Interview with Peter Waeber

Face2Face
Peter Waeber
Peter Waeber
CEO
Bluesign Technologies AG
Bluesign Technologies AG

The whole textile industry should optimize their processes more and more in direction of 'Best Available Technology'

Peter Waeber, CEO of Bluesign Technologies AG, talks about sustainability in textile in an interview with Fibre2Fashion Correspondent Ridaa Saiyed. Synopsis: Bluesign technologies AG, founded in 2000 is the unique combination of expertise in key segments of the textile production as chemical substances, components and technological developments. Peter Waeber is the CEO of bluesign technologies since 2000. He has studied Chemical and Textile Engineering as well as Economics and started his career as a researcher in the chemical industry followed by managing of different Swiss textile mills. Excerpts:

What do you mean by Input Stream Management?

In our understanding, an "Input Stream Management System" helps to eliminate harmful substances from the very beginning. With such a system, you can track the root of an environmental issue. All applied components and processes are already audited in advance of the production. That guarantees the application of sustainable ingredients in a clean process at which end stands a safely manufactured product, irrespective of the number of process steps or manufacturers involved. Explanation: If we have the consumer safety issue with a critical chemical substance at the end of all processes, we cannot wash it out in a final product.

How important is 'Sustainability' in the textile industry?

If you compare the textile industry with other industries, maybe automotive or electronic, our industry is not on a very high level regarding an optimized use of resources, therefore I think that the textile industry as a whole can make huge progress in better resource productivity. Sustainability is very important in the textile field because this industry has a huge impact on the environment - high energy, freshwater, chemical use - and is responsible for huge wastewater disposal and air emission. More and more brands, NGO's, Governments and consumers are aware about the issues we are dealing with in the textile industry and it is a concern worldwide.

What is the role of Bluesign Technologies in enabling sustainable textile production worldwide?

We understand our role in the textile supply chain as a solution provider to help brands, manufacturers and chemical companies in a network to provide solutions for a more sustainable production. We start in the chemical industry and are selecting chemicals that fulfill our requirements regarding consumer safety and low impact to the environment. With an optimized textile production, according "Best Available Technology" a brand has not to struggle with consumer safety issues on a final product.

What are the challenges faced by the companies providing solutions for EHS problems to textile supply chains? How to overcome these challenges?

When working according an Input Stream Management System a lot of information about EHS (Environment, Health and Safety) data is needed from each involved chemical. It is a fact in general that the quality of EHS data in our whole industry is not on a very high level. The awareness about the environment, health and safety issues is a very important point, also in respect of worker safety.

What is the role of sustainability certification for a company that is globally renowned?

If we look from the perspective of a brand with a global business, it is very difficult to sell products all over the world and to manage in the same time several different legislations. Therefore, it is important that we have a certification that helps a brand or retailer to sell safe products worldwide that is in the following avoiding claims. In fact, they cannot produce a product especially for Sweden or South America or Japan. If the company has a global market, they need a certification that is accepted worldwide.
Published on: 16/12/2013

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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