The manufacture of fabrics requires the use of chemicals, especially to dye and print threads and fabrics. Certain chemicals can be hazardous to people that come into contact with them or for the environment, e.g., emissions in production or from the consumer’s washing.
Our goal is that no so-called Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) will be used in our products. The target is also to manufacture a significant share of collections using better processes that consume less water and chemicals by 2019.
What we are doing to achieve our goal
We have had our chemical management program for many years. Aim of the program is to ensure that our products do not contain hazardous chemicals. We apply a so called Restricted Substances List (RSL) that all suppliers must follow. The list, which sets the maximum content levels for chemicals in products, is based on the guide prepared by the Swedish textile importers association and ultimately on EU’s REACH legislation. Our requirements are even stricter, however, including a ban on SVHC’s, which are considered a gray zone chemical. The emphasis is on phthalates, fluorocarbons and alkylphenol ethoxylates (including nonylphenol ethoxylate), which may not exceed stated limits or, in the case of SVHC’s, may not be prevalent in our products. Compliance is verified through testing at least once per collection and supplier.
We also require factories to maintain safety routines with respect to protective clothing and the storage and use of chemicals in production facilities. Regular visits allow the company to conduct its own controls.
We also require external licensees to follow relevant chemical laws. Our licensees in footwear and bags, for example, work actively with control systems in a similar way to us.
We cooperate with the research organization Swerea IVF and participate in its chemical group for textile companies along with a number of other Swedish clothing companies.
Our chemical testing is conducted by experienced third partners. Product developers and buyers are also provided skills training and various types of tools to design and buy safe products.