Chemical Information in Two Textile Supply Chains - A case study of the producers in China

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master Thesis
Zhang, Yuntao
The benefits from chemical use to human life are numerous. Textile industry whose development is driven by the use of various chemicals is one such example. However, chemicals also bring adverse effects to human life and environment when being misused. For instance, it is reported that waste water released during textile production can cause detrimental consequences to ecosystems and the chemical leftovers in textile articles can also harm health and environment. For the purpose of controlling undesirable effects caused by chemicals in textile production, a proper way must be found. It is believed that more information about toxic substances is needed in order to manage chemical use in textile industry (Massey et al 2008). This paper chooses China as the focus of the investigation. Under the help of two Swedish textiles retailer companies, totally five textile factories in two supply chains located in Guangdong and Shanghai were visited. Interviews of managers in those factories, was performed to find out: (1) how chemical related information is transferred downstream and upstream in textile supply chains and how several corporations work together to cope with chemical risk issues; (2) what kind of information is required by textile importers from their suppliers and how these requirements affect textile producers behavior in terms of chemical use; and (3) how people work with chemical related information within a factory. A comparison of the chemical information management between the two supply chains is made as well. It is found through the study that two Swedish importers set the standards to control the quality of products manufactured by Chinese textile producers. Moreover, these importers were also dedicated to help textile producers’ ability to improve regarding chemical information management. As a result, these producers can follow the demands properly. However, there are also differences between the supply chains’ information management: mainly in the way that the two importers collect chemical related information from producers in upstream and the range of importers’ contact with textile producers. It is also concluded that importers play major roles for improving manufacturers’ awareness on the importance of chemical information and conducting better outcome of chemical management in supply chain.
Miljöteknik , Environmental engineering
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