In autumn/winter 2021, we offer a 100% sustainably sourced clothing collection for the first time. This comes from a starting point of 0% in 2015 and a humble 5% in 2017. Now, two years ahead of time, a minimum of 70% of the material in all our products is sustainably sourced. Our next milestone is to offer 100% sustainably sourced bags by 2025.
Besides using more sustainably sourced materials and production techniques, we put focus on timeless qualitative design and increased quality control to secure longevity. Read more about our quality controls in the section Driving Sustainable Consumption.
We factor environmental performance into our supplier evaluation. A supplier that is engaged and willing to improve, and also improves over time, has a chance to get more business (purchase volumes) from us. Annual specific targets are set with each supplier to enable tracking of progress.
WET PROCESSES: CHEMICALS & 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 wastewater treatment. We have a thorough chemical management program to ensure that our products do not contain harmful substances. Solution Dye, Avitera® SE dye, and digital prints are some techniques we define as better choices. Avitera® SE technology is a revolutionary dyestuff that saves up to 50% water, energy and CO2 emission during the dyeing process compared to conventional dyestuffs.
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.
Overall we use printing and dyeing techniques that require no or reduced amounts of water whenever possible. We also require our factories to maintain safety routines with respect to protective clothing and the storage and use of chemicals in production facilities.
ALTERNATIVES TO CONVENTIONAL COTTON
Cotton production provides income for more than 250 million people worldwide according to the World Wildlife Foundation, but cotton production is environmentally unstable and needs to change. Hence, the measure to form the Better Cotton Initiative was taken. We partner with the Better Cotton Initiative/BCI to improve cotton farming globally. As an example, BCI farmers are trained to use less water and reduce the use of the most harmful chemicals as compared to non-BCI farmers. Better Cotton, which we include in our sustainable offer, is not physically traceable to end products. However, BCI farmers benefit from the demand for Better Cotton in equivalent volumes to those we source.
In 2018-2019, the BCI licensed over 2 million farmers from 23 countries on five continents. Together, these farmers produced 22% of the world’s cotton.
The results of our sourcing of Better Cotton in 2020.
*BCI Farmers experience profit increases for a variety of reasons, most commonly due to increased yields and/or optimised use of inputs (such as irrigation water, pesticides or synthetic fertiliser)
Another alternative o conventional cotton in our production is organic cotton. Our organic cotton respects the cotton during the whole value chain – farming, harvesting, manufacturing, dyeing, and printing. It is grown and manufactured in a socially responsible way and dyed with fewer chemicals and water than conventional cotton.
Some of our products are made from TENCEL™ Lyocell, which is a long-lasting strong fibre in wet and dry. The material is very economical in its use of energy and natural resources and contributes to fewer chemicals in nature with its closed-loop production process.