumption during their wet processing operations.

The BlueXpert tool was unveiled earlier this week at the fourth Bluesign conference in St Gallen, Switzerland, and is aimed at bringing "resource productivity to the next level."

While there is increasing pressure on the textile industry to tackle a range of sustainability issues, including the elimination of critical substances, and tighter environmental, brand and retailer requirements, the group suggests that "it is not enough anymore to find the right chemical suppliers who provide clean chemistry."

Instead Bluesign believes "the urgent need to dramatically reduce the amount of water and subsequent energy in textile wet processing should have as much as a priority as using clean chemistry."

The new BlueXpert tool responds to this challenge by allowing textile mills to compare the efficiency of their wet processing operations against industry best practices in clean chemicals and processing technology.

Modelling different scenarios helps identify the relative contribution of each step in textile processing – including pre-treatment, dyeing, finishing and printing – and allows each mill to develop specific solutions to help improve the use of resources and sustainability.

"We believe this will have a lasting impact on improving the resource productivity in the textile industry worldwide," says Peter Waeber, CEO of Bluesign Technologies, adding that resource productivity is the biggest challenge facing the textile industry.

Dramatic savings of 50% less water, 30% less energy, and 15% less chemical consumption in textile production are promised.

Combining this with the ‘Bluesign Bluefinder’ chemical database listing around 5,600 approved chemicals "enables a significant next step to a more sustainable product."

The leading dye and chemical makers have been pushing the boundaries for clean chemistry, developing smart dyes and chemicals whose savings in energy, water and time help offset the increased costs of cleaner chemistry. Archroma CEO Alexander Wessels, DyStar CEO Eric Hopmann, and Huntsman Textile Effects president Paul Hulme all attended this week's launch.

The Bluesign textile sustainability programme already links chemicals suppliers, textile manufacturers and brands to ensure no harmful substances enter the supply chain – and its new BlueXpert tool will be available at the beginning of 2016.