How to find out which chemicals are used in your textile products

This first step towards a product free of hazardous chemicals requires you to do research into the history of your product.

What chemicals have been used in the production and which ones are present in the finished product?

It’s time to start managing your toxic footprint.

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Why should you care about chemicals in textiles?

Large amounts of chemicals are used in textile manufacturing. Some of these are hazardous and pose a threat to health and the environment.

The use of such chemicals in your production processes and products could also damage your business and pose a financial threat. Many companies have been the targets of litigation, product recalls and damaged brand reputations because they haven’t considered the impact of chemicals closely enough.

Textiles come with a toxic footprint

Hazardous chemicals may be used anywhere in your supply chain. Some of them are widely used and easy to recognise.

You don’t have to be a chemical expert, but it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with some of the most common chemical groups used in textiles.

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Get familiar with your textile production processes

To find out if you have hazardous chemicals in your products you need to be familiar with the production process.

From fibre to finished product, textile manufacturing involves several processes that use chemicals. Learn to spot where chemical content are added to your products.

Use the knowledge already in your organisation or network

Don’t re-invent the wheel – use information already known by others

Information about the chemical content of your products might be closer than you think. Ask around in-house, and see what kind of support you can get from your trade association.

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Contact your suppliers

Your company’s primary contact with the production process is through your suppliers.

To obtain more specific knowledge about your products you need to ask your suppliers. They will also be ones that can provide the most detailed answer regarding use of specific chemicals.