KappAhl does not own any factories. We are one of the many customers of independent manufacturers across the world. We create job opportunities in Asia and Eastern Europe and thereby contribute to their economic development. Even though KappAhl is a small player in a large market, we do our best to create a better and more equitable world. Just the choice of manufacturing countries places extra high requirements on us. Therefore, we work systematically with our most significant environmental and social risks and their effect throughout the entire product flow: from design, production, transport and warehousing to the store. In addition, we give you, our customer, tips on how you can contribute by handling your clothing in the right way.
OUR CODE OF CONDUCT
The Code of Conduct, CoC, lies at the heart of all of KappAhl's work. Our code is based partly on the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nation's Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Labour Organisation's conventions on labour rights and working conditions.
Every garment must be manufactured in a good way. Already in 1997, we introduced our first code of conduct for our suppliers. The code covers areas such as the working environment, health and safety, child labour, wages and working hours. We check that our suppliers comply with the code, partly through our own full-time inspectors and partly via external auditing companies.
TEST & MANUFACTURING GUIDE
KappAhl works hard to maintain the quality of all products together with our suppliers so you, our customer, can always feel secure when you shop with us. Therefore, we have drawn up our own "Test & Manufacturing Guide", the requirements of which our suppliers undertake to follow. It is an effective tool for our own inspectors and for our suppliers. For example, it includes:
• a list of prohibited or regulated chemicals in our garments. The chemicals list is based, among other things, on REACH (the EU's chemical legislation), the Oeko-Tex human ecology requirements as well as the textile importers' chemicals guide. Chemicals that are on our list are prohibited, or limited to non-hazardous quantities, in our products. Our requirements are updated regularly, based on new rules and customer demands.
• physical requirements for the garments (such as colourfastness, shrinkage and dry-bleeding)
• the safety of children's clothing
We perform many tests on our garments, both in external and our own laboratories. We have employees on site in our production countries to ensure that our requirements are observed.
Chemicals are not visible on garments. Since 2008, the "No Risk" project has been undertaken with the aim of working more actively with our suppliers to minimise the use of chemicals. The starting point is the chemicals list in KappAhl's Test and Manufacturing Guide, which includes around 20 different chemical groups, including carcinogenic agents and allergens. We have carried out thousands of random tests at our suppliers and tests at external laboratories. If prohibited or regulated chemicals are found in the garments, the supplier is given an action plan, which we monitor. We also actively participate in the Chemicals group, which is led by Swerea IVF. The purpose of the Chemicals Group is to disseminate up-to-date information on chemistry and environment related issues to member companies.
Read more at: http://extra.ivf.se/kemi/
In 2007, new legislation on chemicals was adopted in the EU, REACH (Registration Evaluation Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals).
The key aims of the legislation are to:
• Increase knowledge on all currently commercially available chemicals by registration and evaluation
• Place a greater responsibility on the companies that manufacture and import chemical substances in Europe
• Regulate the quantities of especially hazardous substances, so called SVHC (Substances of Very High Concern) in goods.
KappAhl’s operations comply with the requirements of REACH legislation and its rules concerning chemicals that are permitted to be imported into Europe. This is followed up by training and tests. Our suppliers agree to comply with the requirements and standards set by KappAhl.
SAFETY OF CHILDREN'S CLOTHES
KappAhl has a particularly large responsibility for the products it sells to children. Children cannot be expected to assess the risks of the games they play. They should be able to enjoy spontaneous play and movement without the risk of injury or danger. KappAhl’s child safety procedures are based principally on product safety legislation and various European standards, and can be described simply by the following three points:
• Product safety – Must prevent hazardous products from causing personal injury. This means that KappAhl, like all other companies, may only sell safe products.
• European requirements, including for cords and drawstrings as well as fire safety requirements for nightwear and dressing gowns. Applies up to size 170.
• Standards for toys, with mechanical and chemical requirements for toys and dressing up costumes.
The child safety procedures follow the entire product flow from design to production, with extra inspections, for example, of buttons, chemicals and choice of materials.