With consumers’ growing awareness on the sustainability of the products they buy, brands are now not only striving to improve the concept of the products but also the manufacturing process. While it’s challenging to source sustainable fabrics, finding the right factory adhering to ethical manufacturing practices is equally daunting. So what are the key factors to assess whether the factory is a green manufacturer or not?
What kind of manufacturers qualify as green factories?
Many manufacturing facilities have taken measures to code with the use of safer chemicals in fabric dyeing and production, while others are dedicated to fair-trade practices, fair labor, etc. There’re many important initiatives devoted to clean manufacturing practices that protect people, environment and the society.
* GOTS: short for Global Organic Textile Standard, it provides organic certifications to both products and manufacturers
* Blue Sign: it regulates the use of safer chemicals for fabric production and apparel manufacturing
* Fashion Positive: it certifies the sustainability of raw materials and process, requiring all inputs must be recyclable
Besides, a great number of factories are taking a green approach to clean up their manufacturing process, like using solar energy, recycling and reusing of waste water, etc.
The Natural Resources Defense Council has carried out a “Clean by Design” audit on some big factories in China and made some suggestions for energy savings, like using heat exchangers, reusing waste water, fixing leaks, etc.
Two effective ways to find China clothes manufacturers that adhere to sustainable practices
- MIIT (Ministry of Industry and Information Technology)
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in China has published three batches of qualified China green factories, green companies and supply chains, you can easily find the lists on their official website. Get the names of these green manufacturers on the lists, search for contacts on Baidu and get in touch with them.
- Trade Fairs
While in the past, sustainable fashion has never been a focus of fashion trade shows. Now more and more eco-friendly fashion brands spring up and basically you can find at least one representative of sustainable clothing manufacturers who are looking to reach out to more clients in any fashion trade fairs. Here’re some trade shows focusing exclusively on sustainable fashion.
Sustainable Fashion Week
This is the perfect event to network with fashion experts of the same mindset, learn about the latest trends in ethical fashion industry, get in touch directly with sustainable garment manufacturers or get factory referrals from the networks developed there.
Ethical Fashion Source Expo
Though it’s an online fashion trade show, the benefits of a physical trade fair are not compromising as it brings together ethical fashion manufacturers around the world to showcase their latest products online.
If you prefer a brick and mortar physical trade show where you can touch and feel the eco-friendly fabrics, chat with designers, apparel manufacturers and fashion buyers, Neonyt in Berlin is something you can’t miss.