A part of our product promise is to deliver long-lasting products. We have grown the ratio of B. Tomorrow products on the market from 5% 2017 to 20% 2018 and are on track with our goals on implementation of sustainable fibers and the phase-out of conventional cotton. Today, 2020, we design all products to be a sustainable choice and we always quote our new developments in sustainable material. Our product department is devoted to reach their goal of offering a range fully falling under our sustainability label B. Tomorrow by 2023 through either offering a sustainable material and/or one or several sustainable production techniques.
We factor environmental performance into our supplier evaluation. Engagement and willingness to improve are evaluated as well. Each manufacturer receives a total score in our evaluation, and those with good scores, and particularly those that improve over time, have a chance to get more business (purchase volumes) from us.
Among production areas controlled are type of energy used at the premises, energy-reduction efforts, emissions, water, waste and chemical handling. Environmental certificates or standards are also taken into account. Based on the results, we have a basis to set improvement priorities over the next years. Yearly specific targets are set with each supplier to enable tracking of progress.
Our focus going forward is to open up transparency in the supply chain and streamlining wet processes. Moving towards a more digitalised work process will help us keep our CO2 levels down through minimising the number of sales samples.
Increased quality is another area where we can always improve. Through introducing more sustainable materials and more carry-over styles, our offering will be more durable and a way to influence consumers to use the garment during a longer period of time.
WET PROCESSES (CHEMICALS AND WATER)
Traditional clothing production consumes a lot of water,especially to dye yarns, threads and fabrics. Some important issues involve water efficiency, water pollution prevention, and waste water treatment. During 2018, we expanded our B. Tomorrow
definition of sustainable products to not only include material but also dyeing and printing techniques. Solution Dye, Avitera® dye and digital prints are some techniques we define as better choices. This has put increased focus on what makes a product a better choice and is part of our work to reduce our footprint of water and chemicals. To gradually transition from conventional cotton into more sustainable options, will also significantly reduce our overall water footprint.
The manufacture of fabrics requires the use of chemicals, especially dyeing and printing processes. Certain chemicals can be harmful to people that come into contact with them or for the environment, such as through emissions in production or from the consumer’s washing. Björn Borg products are free from harmful chemicals. Our suppliers follow the EU chemical regulation REACH and also have to exclude what is called Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC), chemicals that are still allowed up to a certain maximum limit within the EU generally.
We also require our third-party factories to maintain safety routines with respect to protective clothing and the storage and use of chemicals in production facilities. Through regular visits we conduct our own inspections. Workplace safety, including chemicals management, is also addressed in our code of conduct on working conditions in factories and in audits under that code.
Björn Borg is a member of the Swerea IVF Chemical Group for Textile companies, along with a number of other Swedish clothing companies, from where we get training and updates about chemicals used in textile processing.