WEAR Sustain Resources






**This is a living document, meaning it will continue to be updated and revised over the duration of the WEAR Sustain Project by the consortium members. Your additions, reviews and feedback on these resources is also of great value to us.




(Click on the content title to drop down to the corresponding section below)

  1. Introduction
  2. WEAR Sustain Resources
  3. Suppliers
  4. Manufacturing
  5. Materials and Packaging
  6. Policy Makers and Independent Monitoring Organisations
  7. Guides and Resources
  8. Publications and Articles
  9. Other

(Please email sustain@wearsustain.eu to add material to this page)

1. Introduction

In lieu of the development of a WEAR Sustainability Strategy, due in December 2018, this section contains a growing list of resources to aid those interested in integrating ethics and sustainability into their practice.

This guide is intended to support your project and provide contacts, suppliers and guidance on the resources that are available. Much of the information provided is from the UK, but can be applied to other European countries.


There are many interpretations of Sustainability, but here are the ones WEAR sustain is working from:

WEAR sustain critical concerns towards sustainability include:

  • The amount of data that wearable technologies capture, in particular their users’ personal data, raising ethical issues regarding ownership and processing of this data by the wearable technology manufacturers and service providers.

  • The combined negative environmental, economic and sustainable impact of the of electronic, textiles and fashion industries on society. Ethical issues include poor labour practices and conditions within manufacturing, mineral sourcing and the supply chain.

Green growth and circular economy – Environment – European Commission

Eco-innovation in practice – Eco-innovation Action Plan – European Commission

Eco-innovation Action Plan – European Commission

Eco-innovation Action Plan Research Developments – European Commission

Here also is Wikipedia’s version:



2. WEAR Sustain Resources


WEAR Sustain Glossary: Commonly used terms in and around “wearables”.

Smart Wearables: Reflection and Orientation Paper, created by the European Commission.

WEAR Sustain Talks & Videos: Selected talks from events and videos to support Open Call submissions.

Slides and presentations from our events across Europe .

Project Webinars

WEAR Sustain Public Deliverables:

Public deliverables of the project.


WEAR Sustain Press Coverage:

WEAR Sustain, its funded projects, sustainability research and outputs are receiving media attention. Click here to see a selection of articles that have been written about our collective work.

3. Suppliers

UK suppliers databases:


NON-UK Suppliers:


4. Manufacturing

Ethical/Sustainable Manufacturers:

  • Biome bioplastics UK –  http://biomebioplastics.com/product-ranges/custom-blends/ Biome Bioplastics is one of the UK’s leading developers of intelligent, natural plastics.[For products manufacturing] We work with our customers on collaborative projects to deliver market-changing opportunities. Our specialist technical team can work with you to develop custom blends with properties to suit your exact requirements.


  • Morlab is one of the most influential labs to provide accreditation for ICT manufacturing in China

Ethical/Sustainable  German Manufacturers:

  • Microtech GmbH At the traditional location Teltow near Berlin, Microtech manufactures thin- and thick-film chip resistors, SMD networks, temperature sensors and precision resistors and application-specific designs (signed the Code of Condact ZVEI and published Confirmation of environment)

UK manufacturers databases

5. Materials and Packaging

Casings for electronics

Eco-friendly Substitutes for Plastics:

  • Aliphatic (PCL Polyesters): polycaprolactone is a synthetic aliphatic polyester that isn’t made from renewable resources but does completely degrade after six weeks of composting. Blending PCL with cornstarch reduces cost. Biomedical devices and sutures are already made of the slow-degrading polymer, and tissue-engineering researchers dig it, too. It also has applications for food-contact products, such as trays. http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-tech/sustainable/5-plastic-substitutes.htm#page=7
  • PHA Polyesters: feed sugar to certain types of bacteria and you’ve got yourself a plastic production line. The two main members of which are polyhydroxybutrate (PHB) and polyhydroxyvalerate (PHV). These biodegradable plastics closely resemble man-made polypropylene. While they’re still less flexible than petroleum-based plastics, you’ll find them in packaging, plastic films and injection-molded bottles. Corn-steeped liquor, molasses and even activated sludge could all supply the sugar the bacteria need to produce the plastic. http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-tech/sustainable/5-plastic-substitutes.htm#page=8
  • PLA Polyesters: Polylactic acid, or PLA, is another aliphatic polyester and one that can be made from lactic acid, which is produced via starch fermentation during corn wet milling. Consumers may encounter PLA in bottles, bags and film; scientists are trying to make PLA stronger and more heat-resistant. This should open up new applications for the popular green plastic, from automotive parts to coffee cups. http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-tech/sustainable/5-plastic-substitutes.htm#page=9
  • Biome bioplastics UK –  http://biomebioplastics.com  Biome Bioplastics is one of the UK’s leading developers of intelligent, natural plastics. Our mission is to produce bioplastics that can challenge the dominance of oil-based polymers, and ultimately replace them completely.  Bioplastics can be used in place of oil-derived equivalents for plastic casings and parts [for electronics]. They are plant derived and typically process at a lower temperature than conventional plastics, contributing to the overall sustainability of electronic products. More info here http://www.bpf.co.uk/plastipedia/polymers/polymer-bio-based-degradables.aspx
  • UL: Extractives and Raw Materials Advisory Services http://services.ul.com/service/extractives-and-raw-materials-advisory-services/?ind=Responsible%20Sourcing  and UK branch http://uk.ul.com UL helps companies design and implement measures to increase transparency when sourcing raw materials. Integrated with each client’s sourcing practices, UL assists customers in the establishment of meaningful due diligence for extractives… and other raw materials.  PRODUCTS THIS SERVICE APPLIES TO: Apparel, textiles, dietary supplements, electronics, electrical, food and beverage, footwear, leather goods, general consumer merchandise, furniture, candle accessories, health and beauty care, household chemicals, jewelry, watches, OTC/pharmaceuticals, premiums and promotional products, store brands/private label, toys, nursery and children’s products.
  • National Non-Food Crops Centre (NNFCC) http://www.nnfcc.co.uk/#sthash.5FoHGnf3.dpuf NNFCC is a leading international consultancy based in York, UK, with expertise on the conversion of biomass to bioenergy, biofuels and biobased products. We view biobased technologies as key components of the low carbon economy delivering economic, social and environmental benefits.


  • Electronic Components http://www.electroniccomponents.org.uk We offer all our clients individually customized services. No matter what your requirement or industry type, we have the right kind of electrical component to suit your specific needs. (*This is a UK source of electronics components – BUT is NOT necessarily ethical or responsible*).


  • SunPartner Technologies – technology company. Product: Wysips® Crystal Technology – solar battery that produces electricity from a natural or artificial light source. It is ultrathin and transparent, so it can easily be incorporated into screens. http://sunpartnertechnologies.com/mobile-phone/mobilestablets/


  • Biome bioplastics UK http://biomebioplastics.com/applications/ Our biopolymers are suitable for both short-life and disposable products, as well as long-life applications… Bioplastics provide an ideal solution, removing the environmental impact without removing the packaging. Our plant-based polymers compost at the end of their useful life.  Our products include flexible films, coatings, high temperature range.
  • Ecopac – http://ecopac.co.uk/home/products/ In addition to our bespoke solutions, we maintain an extensive range of over 3000 stock products including corrugated cases, tapes, void fill, cushioning materials, bubble wrap, plastic sheets, bags and sacks, postal products, pallet wrap, protective foam, pallet boxes, dispensers, applicators, packing machines and ancillary products. Wherever possible we will offer our customers eco friendly packaging solutions that are re-useable, bio-degradable or recyclable. Any paper based packaging that can’t be manufactured from recycled papers is sourced from suppliers who use virgin pulp derived from managed and sustainable forests.
  • Eco-Friendlypackaging.com (US company) http://eco-friendlypackaging.com/index.html Eco-Friendlypackaging.com uses paper made from a variety of plant fibers to develop products that are eco-friendly and sustainable. “Tree free” paper is made from a variety of plant fibers, including Cotton, Lotka, Areca palm leaf, and Zebra Bamboo. These materials are incorporated into the products we offer. For a variety of packaging including, jewelry boxes, jewelry hang tags and display cards, boxes for confections, stationery, personal care items, as well as tableware, and a complete line of specialty boxes, ribbons, containers and tags

6. Policy makers and Independent Monitoring Organisations

  •  Data Ethics Group – The Alan Turing Institute: Understanding the ethical and societal implications of data is one of The Alan Turing Institute’s key research priorities. We have created the Data Ethics Group to lead our research in this area.Made up of academics specialising in ethics, social science, law, policy-making, and big data and algorithms, the Data Ethics Group drives the Institute’s research agenda in data ethics and works across the organisation to provide guidance on ethical best practice in data science.


Electronics Ethics

  • Conflict Minerals | Enough Project that more widely looks to counter genocide and crimes against humanity, but also updates reports on conflict minerals.


  • China Labor Watch CLW increases transparency of supply chains and factory labor conditions, advocates for workers’ rights, and supports the Chinese labor movement. Founded in 2000, China Labor Watch (CLW) is an independent not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Over the past 14 years, CLW has collaborated with unions, labor organizations, and the media to conduct in-depth assessments of factories in China that produce toys, bikes, shoes, furniture, clothing, and electronics for some of the largest multinational brand companies.
  • EICC, Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition and Code of Conduct The EICC was founded in 2004 by a small group of electronics companies seeking to create a industry-wide standard on social, environmental and ethical issues in the electronics industry supply chain. The founding members of the EICC – originally founded under the name “Electronic Industry Code of Conduct” – saw an opportunity to drive positive change and increase efficiency across the industry by creating a unified approach and ensuring that suppliers were held to a common standard.
  • EICC Code of Conduct The EICC Code of Conduct is a set of standards on social, environmental and ethical issues in the electronics industry supply chain. The standards set out in the Code of Conduct reference international norms and standards including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ILO International Labor Standards, OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, ISO and SA standards, and many more. The EICC Code of Conduct version 5.0 was ratified in 2014 and went into effect on April 1, 2015. Version 5.1, which includes the change referenced below, went into effect on Jan. 1, 2016.
  • Electronics Watch Electronics Watch is an independent monitoring organisation that assists public sector buyers to meet their responsibility to protect the labour rights of workers in their global electronics supply chains more effectively and less expensively than any single public sector buyer could accomplish on its own.
  • Good Electronics The GoodElectronics network brings together networks, organisations and individuals that are concerned about human rights and sustainability issues in the global electronics supply chain. Members include trade unions, grassroots organisations, campaigning and research organisations, academia and activists. GoodElectronics and its members are not-for-profit only.
  • Ethical Trade Initiative The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) is a leading alliance of companies, trade unions and NGOs that promotes respect for workers’ rights around the globe. Our vision is a world where all workers are free from exploitation and discrimination, and enjoy conditions of freedom, security and equity.
  • EPA: Sustainable Electronics Management & Electronics Waste Stewardship Improved life cycle management of electronics, through source reduction of materials used, increasing reuse, refurbishing, extending the life of products, and recycling of electronics, can reduce the total quantity of waste that needs to be managed domestically and globally. The life cycle approach is aligned with EPA’s Waste Management Hierarchy. The hierarchy ranks the various management strategies from most environmentally preferred to the least and emphasizes reducing, reusing, and recycling as a key element in sustainable materials management.
  • German Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act (ElektroG)
    The German Act governing the Sale, Return and Environmentally Sound Disposal of Electrical and Electronic Equipment of 20 October 2015 (ElektroG) implements the legal obligation of producers of electrical and electronic equipment to assume responsibility for the end of life of their products. The aims of the Act are to:
    — protect health and the environment against harmful substances from electrical and electronic equipment, an
    — reduce the amount of waste through recovery or recycling.
  • Stiftung EAR – national register for waste electric equipment (Germany) The national register for waste electric equipment (stiftung ear) was founded by producers as their Clearing House (Gemeinsame Stelle) for the purposes of the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act (ElektroG). Entrusted with sovereign rights by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), stiftung ear registers the producers of electrical and electronic equipment and coordinates the provision of containers for public exchange facilities and the pick-up of electrical and electronic waste equipment at the örE (public waste disposal authorities) in the whole of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • Centre Testing International (CTI) http://cti-cert.co.uk/Electrical%20and%20Electronic.htmlCTI – is the leading independent third party assessment organisation specialising in; testing, calibration, inspection, certification, and technical services, providing a one-stop solution for clients of all types and sizes.  CTI can help to safeguard its clients, providing product safety testing and evaluation and a complete range of quality assurance services.


  • The ElecTech Council http://electechuk.net/ The ElecTech Council defines the direction of the strategic blueprint for the industry, based on the findings of the ESCO report.


7. Guides and Resources

  • Crowdfunding Guide https://www.theupeffect.com/what-is-crowdfunding


  • IHS Electronics Industry Products and Solutions https://www.ihs.com/industry/electronics.html IHS helps technology companies optimise product portfolio and align solutions to customer needs. We simplify strategic and day-to-day decisions through analytical database tools, cost models, equipment teardowns, research reports and analyst insights—at the geographic, industry and company level. Data is reconciled using supply and demand dynamics up and down the value chain, and accounts for adjacent global, economic and market factors impacting the technology space. Analysis covers intellectual property, technology adoption trends, company strategies and end-to-end supply base-cost drivers.
  • info4education https://www.ihs.com/info/st/e/info4education.html A complete reference source for students, graduates and academic professionals who need efficient and current access to British Standards, legislation and other guidance information related to the construction, health and safety, engineering, process and electronics industries.
  • Startups.co.uk – “Most ethical technology suppliers named”  (2013) http://startups.co.uk/most-ethical-technology-suppliers-named/ A new report published by the Ethical Company Organisation will make it easier for businesses to invest in the most ethical technology. The report, entitled The Good Office Guide, assesses the environmental and ethical credentials of different technology suppliers in order to assist business owners in their purchasing decisions.
  • Ethical Corporationhttp://www.ethicalcorp.com Business intelligence to help businesses around the globe do the right thing by their customers and the world.
  •  Engineers, philosophers and sociologists release ethical design guidelines for future technology
  • ZVEI Code of Conduct Application of the ZVEI Code of Conduct is voluntary. It is intended as a model for enterprises’ own declarations to their customers, or for requests to suppliers for equivalent declarations.
  • Electronics Goes Green World’s leading conference on electronics & the environment, organised by Fraunhofer IZM (Berlin). Meeting point for business developers, technology experts, researchers and policy designers.




  • https://www.ethical.org.au/3.4.2/get-informed/shop-ethical-electronics/




  • 10 design principles of sustainable wearables? https://principles.design/examples/the-10-principles-of-successful-lean-product-team




  • https://baptistworldaid.org.au/resources/ethical-electronics-guide/


  • http://openenergymonitor.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/ethical-and-sustainable-electronics.html



  1. Company Transparency – Reporting methods, audits, openness.
  2. Environmental Impact – Use of raw or conflict materials, carbon footprint, sustainability, eco-friendly labelling system
  3. Labor Rights – Ethical working conditions, fair pay, fair trade.
  4. Women’s Rights – Prevention of sexual harassment, equal pay.
  5. Social Impact – Doing good beyond the minimum, corporate social responsibility.
  6. Chemical Use – Organic material, pesticides, chemical dyes, preservatives.
  7. Waste – Discarded material, recycling programs, landfill, chemical run-off.
  8. Natural Resources – Water conservation, forest preservation.


  • http://www.it-green.co.uk/uk_business_recycling/ethical-computer-disposal/


  • http://www.ethicalcorp.com/supply-chains

8. Publications and Articles

  • What is sustainability…and what does this mean for the design of wearable electronic textiles? http://www.kobakant.at/KOBA/what-is-sustainability/

















  • Engineers, philosophers and sociologists release ethical design guidelines for future technology – A report released by the world’s largest technical professional organisation is designed to help humanity avoid a robot apocalypse.

9. Other