Recently, several scandals regarding textile value chains have been in the public spotlight. Consumers and manufacturers are increasingly anxious about the environmentally-harmful methods used in the cultivation of the base materials used in textiles, the chemicals in textiles which are hazardous to health, and the inhumane working conditions in the manufacturing operations which are scattered all over the world. Calls for transparency and authenticity in the textiles value chain are becoming ever louder, but the thicket of quality seals, certifications and confusing green washing is opaque even to insiders. Efforts are under way to develop solutions to these problems in the worlds of politics and business and on the part of interest groups. It is to be expected that legislation as well as social and environmental standards will change the textile value chain in the future.
The goal is to inform small and medium-sized businesses in the Lower Rhine region in particular about topics which are of relevance to CSR, to provide support to an inter-disciplinary approach, and to combine the differing areas of expertise. On the basis of academically-substantiated surveys and studies, efforts will also be made to pursue further activities with the companies. In the scope of information events, workshops and networking meetings, economically viable solutions are to be developed and presented to small and medium-sized businesses.
The project is being realised by Mönchengladbach Economic Development Corporation, the EthNa Institute of the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences, the FATM of the University of Münster and Zitex as the representative of the textile associations. Collaborations with existing networks and initiatives are also intended and are to be expanded further.