Image from Gucci pre-fall 2016.

Keeping track of toxic chemicals

The FW:Learning project was created to reduce the use of hazardous chemicals in the textile industry. The idea is to provide key suppliers with information and education through an innovative tool, encouraging joint problem-solving and shared knowledge.

Poor knowledge about the chemical content of textiles is common, and what’s also often missing is  adequate information sharing across supply chains. In 2014, the Swedish Chemical Agency (KEMI) suggested a need for tighter EU legislation to cover risks from substances in textile products, as they released a report revealing that a staggering 10% of textile-related substances are of potential concern to human health.

The FW:Learning project is based on research created by a network of organizations: Sustainable Fashion Academy, Lexicon and Swerea. It was initiated in order to develop and test an innovative tool for educating key suppliers in chemical management within the textile supply chain.

« The longer-term aim of the FW:Learning project is to offer the Swedish textile industry an innovative chemical management educational tool »

Using a combination of smart methods and the full potential of online technology, the tool aspires to improve dialogue and joint problemsolving between brands and retailers, chemical companies, fabric manufacturers and garment manufacturers. It aims to do this by awarding points and badges to users who share knowledge, connect members of their network to the project and show actual improvements in their work to phase out harmful chemicals.

The longer-term aim of the FW:Learning project is to offer the Swedish textile industry an innovative chemical management educational tool. The project springs from the idea that cooperation between the project members can strengthen their ability to provide their clients and stakeholders with the relevant education and training, as well as helping the participating partners to reach new client segments both in Sweden and internationally.

The project partners have successfully developed and tested a prototype of the tool, which you can view here.

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