Denim trade show Kingpins Amsterdam to ask exhibitors to show green credentials

Both the denim supply chain and jeans manufacturers have been frequently singled out for their less than satisfactory environmental and human rights records. The accusations have mostly been levelled at workshops and factories outside the European Union, as European denim weavers and manufacturers are keen to emphasise that the EU already imposes CSR regulations. The Kingpins denim trade show is now taking the bull by the horns, asking the exhibitors at its next Amsterdam edition to comply with, or exceed, current CSR regulations relating to environmental protection and the use of chemicals. At this stage, the request applies to denim spinners alone.


The last edition of Kingpins New York held in December - DR

The show’s goal is to become even more engaged in promoting environmental responsibility within the industry, and the organisers said they will offer advice and support to exhibitors in order to help them transform their approach: “We think that textile trade shows are in a position to help the denim industry become more responsible, and to help brands and retailers choose the best suppliers, by asking exhibitors to comply with the industry’s high standards.”

While some operators have recently improved their environmental performance, Kingpins noted that there are several that still do not abide by SA 8000 and WRAP certifications relating to “social compliance” and human rights. SA 8000 is the first set of rules that classifies companies in terms of their social responsibility practices. It is based on an evaluation of a company’s practice quality, taking into account how it respects human rights as expressed by ILO rules, the UN Convention on Children's Rights and the UN Declaration of Human Rights. SA 8000 enables businesses to assess their own and their suppliers’ and subcontractor’s production sites in terms of the above criteria. The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) is a registered UK charity that acts independently through its international team of social compliance experts to promote safe, legal, humane and ethical manufacturing the world over, via a certification and education programme. WRAP is the most comprehensive independent international certification programme in its field, and it focuses chiefly on the apparel, footwear and stitched products industries.


The last edition of Kingpins New York held in December - DR

On 11 April, Kingpins Amsterdam will stage a seminar presented by WRAP entitled ‘Does your denim spinner meet with social standards?’ The seminar focuses on the solutions that will enable denim spinners to meet such standards by next year, and on what this means for labels and retailers.

Kingpins does not wish to introduce new certifications, but the organisers are keen to promote the strictest existing ones. Once they will have drawn up a set of social responsibility specifications for exhibitors, they plan to share them with other textile shows, in order to promote collective change across the supply chain. For the time being, the new exhibitor admission criteria are limited to the show's Amsterdam edition, but the goal is to eventually apply them to the New York, Hong Kong and China shows too.
 

Translated by Nicola Mira

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