Our responsibility

We take responsibility

As our company continues growing, the way we interact with the world around us becomes increasingly important, both for us as a company and for individual employees. Everything we do follows the rules and regulations that apply to our industry and is based on a number of principles and guidelines that are unique to our business. This set of rules sets a structure for our operations and controls all our activities to ensure that we act responsibly.

Our sustainability work is based on the UN Global Compact Initiative and follows their 10 principles of corporate responsibility. These principles form the basis of our Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct is a tool for ensuring that our suppliers act responsibly. The Code lists the minimum requirements for suppliers as regards human rights, labour rights, environmental management and anti-corruption. All suppliers are required to sign the Code before becoming suppliers to Fristads. By doing this, they undertake to act in accordance with the Code of Conduct.

Our sustainability work is based on the UN Global Compact Initiative and follows their 10 principles of corporate responsibility. These principles form the basis of our Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct is a tool for ensuring that our suppliers act responsibly. The Code lists the minimum requirements for suppliers as regards human rights, labour rights, environmental management and anti-corruption. All suppliers are required to sign the Code before becoming suppliers to Fristads. By doing this, they undertake to act in accordance with the Code of Conduct.

Everyone has the right to good working conditions

We strive for the business to always have a positive social impact on everyone involved in our operation. Since 2016 we are part of amfori BSCI, the leading supply chain management system that helps companies work with assessing and improving social and environmental standards in the supply chain. By joining forces with amfori BSCI we aim to guarantee ethical working conditions for all workers in our supply chain.

The amfori BSCI organisation follows the ILO core conventions and the UN Global Compact. The amfori BSCI Code of Conduct must be disseminated in the workplace to inform workers of their rights, and in addition to the Code there are rules for workers’ safety and health. What is more, the Code sets the standard for zero tolerance against child labour, bribery, bonded labour and shortcomings in occupational health and safety. Fristads’ own Code of Conduct follows the amfori BSCI Code of Conduct.

To ensure that we live up to these standards, factory inspections are regularly carried out by accredited third parties with trained auditors well versed in the amfori BSCI Code of Conduct. We support the factories before and after the inspections, but do not take part in the actual inspections. Deviations that occur during a factory inspection must be corrected and followed up by a new inspection.

Fair jobs

A fair job for Fristads is defined as one with fair compensation and a workplace environment that is safe, healthy and free from discrimination. We believe that fair jobs help people feel noticed, valued and respected at work.

CSR and Asia quality – a joint responsibility

Our sourcing framework is grounded in industry standards, ongoing learning and continuous improvements. In Asia, all finished orders are inspected by our Group Quality controllers who report any deviations to the Group CSR team located in our Hong Kong office. For the Bangladesh region the minimum requirement to be eligible in our Group Compliance Programme is for all factories to have been audited either by Accord or Alliance. Our Group Regional Compliance team supports factories in implementing correct action plans in time. Fristads has been a member of Accord since 2015.

Being smart about chemicals

In the textile industry chemicals are necessary to give garments special properties. Chemical substances are used in the production of garments – from processing of fibres to complementing the finished fabric to give selected garments specific functional properties. We work in several ways to ensure that we have the necessary insights regarding chemicals.

We need to have extensive knowledge about the kinds of chemicals our finished products contain and at which levels. These levels must of course comply with EU regulations. However, our requirements are often more stringent than the legal requirements are. This is a result of our own ambition to reduce potentially harmful chemical substances in our garments, as well as an increased market demand for smart chemical management. We actively manage the use of chemical substances through our social and environmental compliance programme, as well as through a specific chemical compliance programme. As part of the programme all suppliers and factories involved in making our products must sign our Restricted Substance List, RSL.

Our Restricted Substance List is updated twice a year based on the chemical guidance of our partner RISE, Sweden’s governmental research institute. Our RSL reflects the latest EU harmonised legislation which includes REACH, POPs regulation, Biocide Regulation and Product Safety Regulation. We also ensure compliance with the SVHC (Substances of Very High Concern) Candidate List.

70 percent of our garments are OEKO-TEX-certified

70 percent of our catalogue products are labelled as OEKO-TEX®-certified at garment level. This means that the product is free from harmful chemicals and safe for human use. We strive to have all our products certified at garment level and work continuously to reach this goal.

OEKO-TEX® standard 100 is a world-leading label for textile products tested for harmful substances. With our OEKO-TEX-certified products at garment level, this means that every component in the garment, big or small, is guaranteed to meet the requirements of OEKO-TEX® standard 100 Product Class II.

​​​​​​​Download our OEKO-TEX® certificate here.

Chemical Compliance Programme

In addition to OEKO-TEX and our RSL we run a Chemical Compliance programme with our partner SGS, the world’s leading company for inspections, verifications and tests. The aim of the programme is to help us build customised testing packages that suit our industry and products.

The programme, launched in 2016, is our way of taking responsibility for creating awareness among our suppliers and helping to educate them in the area of chemical management practices, all so as to increase transparency in their own supply chain. The testing of core range raw materials and finished goods is conducted continuously and test results are reviewed.

POPFREE project for reducing the use of PFAS

Fristads is part of the POPFREE project run by RISE. POPFREE is an innovation project financed by Vinnova with the goal of promoting feasible non-fluorinated alternatives in product categories such as fire-fighting foams, textile impregnation, food contact paper, cosmetics and ski waxes. In the project, alternatives are identified, developed and evaluated for technical, environmental and health performance. Awareness along the value chain is another important part of POPFREE and the project helps suppliers, professional buyers and consumers to make educated choices. The project brings together more than 30 partners from industry, academia, NGOs and institutes. The project terminated in March 2020.

Quality and environmental ISO standards

Fristads is certified according to the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 international standards which have been a part of our daily work since 1999. They require that we work systematically with improvements regarding our products, production and the minimisation of our environmental impact.

I ISO 9001: 2015 customer satisfaction is in focus, which is in line with Fristads’ focus areas. This means that in everything we do, we strive to create quality and effective processes for developing and producing our products, with the aim of satisfying our customers.

Download our ISO 9001 certificate here.

I ISO 14001: 2015 the Life Cycle perspective is an important aspect. This is something that we have integrated as a natural part of our business. This means that this standard sets the requirements for how we work systematically to limit the environmental impact of our operation.

Download our ISO 14001 certificate here.

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