Dr. Denim takes a science-based approach to sustainability and employs the following principles:
1: ”Kaizen” at heart because the path towards sustainability must be never-ending build on a principle of continuous improvement step by step. As sustainability is a broad term that applies to many aspects of garment production it concerns not only the fibers used but also the use of water, chemicals, transportation and packaging.
2: “Long life over fast fashion” because longevity is a key ingredient in sustainability Dr. Denim develops long-lasting, durable products which don’t quickly go out of fashion and which can endure consumer use over a long period of time, minimizing the needto replace the product and making the product attractive second-hand.
3: “Volume over greenwashing” because the biggest impact comes from the best-selling products. To illustrate with an example, imagine one denim fit in one wash which ships tens of thousands of pieces in a year and compare it with ten t-shirt options eachselling 300 pcs per year; it is more important that this single jean options is made of organic cotton than to show off ten t-shirts. It’s not about how many ‘options’ there are. It’s about the total quantity shipped. Securing sustainability in the volume productsistherefore Dr. Denim’s priority, and over time, by applying the ”Kaizen” principle above, everything will be sustainable.
By the from time to time applicable definitions of ‘sustainable’ it is Dr.Denim’s goal to ship more than half of the goods by mass with at least one sustainability flag by 2023.
More than 20 million tons globally harvested during harvest year 19/20 with India, USA and China being the world’s three largest cotton suppliers.
While it is not viable to discontinue the use of cotton altogether, it is possible to
•apply chemicals restrictions
•blend cotton with alternative fibres
•attempt to work with organic cotton or recycled cotton
Cotton is great –it has great properties and a great historic value for denim heads given that the first jeans were made of cotton. That’s why we’re proud to source the best cotton we can. Typically we work with pure organic cotton but in some instances we work with blended organic cotton. Regardless, it gets certified as OCS and it can be OCS 100 or OCS blended https://certifications.controlunion.com/en/certification-programs/certification-programs/ocs-blended-organic-content-standard. A tag indicating ”organic cotton” is affixed to all garments with certified organic cotton, both blended and grade 100.
Dr. Denim is a proud member of the Swedish chemical’s group (Kemikaliegruppen) and as such, our chemical policy is stricter than both the EU directive 1907/2006 “REACH” and California Prop. 65. The complete REACH chemicals list can be found here https://echa.europa.eu/candidate-list-table
Dr. Denim is proud to mix Lyocell, Tencel, Modal and Polyester when suitable and possible, with cotton, to make garments more durable or to gain a lower HIGG index score. The HIGG index is a score that rates the entire footprint of the product. You can read more about HIGG here https://apparelcoalition.org/the-higg-index/
Dr. Denim is a member of Amfori. The latest version of the code of conduct: https://www.amfori.org/content/bsci-code-conduct
Amforiand its participants pursue a dialogue among business partners and stakeholders to reinforce the principles of socially responsible business. This tallies well with Dr. Denim’s general application of Kaizen principles.
The AmforiBSCI Code of conduct refers to international conventions such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Children’s Rights and Business Principles, UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights, OECD Guidelines, UN Global Compact and International LabourOrganization (ILO) Conventions and Recommendations relevant to improve working conditions in the supply chain.
DR. DENIM prohibits the use of the following animal derived materials:
•Feathers and down due to the widespread practice of live plucking and force-feeding of birds
•Bone, horn, shell and teeth as these materials may come from vulnerable or endangered species and generally lack traceability
•Angora wool due to the low general standards of animal welfare in angora production, such as the live plucking of fur from rabbits
•Fur, as it may not be a by-product of the food industry; fur is generally not harvested without killing the animal
•NEW ADDITION TO LIST 2019: Leather, regardless of source and form. Even when originating from the food industry – potentially making it amaterial that would otherwise go to waste - animal welfare standards are difficult to verify, and Dr.Denim therefore refrains from using the material altogether.
•Silk, as cocoons are boiled with live larvae inside, and more over silk generates a whopping 680+ on the HIGG MSI index
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT - TRANSPORTATION
Dr.Denim considers it important to address the total impact on human health and planet.
•There are emissions into the atmosphere, and to make means of transport comparable, one typically looks at grammes per ton of goods moved one km.
•Other aspects are noise, safety (accidents) and impact on ecosystems.
MODE OF TRANSPORTATION
It is widely known that air freight emits the most carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides. Therefore, Dr.Denim primarily aims to minimize this mode of transport.
As a consumer, please note that you can make a difference. Please be patient if your ecom delivery takes a couple of days, and don’t be too harsh on the ecom sites where there is a delay. The stricter one is, the more air freight is required to meet strict delivery dates. Every such delivery is potentially an unnecessary flight causing harm to our environment. Your patience matters. Please also always choose the slowest delivery option, and please try to return items only when strictly necessary.
Aside from air freight, it is possible for an importer such as Dr. Denim to choose between truck, rail or sea.
The table on the next page shows that from an emissions perspective, sea freight is by far the most envionmentally sustainable mode of transport, and it is the primary mode of transport utilized by Dr. Denim.
By shipping full containers on large bulk container ships, the environmental impact of transporting one pair of Dr. Denim jeans is minimized compared with small scale transport.
A small percentage of the mass/volume imported by Dr. Denim is transported by truck, from Turkey to Sweden. Long haul trucking emits significantly less pollutants than short haul (Source: OECD).
That’s why it’s not as simple as saying that local made is better. Sea freight from Asia to Europe scores pretty well in terms of atmospheric pollutants. There are also fewer accidents per shipped tonne in marine transporation than on roads. Dr. Denim is proud to utilize sea freight
Source: OECD –The Environmental Effects of Freight –Table 18
Dr. Denim strives to minimize the use of packaging material wherever possible, but there is a sweet spot between reducing packaging material and the quantity of damaged goods. The environmental consequence of a damaged product is greater than the addition of a plastic bag that is recycled.
Dr. Denim uses low-density polythene plastic bags and with recycling symbol PE-LD and which are BHT-free as well as free of polyvinylchloride to protect products during transportation.
These polybags are biodegradable, but it takes time. Therefore, they should never be littered openly. Please always dispose of plastic in appropriate recycling bins. Fast-decomposing bags currently decompose too quickly – even before the product may be sold, which spoils the product. Therefore, it is for Dr. Denim currently not viable to change into such plastic bags, because the footprint of spoiled garments is worse using a low-density polythene bag and recycling the bag after use.
Dr. Denim uses acrylic based low-density polyethylene tape to seal cartons.
Cartons used for inbound shipping are re-used for export purposes to further minimize the use of packaging material.
Would you like to know more?
Do you know something you think we ought to know about that could potentially improve our work towards sustainability?
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