Social and Environmental Demands for the Danish Textiles Market
Background Information

Denmark joined NATO in 1949 and the EEC (now the EU) in 1973. It has a total population of 5,529,888 (July 2011 est.) with a population growth rate of 0.251% (2011 est.) its capital city being Copenhagen with a population of 1.174 million (2009). The country’s currency is Danish kroner (DKK) per US dollar equals’ to5.624 (2010).

The GDP of Denmark is $310.8 billion (2010 est.), with a growth rate 2.1% (2010 est.) with a per capita income of $36,600 (2010 est.). Last year the country imported goods and services worth $87.44 billion (2010 est.). The import commodities include machinery and equipment, raw materials and semi manufactures for industry, chemicals, grain and foodstuffs, consumer goods. Their major import partners are Germany 21.1%, Sweden 13.7%, Netherlands 7.3%, China 6.8%, UK 6.1%, and Norway 5.5% (2010)

The Danish textile industry has enjoyed a favorable position, especially in the European market. In the later years, manufacturing has moved to Eastern Europe and Asia, and the industry has changed its focus to design, quality control, marketing and sale. Accordingly, the entire industry is in a process of transformation, and companies are increasingly turning to know-how intensive work functions, which demand skilled personnel and high-tech production equipment. The turnover of clothing is in the order of EUR 3.5 billion in Denmark. Home textiles have a turnover of approximately EUR 400-600 million.

The table below indicates the Danish textile market in terms of category 61, 62,and 63 and the top 5 ranked countries importers to Belgium.

Imported value 2010 (USD thousands) for top 5 exporters’
Ranking of Top exporters
61 Articles of apparel, accessories, knit or crochet 1,349,498
  • China
  • Turkey
  • Bangladesh
  • Germany
  • Sweden

62 Articles of apparel, accessories, not knit or crochet 1,526,832
  • China
  • India
  • Turkey
  • Italy
  • Sweden

63 Other made textile articles, sets, worn clothing etc222,960
  • China
  • Germany
  • Pakistan
  • Sweden
  • India

Danish textile market access requirements for the Danish markets

The Danish market is particularly concerned with social and environmental demands. The market is keen on public awareness, brands, customers, political consumers and has government regulations for textile produce being exported to Denmark.

To meet this requirements an exporter should be concerned with the market access requirements and certifications necessary to export to Denmark. The certifications are classified into environmental label, social standards, business compliance label and special codes for organic textiles. They are various certifications such as, Oeko-Tex 100 -Health label. This label ensures strict compliance for residue substances in the final textile product. For more information visit their website; http://www.Oeko-tex.com

A. Environmental labels
On the environment aspect the market is keen on the following certifications:

1. The Swan, environmental product label  

2. Voluntary Nordic Ecolabel (Scandinavia). This label gives special criteria for textiles and leather. It demands that vegetable fibers should be organic, lays emphasis on reduction of negative environmental impacts, insists on resource efficiency and high level of environmental protection. The label guarantees that climate requirements are taken into account. For more information visit their website; http://www.ecolabel.dk/inenglish

3.  EU ecolabel, The Flower. This is a voluntary certification system developed by the European Commission. It has special criteria for textiles, lays emphasis on reduction of negative environmental impacts, resource efficiency and high level of environmental protection. For more information visit their website; http://www.ecolabel.dk/inenglish

Both labels build on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) which includes an aspect of environmental assessment, the quality and function demands and health consideration. These labels are revised every 3-5 years.

4. Bluesign – The bluesign focuses on resource productivity, air emission, occupational health and safety, water emission and consumer safety. The Bluesign gives threshold for chemicals and directions on avoiding problematic substances. For more information visit their website; http://www.bluesign.com/

B. Business Social Compliance Initiative
The Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) is an industry code with companies and associations as members. The BSCI was started by the Foreign Trade Association (FTA). The BSCI Code of Conduct is based on ILO conventions, OECD-guidelines for multinational companies and UN Global Compact. For more information visit their website; http://www.bsci-intl.org/

C. Organic Textiles
On Organic textiles the market has been for many years focusing on organic food, increasing focus in B2B market, for children’s wear and for export, political consumers and environmental & social issues. On Organic textiles aspect the market is keen on the following certifications;

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) which looks at textile processing standard for organic fibers; includes environmental and social criteria and ensures that the whole supply chain is certified. For more information visit; http://www.global-standard.org/

D. Social Standards
On Social standards aspect the market is keen on the following standard and social certifications

Social standards SA 8000 BSCI. This SA8000 is a global standard for decent working conditions. It is developed and overseen by Social Accountability International (SAI) which is a third party verification organization. For more information visit; http://www.sa-intl.org/

Pia Odgaard, Dansk Fashion and Textile presentation made during the CTA conference held in Mombasa, November 3rd 2011
Trade Statistics from ITC trademaps.

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