The first day – dedicated to textiles, sustainability and health – featured a special one-day seminar, “A case for sustainable textiles: safeguarding health and the environment”, promoted by Associazione Italiana di Chimica Tessile e Coloristica (AICTC) [The Italian Association of Textile Chemists and Colourists]. RadiciGroup contributed with a presentation.
The AICTC organized the seminar in order to clarify the compulsory regulations on safety-related matters set forth in applicable European laws and to discuss the findings reported in Greenpeace's Detox Campaign Report, with particular emphasis on some critical technical aspects.
In an official statement, the AICTC drew attention to the truly paradoxical situation in today’s textile industry, i.e., the great “asymmetry” in the way the textile industry currently operates around the world. On the one hand are the stringent requirements set by the EU for textile operators doing business in Europe, who have to comply with all the regulations on the environment, occupational health and safety and consumer protection, as well follow a corporate ethics code.
On the other hand are the decidedly less stringent regulations and standards outside Europe, particularly in Asia. And that is not all. Controls on textile imports are scarce, even completely non-existent at times. And here lies the irony: the asymmetric operating conditions, coupled with the lack of import controls and the absence of reciprocity in rules governing the entry of products into the market create a scenario in which the health of Italian and other European textile consumers is not protected, the environment is not safeguarded and the need for worker protection in non-EU countries is ignored.
“Safety is a central issue,” Filippo Servalli, marketing manager of RadiciGroup, said at the seminar. “It’s an issue that no industry, regardless of the specific sector, can ignore. For the chemical sector, responsibility and commitment on the broad environmental sustainability front truly become issues of primary importance. This is because our industry plays a central role in inventing new ways for producing and recycling, developing new materials that are sustainable and coming up with new ideas concerning environmental protection and conservation. We need to detail and clarify the issues fully.”
“It is also necessary to find tangible and believable ways to motivate the market to choose green products,” Mr. Servalli continued. ”Taking our Group as an example, it is of crucial importance for us to ensure sustainability and safety without compromising product performance, and, in some cases, even to provide enhanced performance.
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