Signatories of the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile use more sustainable raw materials

The share of more sustainable raw materials used by the companies that are signatories of the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile increases again. In 2017, 16 percent of the raw materials were more sustainable, in 2018 this was 28 percent and in 2019 it has increased to 38 percent. Again, the signatories take another step towards a more sustainable supply chain.
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The signatories of the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile (AGT) are obliged to share annualy their usage of raw materials. Raw materials that are less harmful to the environment and animal welfare in particular are distinguished from conventional raw materials. These more sustainable raw materials meet the criteria of internationally recognized organizations such as Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and Textile Exchange. “The trend is clearly positive,” says Pierre Hupperts, independent chairman of the Agreement. “At the same time, we notice that a number of companies are still below average. We encourage these companies to make more use of more sustainable raw materials. We show them what the risks are, provide training and assess their progress on this topic specifically. The Agreement will continue driving the change towards a more sustainable supply chain.”

Share of more sustainable raw materials increases

Cotton is by far the most commonly used raw material by the AGT companies. In 2019, the signatories of the Agreement used about 50,000 metric ton of which 55 percent is more sustainable. This is an increase of 13 percentage points compared to 2018.

Also the use of more sustainable animal derived materials is showing a significant increase, specifically responsible down. This is 21 percent in 2019, an increase of 17 percentage points compared to 2018.
The use of certified polyester and polyamide is also increasing. See graph 1 for the overview.

Share of more sustainable materials used by AGT companies (2017, 2018, 2019)

Used materials

In 2019, the AGT companies mainly used cotton (65 percent) and polyester (19 percent) in their garments. See graph 2 for the overview.

Raw materials used by AGT companies (2019)

Cotton

Cotton is the most used raw material by AGT companies. See graph 3 for the overview.

Cotton used by AGT companies (2019)

Towards a more sustainable supply chain

In addition to the use of raw materials, the Agreement also focuses at processing facilities further down the supply chain. For example, a "wet processing guidebook" was recently published in collaboration with the AGT. This guide supports companies with practical tools on how to map the so-called wet processes, including the colouring, printing and treatment of textiles, and to significantly reduce the impact on the environment.