The BHive featured on Ecotextile News

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HONG KONG - Sustainability accelerator GoBlu International says its mobile chemical management app, The BHive, is now being used by 59 brands, retailers, chemical companies and other industry stakeholders.

Inspired by the Vivino wine app, which scans bottle labels to reveal what’s inside, the Bhive works in a similar way with chemicals – giving dyehouses a new tool to create accurate chemical inventories and helping brands to track compliance.

It instantly taps into an online database of 65,000 commercially available textile chemical formulations to find out if the substances comply with a range of industry standards and MRSLs.

Read the full article here: https://www.ecotextile.com/2019121325438/dyes-chemicals-news/chemical-management-app-builds-momentum.html

Interview with Suvro Dev Saha

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1. Suvro, could you please introduce yourself and your role at Bay City?

First of all, thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts on The BHive.

My name is Suvro Dev Saha. At Bay City I own the position of Manager for Environment and Sustainable Production at Global Apparel GmbH. Global Apparel is the local liaison office in Bangladesh for Bay City Textilhandels GmbH.

In this position, I am responsible for supervising and coordinating the daily activity of all environmental work. This includes ensuring RSL and MRSL conformity, as well as supply chain traceability.

2. Bay City has started to use The BHive. Could you explain the motivation behind why you started to use it? What do you want to achieve with it and why?

Bay City has a strong commitment to ensure our clients’ MRSL requirements are met. Each and every order is checked to see if it meets both legal conformities and brand requirements; we also work with requirements from various certification bodies. The interconnectivity of The BHive helps us to ensure necessary transparency, and to simplify communication with our supply chain partners.

3. What has been the experience of using The BHive so far? Could you give us feedback from your experience and feedback from the factories?

The BHive has definitely optimized the interconnection with our factories, saving us workload through reducing the necessity of factory visits. Factories benefit as well, since they have one platform for preparing and sharing their inventories for various brand clients. They also do not have to manually insert the information on the chemical products they use into excel sheets anymore – the availability of chemical data through The BHive saves a lot of time here. For the factory the system also poses as a great management system for chemical data, since they can upload all relevant documents in the document center.

4. What is the biggest advantage of The BHive?

Of course, the databank is one great part of The BHive that pushes efficiency for both factories and brands. In my eyes, the biggest advantage is definitely the possibility to eliminate human errors, since the data is already in the system. And since the technology is based on real-time computing, we as a brand have instant access to the factories’ inventories – and we can instantly check what is actually in stock in the factories. Plus, it is a very economical system, making it available for both brands and factories of all sizes.

5. Did you or the factories face any challenges? Is there any shortcoming?

One thing we often encounter in Bangladesh are infrastructural challenges, such as a slow internet connection, which can be time-consuming.

6. What would you recommend to other brands considering using The BHive?

Whoever uses The BHive will experience the great advantages of more transparency. Since not everybody has a high confidence, I think it is important to start with your open key suppliers and work closely together with them. It will strengthen the relationship, and then financial benefits from using The BHive will follow. And since it can be tested for free, there is nothing to lose.

7. What is your vision from a Bay City perspective for the future in using The BHive?

Bay City’s corporate parent, Schmidt Group GmbH, is planning to expand BHive more into the entire supply chain.

Thank you Suvro Dev Saha for your valuable insights!

Featured on Eco Age

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With recycled and sustainable materials gaining momentum, Brooke Roberts-Islam looks into the impact of toxic chemicals on the circularity in the fashion industry, as well as some of the new innovative solutions.

As the fashion industry pushes towards identifying and implementing sustainable material solutions, scalable recycling and circular design, there is one rarely addressed limiting factor that threatens its progress - the continued use of toxic chemicals. It is sometimes assumed that all textile waste is suitable for some form of recycling, but the reality is that if textiles contain toxic chemicals, their potential for safe recycling and circularity is at best restricted, and at worst impossible…

A company called GoBlu, whose co-founders have decades of experience working in the mass manufacturing sector, have created the BHive app that uses image recognition to cross-check photos of chemical container ingredients with the MRSL list to flag any restricted substances, reducing the need for chemical expertise and reducing the risk of human error. Currently, brands, manufacturers and chemical providers are using the app, along with certification providers including GOTS and Oeko-tex, so that certifications can be cross-checked at the same time…

Read the whole story here.

Featured on Forbes

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“As consumer expectations over transparency rise in line with growth in sustainability and climate change awareness, questions are being asked about the potential dangers of chemicals used to manufacture our clothing. The wellness and vegan movements have spurred increased scrutiny over the ingredients in food, beauty and skincare products, but what about the ingredients in apparel? Should we be able to choose our clothes based on their ingredients too?  

A myriad of chemicals is used in the dyeing and finishing processes that give our clothes properties like flame resistance and “wrinkle-free” smoothness. Chemistry may not be the most consumer-friendly subject, perhaps explaining the general avoidance of it by fashion marketing teams, however, the chemical management tool BHivewants ingredients lists on all our clothing for health and sustainability reasons, and they have a simple and effective app to underpin it…”

Read the full story here.

Interview with Iqbal Kazy

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1. Iqbal, could you please introduce yourself and your role at Lindex. 

I am an environmental expert by education and have been working with the textile and readymade garment sector since 2004. I worked in several international organizations and fashion brands during this period. I see the South Asia Fashion industry from different angles and I have a good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of this sector.

In Lindex, my role is to drive the company towards sustainable business both with regards to social and environmental activities. I used to develop the capacity of its South Asia supply chain to be more transparent and establish management systems to reduce the environmental impacts from their production processes. I also contribute to the development of sustainability strategies for Lindex.

2. Lindex has started to use The BHive. Could you explain the motivation behind why you started to use it? What do you want to achieve with it and why?

From Lindex, we recently published our sustainability promise for future generations where we committed that by 2025, we will have eliminated the release of all hazardous and toxic substances from Lindex supply chain and we will promote transparency and more sustainable chemistry. We started to use BHive as we see that this tool can help us to promote transparency and achieve the goal of removing the release of hazardous chemicals from our supply chain.

3. What has been the experience of The BHive so far? Could you give us a feedback from your experience and feedback from the factories?

It’s really a fantastic experience, most of my factories give me the feedback that it reduces their workload for managing chemical inventory and collecting compliance certificates from the chemical manufacturers. This also help them to track to maintain the stock list.

4. What is the biggest advantage of The BHive?

It is a very simple but useful tool. It creates a good foundation to drive towards transparency in the supply chain. From a brand perspective it reduces the workload of the sustainability team and helps to take necessary improvement plan to phasing out of hazardous chemicals from supply chain.

5. Did you or the factories face any challenges ? Is there any shortcoming?

So far the challenge that me and my supply chain face is that the products of some manufacturers are not registered in the system yet, so the tool did not show the compliance status of those product. For this I think the collaboration from chemical manufacturers is very important and I would like to request them to extend their cooperation so that more products are registered in the system. 

6. What would your recommend to other brands how to start using The BHive?

I believe transparency and sustainability are very difficult drive individually. So, my recommendation to my industry peers is please try this great tool with your key supplier first whom you believe are most open and transparent. Once you will start, you can see the benefits and then will surely have a business case to show to other tier suppliers.

7. What is your vision from Lindex perspective for the future in using The BHive? 

We want to see 100% of Lindex suppliers using this tool to create their chemical inventory, by which we can ensure that they are using better chemistry. In future we would love to see the status of resource efficiency of each product they are using for Lindex production.

Thank you Iqbal Kazy for your valueble insights!

Li & Fung and GoBlu partnership

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GoBlu is proud of our cooperation with Li & Fung to implement the BHive and look forward to making further progress on chemical management together.

“Li & Fung partnered with GoBlu to implement a digitized platform to manage chemical inventory in factories. The new program simplified tracking and identified areas for improvement and enhanced transparency of chemical management across the supply chain. Twenty factories in China and Bangladesh have been assessed in 2018 and the outcome from the pilot enabled visibility of their total chemical inventories and identification of priority chemicals for substitution.”

Read the Fung Group’s UN Global Compact, Communication on Progress 2018 report here, (GoBlu feature on page 26):

https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/ungc-production/attachments/cop_2019/477368/original/UN_GlobalReport_2018_v26_final.pdf?1565277972

Featured on Ecotextile News

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We are excited to launch our new chemical management app – The BHive!

Our goal is a cleaner textile and apparel industry, where factories choose better chemicals, and brands easily see the full picture of chemical usage throughout their global supply chains. Join us to accelerate this shift with The BHive.

We are humbled by the support of our partners including brands/retailers, chemical companies and standard holders. Thank you for your continuous support!

Read our coverage on Ecotextile News (subscription needed).

https://www.ecotextile.com/2019071124486/dyes-chemicals-news/app-scans-chemical-inventory-helps-compliance.html