Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) has released new standards to address textile issues. These include environmental, health and social issues associated with textile products including clothing and soft furnishings.
There have been concerns regarding a number of issues for textile products including the use of carcinogenic dyes, and labor practices in developing countries. This new standard enables manufacturers to provide confidence to their customers that these issues have been addressed and that their products are environmentally and socially preferable.
Through GECA’s third-party certification program companies can demonstrate that their products meet robust criteria for reduced environmental and human health impacts and that workers involved in making the product have received fair pay and safe working conditions.
The standard considers impacts over the life cycle of textile products, including material sourcing, manufacture, packaging and use. It addresses specific issues. One is pesticide use. Pesticide run-off can contaminate local water supplies and cause harm to workers and animals. GECA’s standard places strict limits on the pesticide residues in raw materials and on certain dyes that have been classified as skin sensitisers, carcinogenic, mutagenic and reproductive toxins. It restricts the use of heavy metals (such as lead, cadmium, arsenic) and other hazardous materials (such as formaldehyde, biocides, and APEOs).
Good Environmental Choice Australia runs Australia’s only independent, not-for-profit, multi-sector eco labeling program.