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TENCEL™ insights
27 / 03 / 2024
Navigating Regulatory Changes – Lenzing’s Take on Green Claims
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TENCEL™ insights
27 / 03 / 2024
Navigating Regulatory Changes – Lenzing’s Take on Green Claims

The European Parliament recently voted to implement a Green Claims Directive that seeks to protect consumers against a variety of misleading practices which hinder them from making well-informed purchasing decisions. The Directive focuses on improving product labelling and preventing companies from using vague environmental claims.

Amid the changing claims landscape, we spoke with Florian Heubrandner, Executive Vice President Global Textiles Business, Lenzing AG, and Harold Weghorst, Senior Director of Marketing and Branding, Global Textiles Business, Lenzing AG to learn more about the impact of the Directive on the textile industry, how Lenzing is adapting to the changes, and how brands and consumers can benefit from the Directive.

The latest Green Claims Directive by the European Parliament aims to curtail greenwashing and misleading product information. Florian, what immediate impact will the Directive have on the discussion of product sustainability within the textile industry?

Florian: Designed to enable consumers to make informed purchasing decisions, the new directive will definitely boost transparency along the value chain. With the Directive aiming to tighten communication and substantiation of environmental claims in the foreseeable future, brands must adopt tighter measures to ensure compliance with legal requirements.

Adhering to regulatory changes is key to survival in a fast-paced and complex industry environment. We are committed to offering customers’ full transparency of our fiber credentials, coupled with specially developed QR-coded claims and an updated webpage.

What role can companies like Lenzing play in this changing regulatory landscape? How is Lenzing coping with the change?

Florian: To drive systematic change in the textile industry, we need to enhance transparency through collaboration. Our goal is to provide customers and consumers with credible product information, evidenced through data. For instance, we have been sharing our sustainability credentials with customers and actively taking part in programs organized by partners like Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) and Textile Exchange (TE).

As the very first fiber producer worldwide to be awarded the EU Ecolabel for textile products (license no. AT/016/001) in 2002[1], we will continue to focus on enhancing our impact on the value chain, driving systematic change and advancing circularity. Through refining our solutions and fiber offerings, we will continue to work closely with our value chain partners to support their progress in transparency.

We understand that branding has been an important part of Lenzing’s collaboration with brands and value chain partners. Since the directive bans the use of general environmental claims like “environmentally friendly”, “natural”, “biodegradable”, “climate neutral” or “eco” without proof, how does this impact the branding and positioning of Lenzing’s textile business, Harold?

Harold: This change will certainly have a significant impact on how companies communicate their sustainability, environmental, and social or ethical efforts.

To lay the foundation for the ongoing evolution of the industry, we need to address the need for transparency and traceability. Our revolutionary fiber identification technology can allow us to trace our fibers from yarn to final product. We also work with a third-party blockchain technology service partner to ensure that every step along the supply chain is recorded and transparent.

With traceable products, we also need good marketing strategies. Through the Lenzing E-Branding Service platform, we provide a one-stop access point for the licensing and certification of products with Lenzing fibers, as well as co-branding assets such as the Digital Hangtags for textile products made of TENCEL™ and LENZING™ ECOVERO™ branded fibers, enabling our customers to communicate their efforts consistently and effectively across all marketing platforms and channels.

Through transparent operations and digitalization of the value chain, we offer a fully digitalized solution to the value chain, which not only addresses the registration and tracking of the usage of material claims by product licenses, but also ensures any credentials are substantiated.

Why is it important for brands and consumers to pay close attention to the evolving regulatory proposals on environmental claims?

Harold: Globally, regulatory changes are often associated with the evolving perception or needs of society and its people. To ensure brands remain attuned to consumers’ evolving needs, it is essential to constantly gauge their perception of society by studying regulatory updates and consumer habits. With the changing industry landscape, it is crucial for brands to ramp up efforts and regularly assess the pulse of their target audiences.

With increasing concerns around climate change, consumers are constantly looking for ways to safeguard the planet. Emerging regulatory initiatives regarding environmental claims can empower consumers to make more informed and conscious choices, particularly regarding products made with alternative ingredients or innovative production processes that enhance the quality, comfort and durability of a product.

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[1] Awarded the EU Ecolabel for textiles in December 2002 – source: https://environment.ec.europa.eu/...

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Lenzing Fibers (Hong Kong) ltd.
Units 804-806, 8/F.,
Lu Plaza, 2 Wing Yip Street,
Kwun Tong, Kowloon,
Hong Kong
T: +852 3718 5600
F: +852 3718 5601
E: [email protected]