TORONTO – “Giving consumers the full picture is crucial to making sustainable buying decisions and avoiding corporate greenwashing,” The Canadian Wool Council (CWC) chief executive officer Matthew Rowe said. “Canada’s wool industry is therefore pleased to add our support to the Make the Label Count Campaign.”
In a recent press release, the CWC announced to its stakeholders that Canada will be adding its support to Make the Label Count. The campaign was created to challenge the European Commission (EC)’s Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) Methodology. The EC’s PEF evaluates the environmental impact of all products in circulation in the European Union including textiles. During a recent 2022 Global Congress that the International Wool Textile Organization (IWTO) called on member-nations, and the global wool industry, to support the campaign and “to bring attention to the potentially devastating effect this evaluation could have on wool demand.”
“This movement is important to Canadian sheep and wool producers,” the release stated. “In order to increase demand for wool and justify better wool prices for producers, the public must appreciate all of wool’s environmental benefits. The European Community’s decisions often inform policy in other countries, so having such a large group of players discussing sustainability legislation will, undoubtedly, benefit the global industry in the long run.”
Make the Label Count created a Whitepaper to provide evidence of the limitations of the EC’s PEF methodology for evaluating the environmental impact of natural fibre textiles. The Whitepaper identifies the main challenges and provides recommendations. The CWC press release included the top three identified concerns, which not that the PEF system does not currently: consider microplastics, include plastic waste, or account for renewability or biodegradability.
“In short, the PEF is placing synthetic fibre and natural fibre on a level playing field by not acknowledging that synthetic fibres are derived of petrochemical, non-renewable, non-biodegradable plastics,” the release stated. “Ensuring fairness in labelling benefits all natural fibre producers and helps prevent corporate greenwashing.”