The Beijiao Xinhe River in  China

The Beijiao Xinhe River in China

A group of 25 firms involved in various aspects of the Chinese textile supply chain have joined forces to commit to establishing chemical management and risk control systems through the 2020 Chemical Stewardship strategy.

The strategy was launched in December 2016 by the China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC) as a cross-industry policy framework for the textile industry aimed at minimising the adverse effects of chemicals on human health and the environment.

Following months of effort by the Chinese Government and industry to find ways to improve both the practices and global reputation of the nation's industrial sectors on the environment, 11 textile chemicals enterprises and 14 textile firms made a joint declaration at China InterDye 2018 late last week.

The companies, which include members of Textile Sustainable Manufacturing Coalition (TexSMC), have agreed to work together under the banner 'Chemical Stewardship 2020' to achieve the green development goals of China's textile industry, and to establish chemical management and risk control systems within the Chinese textile and apparel industry. They have also committed to supporting the international progress of sound management of chemicals in the context of sustainable development goals throughout the textile supply chain.

Among those to have committed include Pacific (Panju) Textiles, Lu Thai Textiles, Shandong Ruyi, and Dymatic Chemicals.

"As the first Chinese industrial autonomy action for chemicals environmental management, the release of this joint declaration will not only highlight the vanguard role of the Chinese enterprises dedicated to green manufacturing and industry self-regulation on the supply side, but also even take the lead in sustainable development of the global fashion industry," said Li Lingshen, vice president of CNTAC, at the launch event.

According to Lonsen Group, China's textile industry accounts for nearly 60% of global fibre processing volume, and the Chinese textile chemicals industry is the world's largest producer, exporter and consumer, accounting for nearly 70% of global market share.

The enterprises will now join forces to learn and draw on international experience in chemical environmental management, before 2020, jointly formulating management guidelines, and emission requirements for chemical management and control in textile production.

The action is expected to actively expand communication and cooperation between the stakeholders of both the global and Chinese textile supply chain, as well as satisfy the sustainable sourcing policy of downstream purchasers and brands, and exert united efforts for improving both environmental safety and consumption safety throughout supply chain.