In 2013, Greenpeace exposed that Chinese factories working for renowned fashion brands discharged wastewater, containing traces of hazardous chemicals, into rivers and oceans.
Like many others, G-Star signed a DETOX Commitment with Greenpeace to address this issue and ban the use of hazardous chemicals from our products and production processes by January 2020. With the deadline expired, we are now proud to report that wastewater tests of the suppliers responsible for 85% of our production volume show a compliance rate of 95%. By 2030 we have set the goal to have phased out áll unsustainable chemicals applications.
Signing the DETOX commitment followed our membership to the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) initiative. The ZDHC member brands unite around a joint roadmap to ensure safe and sustainable chemical use in the fashion industry, we will continue to work with the ZDHC program as well as applying the Higg Facility Environmental Module (FEM) to monitor the performance during production and manufacturing of our garments. The Higg FEM allows manufacturing factories to measure their environmental performance, benchmark against peers, and identify areas to make meaningful improvements. The Higg FEM guides factories through a step-wise approach to environmental management.
G-Star RAW joined forces with Plastic Soup Foundation (PSF) in 2016 to support them in protecting waterways from plastic pollution.
In 2019, this resulted in an endorsement of Planet Care’s microfiber filter. This filter catches up to 90% of all microfibers shed during a normal laundry. The filter is easily added to any laundry machine and the service works on a circular subscription model. By promoting Planet Care through our platforms, G-Star RAW sought to raise consumer awareness on the topic and provide a hands-on solution at the same time.
One of our biggest challenges is finding a sustainable solution for the use of polybags. Since 2015 we have been testing various alternatives with our suppliers. In 2021 we will start using polybags made with 100% recycled plastic. By the end of 2021 we expect that 90% to 95% of our garments shipped from suppliers to our warehouses will be packed with recycled polybags.