Our Detox Solution Commitment with Greenpeace
Together with Greenpeace, we are committed to securing a toxic-free future for textile production. We have defined clear rules for our suppliers that promote a changeover to non-hazardous chemicals within a realistic time frame, with the most hazardous chemicals being prioritized.
In 2013 we were the first Swiss company to sign the Detox Solution Commitment and have already done much to comply with it. In 2015 Greenpeace designated us a «trendsetter» in the field of toxin-free textiles in its interim report. This is both confirmation and motivation for us. In the next few years too we will continue to take further key steps to make our production of conventional textiles even more sustainable.
We work in the following five areas of action with a view to meeting the Detox Solution Commitment to clean textile and leather production:
1. Guidelines on textiles and leather
In November 2013, we approved the guidelines on textiles and leather that regulate minimum social, environmental and toxicological requirements both for the cultivation of textile raw materials and for processing, and improve transparency in supply chains.
2. Negative list for the use of chemicals
We have put together a negative list of chemicals that, from 2020 at the latest, must no longer be used anywhere in the supply chain for our own-label textile brands (Manufacturing Restricted Substances List – MRSL). The collection covers all 11 substance groups considered hazardous by Greenpeace and is reviewed on a regular basis. Our business partners are required to comply with this negative list and switch to non-hazardous chemicals in their textile production.
3. Measurement and publication of environmental data
We arrange for environmental data to be recorded at our textile suppliers in order to check whether they have complied with requirements and to document annual progress. We focus on facilities such as dyers and printers, where wastewater and sludge is tested by external auditing companies for undesired chemicals on the negative list.
Publication on the IPE database
The results of these environmental tests on our main suppliers are to be published on the database of the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE), a partner organization of Greenpeace. The aim is to make data on 80 per cent of our suppliers publicly accessible by the end of 2016. We were able to publish environmental data on the first two facilities in 2014, and data concerning a further four facilities are scheduled for publication in 2015 and 2016. Collecting this data takes a great deal of persuasion. As a result of the repositioning of our own-label range, we now consciously work with fewer suppliers.
Support on the ground
We will provide our suppliers with ongoing assistance in their changeover to non-hazardous chemicals, supporting them even more in future through training in order to increase awareness. The main interface between our specialists and our suppliers is the Coop subsidiary Eurogroup Far East Ltd. in Hong Kong, whose employees maintain contact with suppliers and help to motivate them in their commitment to reducing hazardous chemicals.
4. Test campaigns at product level
We carry out regular spot checks on our textile range, testing the products for hazardous chemicals. Here are the reports from the latest tests.
Report on test campaign from autumn 2013 (50 samples from 24 suppliers)
Report on test campaign from spring 2014 (52 samples from 32 suppliers)
Report on test campaign from autumn 2014 (87 samples from 39 suppliers)
Report on test campaign from autumn 2015 (50 samples from 33 suppliers)
5. Textiles and leather working group and chemicals specialist team
Our textiles and leather working group meets at least four times a year to discuss progress and challenges in the implementation of the guidelines and define the necessary measures. It is made up of specialists from procurement, quality assurance, sustainability and the own-label brand Naturaline. In our chemicals specialist team, staff with a scientific background meet to discuss issues such as the use of chemicals, environmental data on suppliers, the composition of the negative list and the performance and evaluation of test campaigns at product level.
6. Cooperation with other brands and suppliers
In October 2015, we signed up to the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Programme (ZDHC). Together with other retailers and brand suppliers, it is our aim to establish new environmental standards in the global textile, leather and shoe industry. These industries are strongly interdependent on an international scale and we therefore firmly believe that actively eliminating hazardous chemicals can only be achieved by working together.
7. Wider responsibility: sustainable quality and recycling
We would like clothing to be worn for as long as possible. With the organic and fairly manufactured textiles in our own Naturaline label, we are taking a stand against "Fast Fashion" by only producing two collections each year. Thanks to their timeless design and our high quality and production standards, the pieces offer many years of pleasure. Many of the garments that are placed in the collection containers at our points of sale are reused as clothing. Only at the end of their life are they professionally recycled. The proceeds from textile collection benefit the social projects of Coop Aid for Mountain Regions.