Keep up-to-date with the latest updates in sustainable production and purchasing.
Learn about industry expectations, trade best practices and regulations.
How sustainability is changing the furniture industry
Sustainability was once viewed as a quite original standard and rather rare that only the biggest and most aware companies would aim for. However, attitudes towards sustainability have changed, and it became almost imperative for any successful business to engage in environmental initiatives. Among many industries that have taken measures to protect the environment, furniture stands out as one of the most important product lines.
Eco-friendly furniture is essential in many aspects, be it for home, office, or entertainment. From wood used to make frames to fabrics and chemicals used to decorate pieces of furniture, the trend shows that many processes are done sustainably, and end-consumers do an additional check to ensure
What sustainability means for the Building materials industry?
What is a green building?
Sustainable building means using more ecological and recyclable materials in construction, it also includes reducing energy consumption and waste. The main goal of sustainable construction is to reduce the industry's impact on the environment.
Sustainable construction does not end when the building is completed, as the building itself should have a lower environmental impact throughout its life. This means that the building design must include elements that have a permanent positive impact on the building's environmental impact. These can include proper insulation to prevent heat loss, solar panels to reduce energy consumption, and long-lasting
Sustainability in the Textiles industry
The ecological footprint that clothes leave behind begins long before they are scrapped. For the production of raw materials from which the apparel will be made, many resources are needed: water, electricity, human labor, fuel, regardless of whether the fabric is natural or synthetic. For raw materials to grow, fertilizers and pesticides are almost always needed. Schematically, the life cycle of textiles can be represented as follows.
As a consequence of the increasing environmental impact of clothing, consumption (especially fast fashion), environmental awareness of consumers is growing, increasing the niche
Swedish group H&M, which owns the second-largest clothing chain in the world, has released an official statement on the situation in China. In it, the company announced that it is working with Chinese colleagues and is doing everything possible to cope with current problems but does not provide any specifics.
Recall that recently, H&M was at the center of a scandal over its decision to abandon cotton purchases in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region due to allegations of massive, forced labor camps in the region. A report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) thinks tank, delivered in March, distinguished H&M as one of the recipients of a constrained work program through-colored yarn maker Huafu, which possesses an industrial facility in eastern China's Anhui territory.
Who are the Uyghurs?
The Uyghur minority lives in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China. They make up 45% of the area's population and 40% are ethnic Han people. In total, about 10 million Uyghurs live in China.
Since China regained control of the region in 1949, many ethnic Han Chinese have migrated to Xinjiang, which is why the Uyghurs are now worried about the possible crowding out of their own culture.
What is known about the situation of the Uyghurs in China?
Activists who fight for the rights of the Uyghurs say Beijing discriminates against them. One example is their so-called re-education. According to the testimony of journalists and human rights activists, the Uyghurs are being isolated in "educational camps." Some are sent to their hometowns "under arrest."
According to Reuters, citing UN activists and experts, 1 million Muslim Uighurs are being held in Chinese camps. China denies this and claims that these camps are merely providing vocational training for people.
The researchers say that activists are in constant fear of possible harassment. In addition to such violations of rights, everyday discrimination is also used against Uighurs, making the minority feel like second-class people. For example, Uighurs may be refused a hotel room.
H&M is determined to overcome the crisis
The company said it does not work with any garment manufacturer in the region and will no longer buy cotton from Xinjiang, which is China's largest manufacturing region. However, the Swedish group admitted that it had “indirect commercial relations with a factory” located in Shangyu, Zhejiang Province (southern China) and owned by Huafu Fashion.
Recently, against the backdrop of growing tensions between China and the West, angry calls to boycott H&M began to appear on Chinese social media. A few Chinese influencers and celebrities quickly quit teaming up with the organization, while the brand's items vanished from major online stores in China.
As a result, a boycott of the retailer was declared in China - it was blocked access to all major Chinese platforms, including Tmall, Taobao, JD, and Pinduoduo, and some landlords forced the company to close physical stores as well - according to H&M, about 20 outlets are now closed in the country.
The wave of consumer boycotts in China coincided with an agreed set of sanctions imposed by the UK, Canada, the European Union, and the United States last week for what they say is a violation of hum
In 2015, the UN adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and selected 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which have become a benchmark for the entire world community. They link three elements of sustainable development - economic growth, social challenges, and environmental protection.
The International Standards Organisation (ISO) has classified the existing environmental labels into three typologies – Type I, II, and III - and has specified the preferential principles and procedures for each one of them. The picture below outlines this taxonomy and gives some examples of ecolabels:
What are they and how exactly do they contribute to solving global problems?
Eco-labeling is a graphical display of a set of environmental information about a product or service, meaning that the product has a lower impact on the environment than similar products and/or is produced using environmentally optimal technologies. Eco-labeling can also be defined as an environmental marketing tool. Strict eco-certification standards motivate manufacturers to make their production more environmentally friendly and provide consumers with a simple and understandable tool for choosing products.
Environmental labels exist in all countries of the world. The most reliable of these are type I eco-labels (ISO 14024). They consider the entire life cycle of a product: from the extraction of raw materials to packaging processing. Most of these eco-labels around the world are united in the Global Eco-Labeling Association (GEN).
To obtain an eco-certificate, companies must:
- Carefully use natural resources and reduce waste, use recycling water supply systems and return possible waste and rejects into the production cycle. This is the transition to sustainable consumption and production patterns (SDG 12).
- Monitor electricity consumption. It is a contribution to the fight against climate change (SDG 13).
- Use wood products from sustainable forest management (SDG 14).
- Recultivate land in the development of quarries for the extraction of mineral raw materials. It is a contribution to the conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity (SDG 15).
What is the scale?
According to the global Ecolabel Index, eco-labels are now used in 25 industries in 199 countries. At the moment, there are over 400 different eco-certificates.
On the one hand, the coverage of various industries by eco-standardization is a positive trend: more and more manufacturers are getting the opportunity to “green” their activities. On the other hand, the growth in the number of similar documents and eco-labels in one industry can confuse, especially among ordinary buyers.
The demand for eco-products has increased not only at the level of ordinary buyers, but also at the state level. Today, many countries have developed the practice of "green" public procurement: the presence of an ecolabel is a significant advantage for tenderers. But there is also another side of the coin. As a result of the increasing demand for eco-products, unscrupulous manufacturers began to unreasonably declare the environmental friendliness of th
Welcome to Sourcing.Eco and congratulations on taking steps towards a more sustainable future of international trade and production. Sourcing.eco is the first sourcing sustainability platform that connects factories, traders, and importers, enabling them to share data that benefits each ecosystem actor while incentivizing sustainability practices in production and purchasing behavior.
The name of the platform speaks of itself as the intention to be the world’s largest one-stop solution for ecological and sustainable sourcing for international buyers and direct i