Benefiting from regulations that protect consumers and workers and are binding for companies, the French textile profession continues to be committed to improving its social and environmental practices within its value chain. Environmental labelling, monitoring of chemical substances and environmental emissions, CSR, circular economy, sustainable design and recycling are all subjects and issues on which we are making progress. UIT has set up a dedicated "Task Force" which actively participates in the work with the various stakeholders in France and Europe with the Federation of Knitwear, Lingerie and Swimwear, a member of UIT.
Circular Economy and Environmental Signage
In France, Europe and worldwide, the circular economy is an important area of focus. UIT and the Fédération de la Maille, de la Lingerie et du Balnéaire have participated in government working groups to put in place concrete actions to achieve set objectives. In France, this has resulted in the Government's implementation of a circular economy roadmap, followed by the adoption of Law No. 2020-105 of February 10th 2020 on the fight against waste and circular economy. UIT remains mobilized to follow the decrees that will supplement this law. In order to promote its understanding by companies, UIT has co-authored a synopsis, "L'essentiel", with members of the TLC sectors and Refashion.
UIT is also collaborating in the new EURATEX (European Apparel and Textile Confederation) action plan for circular economy.
In France, UIT participates in the introduction of environmental signage to provide consumers with better information on the composition and social conditions of the products they buy. UIT and its federations contribute to the collection of data to feed the ADEME database. A display reference system has been developed with AFNOR for textile-clothing.
In order to help companies, understand CSR issues, UIT has collaborated on the MEDEF's sector CSR guide (2016) and deployed several CSR diagnostic tools.
UIT has recently participated in the TeXR project, led by EURATEX (European Apparel and Textile Confederation) and its European social partner Industri'All from January 2018 to the end of June 2019, which aims to develop a CSR self-assessment and risk management tool for European textile companies. Thanks to funding from the European Commission, supplemented by a contribution from UIT, this tool was presented in the regions and 10 companies received individual support in order to map the CSR risks of their upstream supply chain and draw up their dedicated and evolving action plan.
UIT is co-piloting the Sustainable Development Working Group of the CSF Mode & Luxe with François Taverne (Hermès) alongside its partners (Techtera, CETI, UP-tex, CELC, Refashion), and with the active support of the Centre Technique du Cuir and the Fédération Française de la Tannerie-Mégisserie.
As part of the projects adopted, two textile recycling demonstrators (cotton/polyester), one in the Hauts-de-France (pilot line at CETI) and the other, to be built, in Auvergne Rhône-Alpes, have been launched. The development of specifications to recommend a traceability and CSR system adapted to the TMC sectors using distributed directory technologies (and in particular the blockchain) is also underway.
In regards to the control of the industries emissions, IFTH provides technical follow-up of the revision of the Textile BREF for the industry alongside INERIS and the Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition. The document establishes the best available techniques for the industrial sector at the European level. The best available techniques that will be validated will give rise, among other things, to new limit values for emissions into water and air that will become regulatory for all Textile manufacturers subject to the FDI Directive throughout the European Union within 4 years. Premises will then have 4 years to comply.
Potentially hazardous chemical substances are subject to the REACH regulation. UIT within EURATEX works with the European Commission and ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) to promote the use of sustainable and safe substances.