Ekobai Newsletter: Eco-certification and markets (Jan 2014)
Updates and Sector News
Game Over for Angora Wool: A video showing rabbits screaming as they were being farmed for Angora wool distributed by PETA has quickly sealed the fate of the Angora wool sector in many key European and North American markets. The activist animal rights group acted swiftly to ensure the video clip went viral and made full use of social media to ensure rapid and pronounced impact. The represents yet another challenge faced by the fashion retailers in the developed world markets where viral media can instantly challenge their potential customers with a powerful and targeted message. Retailers Topshop, M&S and ASOS have removed the products from their line ups.
New EU Ecolabel for Textiles: The EU has gone some way to approving a revised set of guidelines for businesses who wish to market their textile products labelled with the EU's Ecolabel. According to Ecotextile News, "was agreed that cotton and other natural cellulosic fibres will have to contain a minimum content of organic or ‘IPM’ (integrated pest management) cottons. In addition, new criteria will be put in place for man-made cellulosics, recycled synthetic fibres and wool scouring. Fluorine chemistry used for water, oil and stain repellency will be banned under the voluntary standard and for the first time a brand new restricted substance list will be introduced." The new guidelines will likely come into effect this year.
Green Baby Products Demand Growing: The market for organic and environmental friendly baby products (food, clothing, toys) has exploded in the last decade according to an online report from greenbiz.com. Wholefood, Gerber and Nestles are all large players active in this growing market along with hundreds of smaller players such as ekobai member Funkoos .
A Challenge to LEEDS for Building Certification: It is common in the world of voluntary sustainability standards for there to be one leading global standard for a product category or theme, such as the Marine Stewardship Council for seafood or FSC and PEFC for forestry. In the field of certifying buildings as green, LEED is the clear leader. LEED stands for Leadership in Environmental Design and claims to have been applied to over 7,500 building projects since 1998. Green Globes is a rival system introduced slightly after LEED, from Canada, and is slowly catching up to its larger rival. The promoter in the US is Oregon based Green Building Initiative, and supporters claim the Green Globes process to be less bureaucratic and less costly.
A New Market Place for Organic Wine: Web site organic wine was established a year ago to provide buyers and sellers of organic wine with a filtered portal to find each other - an ekobai.com for wine!
Ekobai.com is a supplier directory listing over 50,000 companies from around the world producing and selling products certified to sustainability and organic standards such as Fair Trade, FSC, MSC and the Soil Association mark. Our B2B directory is free for companies to list on and the information is open to all viewers at no charge. Companies listed on ekobai.com find new customers from around the world and buyers can short list and contact new suppliers based on ethical and sustainability criteria.