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SHANGHAI – China’s textile industry has taken a major environmental step as 25 leading enterprises from the country’s textile manufacturing and dyestuffs industries have signed a joint commitment towards cleaner chemical management in textile supply chains. The Joint Statement for Chemicals Stewardship 2020 was announced at a press conference at China InterDye 2018. 11 textile chemicals businesses and 14 textile mills, all members of the Textile Sustainable Manufacturing Coalition (TexSMC), signed the agreement which outlines a number of ambitious steps on chemical management.

Chemicals Stewardship 2020 – which has echoes of the Western-based ZDHC Group – aims to facilitate the green development goals of China’s textile industry by 2020, including establishing chemical management and risk control systems within the Chinese textile and apparel industry, and also supporting the international progress of the sound management of chemicals in the context of the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) in the textile supply chain.

Said Mr. Li Lingshen, the vice president of China National Textiles and Apparel Council (CNTAC): “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.”

The move is hugely significant, not least due to the huge scale of China’s textile industry. The fibre processing volume of Chinese’s textile industry accounts for nearly 60 per cent of the global fibre market, while export of Chinese textile industry represents 36 per cent of the global textile trade. The Chinese textile chemicals industry is the world’s largest producer, exporter and consumer, accounting for nearly 70 per cent of the global market share.

Among other things, Chemical Stewardship 2020 will see the joint formulation of Management Guidelines, Manufacturing Restricted Substances Lists, and Emission Requirements for chemical management and control in textile production in China and associated supply chains. The initiative will use the international CiE system for compliance information exchange and disclosure in terms of chemicals production, use and emission, “increasing the credibility of Chinese enterprises in the global supply chain,” according to a statement from CNTAC.

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