We are participants in the BSCI - Business Social Compliance Initiative - alongside many well-known companies in our industry.
The BSCI is a process/system to work towards and monitor compliance with the BSCI code of conduct. The BSCI code of conduct contains principles in the following areas:
Image courtesy of Alexander Graah
We are increasing the percentage use of sustainable materials in our collection over time. By sustainable we mean fibres such as organic cotton, dead stock materials and non-cotton fibres made from plant fibres (e.g. hemp, cellulose-based fibres, etc.). Our goal is to use 95% sustainable contents by 2020 while maintaining our established price levels. Right now, part of our collection, but not all, features sustainable materials.
We use very little leather. Our policy is to only use leather which is left over from the food sector and not to use any leather from animals raised solely for the making of clothing.
All of our jeans are vegan and do not feature any leather labels (except for our vintage line, Old Jam, which does feature leather waistband labels). By the same token, we do not make down feather jackets or use angora fur in any of our garments.
The greatest sustainability challenges for cotton cultivation lie in reducing pesticides and fertilisers and to limit water use. When cultivating cotton in an organic system, no synthetic pesticides or fertilisers are used as natural methods are employed to control pests, weeds and disease. Comparing with other ‘alternative’ fibres such as hemp, organic cotton is more or less a like – for –like substitute for conventionally grown cotton and the main reason for its limited use is an effect of its limited supply which remains a challenge for makers of clothing. As part of Dr Denim’s goal to primarily use sustainable contents in our collection by 2020, we are proud to introduce organic cotton options in all our denim programs for season 163, from the 4 pockets, through the 5 pockets to our jersey range and beyond.
Lyocell is a regenerated cellulosic fiber which is sometimes sold under the trade name Tencel owned by Lenzing. Lyocell is known for being relatively eco-friendly in comparison with its fellow regenerated fibers. Lyocell is made from fast-growing trees which require low volumes of water and pesticides to grow, while the fiber regeneration process features a largely closed loop resulting in minimal emissions. As a final environmental benefit, Lyocell fabrics are fully biodegradable. But there are of course also great aesthetic and functional advantages with Lyocell fabrics. The Lyocell fiber is quite heavy and fabrics have a good drape, the fiber is also strong in both wet and dry conditions while featuring a soft and luxurious hand feel as well as great wrinkle resistance. Fabrics made from Lyocell also have good functional properties, fabrics are breathable, absorbent and transport moisture very well. We are proud to have taken this step forward and introduced this amazing quality in our range. It is an important move to reach our ambitious sustainability goals.
Another important area is chemicals, or preferably the lack thereof. We have a strict chemicals policy based on the Swedish Chemicals Group’s guide lines, which applies to all of our production.
The Swedish Chemicals Group has 80 members in clothing and electronics, and helps members stay on top of regulations and recommendations. The policy takes REACH regulations into account but also covers chemicals which the Swedish Chemicals Group believes are important but which have not yet been covered by legislation.
We regularly perform laboratory testing on randomly selected items to check that our policy is being followed. We perform extensive tests across all product groups and suppliers.
Our production takes place across the world (you will find country of origin on all garments). We ship virtually all of our imports by sea to keep emissions as low as possible.
Our calculations show that sea freight is actually a very efficient means of transportation - to such an extent that long distance sea freight pollutes less than shorter distance road transport. To put this into perspective, if we look at global energy use across different means of transportation, sea freight accounts for only 9.5% of the total (source: WBSCD 2004 via IPCC 2007). The rest is road, air and rail.
IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007