We never send a logo to the printers and get a box of t-shirts in return. In fact, making our products is a lot like building Volvo vehicles.
Only the best materials from the finest sources will do. And we exclusively choose partners that share our care for the world we live in, treat their staff fairly and supply products that meet the highest Volvo standards.
We share the same core values - quality, safety and environmental care - as all Volvo brands. This is shown in how we design, source, manufacture, pack, supply, deliver and even recycle our products.
Naturally, we follow Volvo Group's code of conduct and we expect our suppliers to do the same.
It's one thing to talk the talk, but we make sure to always walk the walk as well. And we wouldn't dream of taking any shortcuts. Here are four examples of how this philosophy is translated into real actions.
Since 2014, we have taken many steps to reduce our carbon footprint. Some have been small, others are major leaps towards a greener future. One of our latest is the Save the Water initiative. By using a mix of organic cotton waste and recycled polyester from PET bottles collected in nature, we can produce stylish, high-quality t-shirts and polo shirts using just two rather than 2,000 liters of water. And this is just the start of our sustainable journey.
For us, it's a given that anyone hired by our suppliers is treated fairly and equally, regardless of ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. We also urge our suppliers to pay a living wage rather than the minimum wage. Why? Because, we see it as a basic right for people to be paid enough to afford food, water, housing, education, health care, clothes and other essentials for themselves and their families.
We love organic cotton. In part because the manufacturing requires less water and leaves a smaller footprint, but we also treasure how it's farmed without pesticides and fertilizers. This directly benefits the health of factory workers and wildlife, and preserves biodiversity. It also lessens the risk of hazardous chemicals entering the soil and waterways and eventually end up in our food and drink.
We demand that all our Italian full-grain premium leather products are vegetable-tanned. This ensures that they are free from Chrome VI, a toxic substance that cause allergies, rashes and inflammatory skin reactions. The animals are treated respectfully too. We require all suppliers to follow the OIE (The world organization for animal health) rules, abide by REACH regulations for animal testing and adhere to the UNIC standard of Italian leather producers.
We strive for new and innovative ways to continuely reduce emissions and productions footprints. Cotton spin waste has previously just been thown away to be used as landfill but now it can be recycled and used again. The challenge with recycled cotton has always been that the fiber gets very short and weak after being recycled. So in order to make finer yarns, recycled fibers are blended with virgin organic cotton fibers, so that it gains the strength back. Since the fibers are both organic and recycled, as well as 100% natural, we are proud to say that this is currently the cleanest and most sustainable way to produce a garment.
No wonder we want to see as many bottles as possible transformed into clothing that you want to wear. The production of the PET (polyethylene terephthalate) material need crude oil and natural gas extracted from the Earth. Luckily the material can be recycled again and again. The fibers of recycled polyester from post-consumer waste have the same technical performance as the newly made polyester. The production requires 70% reduced carbon footprint compared to virgin polyester. It also decrease the amount of plastic post-consumer waste that enters landfills that takes thousands of years to break down, and can leach toxic chemicals into the Earth. Simply a great way of making good products be even better.
In addition to meeting or exceeding the CSR standards of Volvo Group, some of our products have been independently certified by these well-reputed, third-party organizations.
Products carrying the GRS symbol contain at least 20 % recycled material and live up to tough requirements throughout the entire supply chain. In addition, the producer of these must track and trace material, take social and environmental practices into account, and restrict the use of harmful chemicals. This standard also makes labeling more accurate and encourage innovative ways of using reclaimed materials (which is sweet music to us). Read more:GRS website.
READ MORE: GRS WEBSITE
Products with this certificate must include at least 70 % organic fibers and meet strict environmental, social and toxicologic criteria. For instance, dyestuff, auxiliaries and accessories are all scrutinized -and wet-processing units must have a functional waste water treatment plant. GOTS is the leading standard for textiles made from organic fibers and a clear proof that our high-quality products are also consciously produced.
READ MORE:GOTS WEBSITE
This safety standard goes far beyond legal requirements when addressing and regulating the use of harmful substances for textile and clothing manufacturers. We're proud to be associated with it, as it keeps consumers safe. In fact, the more intense the contact between skin and product, the more strict the human-ecological requirements of OEKO-TEX are. This is truly the standard that matters when it comes to raising awareness about using chemicals responsibly.
READ MORE:OEKO-TEX WEBSITE
This symbol is dear to us. It guarantees that the cotton comes from a supplier that pays farmers at least the market price and treat the workforce fairly. We're truly honored to sell Fairtrade products. They make weaker producers more competitive, improve their position in the supply chain and help them meet challenges ranging from climate change to price pressure, government subsidies in richer countries and poor terms of trade.
READ MORE:FAIRTRADE WEBSITE
We're delighted to see the FSC logo on our packaging as it's the gold standard in forest certification. We need to use forest products, but must also protect the forests for generations to come. This is where FSC comes into play and dictates what responsible forest management is all about. The fact that we're allowed to use this symbol is a clear sign of how our forest products are processed, manufactured and distributed with the utmost respect for the environment.
READ MORE:FSC WEBSITE
Working with ZeroMission is an important piece in our sustainability puzzle. With their help we carbon offset all our transports and shipments, which minimize our ecological footprint. They offer a complete solution for environmentally ambitious businesses (sounds exactly like us), and we're proud to get their help in applying a strategy to reduce our fossil fuel dependency and the emissions of greenhouse gases. In summary, we can sell products that make an impact, while minimizing our impact on the climate.
READ MORE:ZERO MISSION WEBSITE