Sustainability report

Sustainability report 2019

For almost 100 years now we have been contributing to more sustainable consumption and production by manufacturing products that last longer. Good-quality workwear can be used for a longer time and results in fewer garments having to be produced. In recent years, our sustainability efforts have been broadened and increased even more to bring about change within the industry. Here you can read more about the sustainability projects on which we worked in 2019.  

Our aim is to be a leader in our industry with regard to sustainability. As a company with an intercontinental supply chain, we have a responsibility to make sure that our business does not harm the people who help make our products, and that we do everything we can to minimise our environmental footprint. We want to make a change, a genuine change – and we want to inspire others to follow.

Our aim is to be a leader in our industry with regard to sustainability. As a company with an intercontinental supply chain, we have a responsibility to make sure that our business does not harm the people who help make our products, and that we do everything we can to minimise our environmental footprint. We want to make a change, a genuine change – and we want to inspire others to follow.

We are in this together

We believe in doing things together and believe that cooperating will take us much further than if we tried to make it on our own. That is why we have been part of the Swedish Chemical Group since 2007, helping to enable the replacement of hazardous chemicals in products and processes with less hazardous alternatives. It’s also why we joined the STICA initiative in 2018 and committed to lowering our emissions by 30% before 2030. And it explains why we turned to Swedish research institute RISE in 2017 with the vital question: how do we bring about a genuine change?

Our constant drive for improvement eventually led to the large-scale project where, in close cooperation with researchers at RISE and our suppliers, we managed to develop a new tool for measuring the total environmental impact of a garment. It was a ground-breaking project that resulted in us releasing the world’s first environmentally declared collection of clothes in 2019. We are very proud to have played a part in furthering the development of our industry in this way.

Initiatives for a more sustainable business

Our sustainability efforts are divided into three focus areas covering the social, environmental and economic aspects of sustainability. Here you can find out about some of the projects and initiatives on which we worked in 2019.

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. That is why we are part of amfori BSCI and have been since 2016. By joining forces with amfori BSCI we aim to guarantee ethical working conditions for all workers throughout our supply chain.
This cooperation also includes rules for worker health and safety and a zero-tolerance standard against child labour, bribery, bonded labour and shortcomings in occupational health and safety. To ensure that we live up to these standards, factory inspections are regularly carried out. Deviations noted in a factory inspection must be corrected and followed up by a new inspection.

In 2019 the auditors discovered one zero-tolerance deviation in Fristads production. It related to one factory lacking a fire alarm, showing an unacceptable lack of safety awareness. Action was promptly taken according to the Group Compliance process which means that no more orders will be placed before the deviation has been fixed.

Gained insights and knowledge in the life cycle of a garment

Without doubt, our greatest accomplishment in 2019 was the introduction of the world’s first environmentally declared clothing collection: Fristads Green. However, the project was far more complicated than just the development of a new collection of workwear. We first had to set a new standard for how to measure the total environmental impact of a garment. During the process, the full production chain and life cycle of the garment were reviewed – from material selection, material quantities, colouring processes, and water and electricity usage in the factory to packaging and transporting the completed garment. No aspect of the garment or its development was overlooked.

The key take-aways from the project are not just limited to a more environmentally conscious design process and production. We have also gained insights into and confirmation about the importance of working with the right type of raw materials and processes and have already implemented improvements in our production. As a result, we can already produce garments with lower environmental impact.

We are part of STICA – a joint climate action by Swedish textile producers

Fristads is part of the Swedish Textile Initiative for Climate Action, STICA, a textile initiative that focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with the 1.5 C warming pathway.

In 2019, Fristads mapped scopes 1 and 2 in line with the greenhouse gas protocol. The scopes show that the most significant climate impact in Fristads operations comes from company-operated cars and electricity consumption in the offices. In order to reduce emissions from company cars, fossil fuels can be replaced with renewable options such as HVO, or through the use of more electric cars. In order to reduce emissions from energy usage, one option might be to increase the use of renewable energy by switching energy contracts or by purchasing renewable energy certificates or guarantees of origin. As part of STICA, Fristads is now working on scope 3 analysis – which is where the majority of our impacts are.

Sustainability report 2019

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