There is a long list of chemicals that are used to produce clothing, many of which are perfectly safe when used correctly and make sure that your denim is the perfect shade of washed indigo, or your new leather jacket is perfectly soft. Unfortunately, there are also a large number of chemicals that can be harmful and are conventionally used in the fashion supply chain.
The main areas of concern when talking about chemicals are the wet processing stage (dyeing, finishing, printing, leather tanning) and processing of wood into cellulosic fibres like viscose and lyocell. Not using chemicals all together is not possible, but we want to make sure our workers and environment are protected from possible harm.
We are moving towards digital printing, natural dyeing and innovative dyeing processes to reduce the amount of wastewater produced and chemicals used during the colouration of our clothes. We are increasingly using vegetable tanned and chrome-free leather and exploring plant-based leather alternatives in the hope of reducing our chemical impact in this area. We only use responsibly sourced cellulosic fibres, such as ECOVERO™ and TENCEL™, where the chemicals used are carefully managed and disposed of.
The majority of our 1, 2 and 3 suppliers are based in Europe, with largest percentage of our production located in Portugal. This means that our suppliers are obligated to follow strict national laws and REACH EU regulations which prohibit the use of several harmful chemicals. We also have our own Restricted Substance List that our suppliers agree to follow when they sign our Code of Conduct.
We are working to introduce ZDHC guidance with our suppliers, including the ZDHC MRSL which is a stricter list of prohibited substances for manufacturing. We want to do what we can to protect those directly and indirectly involved in our supply chain from any harm associated with the production of our clothes, and chemical use is a big part of that.