SBS Forum 2021 on PPE and Textile Care
Standardising Circularity in the PPE sector – Digitalisation and Eco-design to support resilience in SMEs
20 October 2021, 10:00 – 13:00
Last year, several activities and initiatives were designed on including circularity into PPE standardisation. At the EU level, two important initiatives, the Sustainable Products Initiative, and the Sustainable Textile Strategy have also addressed these issues such as Eco-design for PPE products and services and digitisation of the sector.
With regard to digitisation of the sector and in relation to circulatory, the Digital Product Passport initiative demonstrates the use of digitisation and ICT standards in tracing PPE and Textile raw material to ensure transparency along the supply chain. For example, enabling technologies such as Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology can increase trust among the supply chain actors with accurate information regarding the quality of the raw material and manufacturing processes. This would also ensure adherence to reusability, recyclability, and repairability requirements. Hence, ICT standards for the support of circularity can enable other sectors to achieve circularity goals in faster and efficient manner, as highlighted by the report on ICT Standardisation supporting Circular Economy.
Regarding eco-design, the aim should be to increase the number of usage cycles. This is possible with the help of the production of long-lasting, recyclable and repairable products. Embedding eco-design aspects in product standards along the supply chain will therefore play a decisive role in sustainability. In order to achieve a circular economy for workwear, protective clothing or medical textiles for example, criteria and standards for a clear recognition of repairable and recyclable clothing should be available (similar to the EU energy labels). These standards would support the business models of SMEs and keep Europe much more resilient in pandemic times as well as in economic crisis and interruptions in international supply chains of linear products.
Programme and registration via the SME Safety website.