Our Sustainability Labels
When it comes to designing more sustainable fashion, replacing conventional production methods with more sustainable ones is a must. We are constantly following new developments in fibres and technologies that conserve the earth’s resources. And to help guide our customer, we bring together all of these solutions in our product sustainability labels.
Two of our main focus areas are about reducing the negative impacts of our garments when they are manufactured, and designing products for a more sustainable wardrobe.
One challenge is to source more sustainable materials that are better for the environment than conventional alternatives. Another challenge is for those materials to meet our strict requirements for design, quality and appeal.
More sustainable production methods are another important side of the coin. With more climate-friendly methods of washing and dyeing, for example, we can conserve and protect natural resources on a huge scale.
Click here to learn more about how we are working to find more sustainable new ways of manufacturing fashion for the future.
Our sustainability labels
Today 58 per cent of our range is sustainability-labelled.
All of our products are made with consideration for people as well as the planet. However, our sustainability-labelled garments have been made with solutions that are more sustainable than conventional production methods, and it is important for us to make our customer aware of these. Our sustainability labels reflect more sustainable materials as well as more sustainable production processes, and in this we have set our sights high. By 2025 our assortment will be made of entirely more sustainable materials, and by 2030 we will only make use of more sustainable production processes. We have strict requirements that a product must meet to be described as “more sustainable”, and these are based on external certifications and third-party data.
BCI – Better Cotton
Better Cotton means responsibly farmed cotton. That means cotton grown according to the Better Cotton Initiatives, BCI’s, principles. BCI is an organization working to improve global cotton production. So far, they have trained 1.5 million farmers, which accounts for 30 percent of global cotton production in five continents to grow cotton more sustainably. KappAhl is a proud member of BCI and is working actively to increase its share of more sustainable cotton. BCI is not physically traceable to end products. However, BCI farmers benefit from the demand for Better Cotton is equivalent volumes to the those we source.
Learn more here about BCI’s work.
We are committed to sourcing 100% of our cotton as “more sustainable cotton” by 2020. “More sustainable cotton” includes Better Cotton, organic cotton and recycled cotton.
Organic cotton is grown entirely without chemical pesticides, artificial fertiliser or genetically modified seeds, which results in better soil quality, greater biodiversity and balanced ecosystems. The organic quality of the cotton is assured by independent inspections according to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) or Organic Content Standard (OCS). Garments that are GOTS-certified bear the GOTS symbol on the garment label.
Sometimes we mix organic cotton with other fibres to create an Organic Cotton Blend. The resulting garment is then composed of a combination of organic cotton and other fibres, but never conventionally farmed cotton.
Recycled cotton is made from post-consumer garments or other cotton textiles that are broken down and respun into new yarns for making new textiles. This greatly reduces water, energy and chemicals use, as compared with virgin cotton.
Tencel™ or lyocell, which is the name of the fibre itself, is made from wood cellulose from more sustainably managed forests. Tencel™ is made in a closed-loop system, which requires less water and fewer chemicals. Moreover, the fibres are 100% biodegradable.
Ecovero™ is a more sustainable alternative to standard viscose. Ecovero™, like viscose, is made from wood pulp, but always sourced from more sustainable managed forests, and using methods that require less water and fewer chemicals.
Recycled polyester is made from PET bottles and scraps and by-products from the manufacturing industry, as opposed to conventional polyester which is made from oil. Making recycled material is less resource-intensive than producing material from scratch, which is why it reduces pollution and energy consumption. It also reduces the volume of waste. Our Recycled Polyester-labelled garments contain at least 50 percent recycled material.
The raw material source for recycled polyamide can be old fishing nets and carpets, and also waste from the manufacturing industry. Materials that would otherwise be scrapped are used, which saves the planet’s precious resources and contributes to reduced emissions. Our Recycled Polyamide-labelled garments contain at least 50 percent recycled material.
Polylana® – Recycled Fibers
Polylana® is an innovative synthetic fibre made from a mixture of new and recycled polyester. It has the same feel and properties as acrylic, but is a more sustainable option for knitwear. The Polylana® fibres consist of 55% recycled polyester.
Often, design comes first, and materials second. But with Rescued Leftovers we’re doing the exact opposite. What remnant fabrics might our suppliers have in their storages? How can we design garments to put those remnants to use? The environmental benefit is immense when materials that already exist are put to use, rather than being sent for incineration or ending up in a landfill.
More Sustainable Denim
More sustainable jeans and other denim garments are made from more sustainable cotton. The prewash treatments for these denims are also more sustainable. The prewash process in More Sustainable Denim involves far fewer chemicals, about half as much water and almost 30 per cent less energy, as compared with conventional denim manufacturing.
PU stands for polyurethane and is a coating used on artificial leather and rainwear. This coating does not contain any chemicals that have a proven negative impact on people or the environment.
Responsible Down Standard is an independent international standard that requires down to be sourced from farmers who do not force-feed or live-pluck their ducks and geese. The down is also always a byproduct from the food industry, meaning material that would otherwise go to waste
Responsible Wool Standard
Responsible Wool Standard is an independent international standard guaranteeing that the wool has been sourced from farms where both the sheep and the land they graze on are treated responsibly, and that the wool has been processed sustainably throughout the production chain.
Vegetable Tanned Leather
This leather is tanned using plant-based substances such as bark, wood, fruit and leaves, which means that no chromium is used during the tanning process.
More sustainable products and collections
We are working continuously to improve our practices and methods in order to increase the proportion of more responsible fashion in our stores. But even now, we already have many collections and product categories that are more sustainable. Examples of these are:
- The entire Newbie range is made from more sustainable materials.
- Our entire essentials range – Woman including XLNT, Kids and Man – which is made of organic cotton.
- All of our denim is now labelled as More Sustainable Denim, which means that the jeans are made of more sustainable materials, in production processes that use less chemicals, energy and water than conventional jeans production methods.
- We have transformed much of our swimwear line to now consist of recycled fibres made from items like fishing nets and PET-bottles.
Look out for our sustainability labels!
In our stores you can find our more sustainable products by looking out for the labels.
In our Shop Online you can find these products easily by checking the “Sustainability Label” in the filter menu.
Synthetic fibres and microplastic
Microplastic is a collective term for the tiny bits of plastic, less than five and often less than one millimetre in diameter, which are not broken down completely but pollute the oceans and natural habitats, and harm animals and fish. Microplastic is shed by worn tyres, astroturf, boat hull antifouling, the plastics industry and litter in the countryside, but also from washing articles made of synthetic fibres. When polyester and other plastics-based textiles are washed, they shed microplastic, which is then carried by the rinse water out into the natural environment.
A lot of studies are currently being done on microplastic, and we’re staying up to date on the latest research reports so that we can make well-informed choices. What we do know this far is that recycled synthetic fibres do not shed more microplastic than virgin synthetic fibres, as was formerly a concern, and we are aiming to increase the proportion of recycled synthetic fibres in our range (recycled materials are obviously better for the environment for a number of other reasons, such as the fact that virgin raw materials are not needed).
You can also do your bit to reduce microplastic in the natural environment. Try washing synthetic garments as seldom as possible and air them outdoors, and spot-treat any stains with a damp cloth instead. If you fill your washing machine properly and wash at a lower temperature, your clothes won’t wear out as fast, and fewer fibres will be shed from the fabric. There are also promising options which you can try out, such as washing bags, balls etc, which aim to capture the microplastics when washing.