The textiles industry is chemical intensive. Chemicals are used throughout the manufacturing process, from process chemicals for fibre production, bleaching, dyeing, etc. to chemicals added to the finished product to give it certain properties such as flame retardant treatment and impregnation.
The use of chemicals can affect the working environment and the environment during manufacture, but also the finished product might contain substances that are hazardous to the environment or health. The focus on chemical problems in the textile industry has culminated in adjustments to legislation (REACH) and a swedish suggestion on a product specific directive but also voluntary initiatives such as various ecolabelling schemes.
Working conditions in the textile industry have in some cases proven not to live up to the basic conditions set by ILO (International Labour Organisation) in its core conventions. Because of this, more organisations have begun to work with placing requirements on social conditions in procurements and agreements with suppliers.
The National Agency for Public Procurements Sustainable criteria for textiles have been developed by an expert group consisting of representatives from the industry, procurement officers, authorities and interest organisations. They contain proposals for procurement requirements that are intended to help procurement officers to place requirements for the procurement of environmentally adapted textiles.
Please also read the guide "Greener textiles in hospitals: Guide to green procurement in the healthcare sector" from the Nordic Council of Ministers.
These criteria are intended for the procurement of textiles encompassing:
Employee clothing with a special function (for example, dirt and oil repellent) including gloves. Also fire protection clothing
- Outer clothing
Water repellent/waterproof clothing for various outdoor weather; wind-cheaters, impregnated clothing, rainwear
- Clothes for indoor use
Clothes for indoor use, including cardigans, patient clothing
- Children's clothes
- Interior and decorative textiles
Tablecloths, carpets, curtains, pillows, sound absorbers, screens, blankets
- Bed textiles and towels
Mattress covers, bed linens, hygiene textiles
Subject matter of contract