November 2013 - G-Star position on angora wool
G-Star does not accept that animals are treated cruelly for the production of G-Star products. We have a Materials Policy in place in which we state our expectations towards the use of animal-derived materials for G-Star products and correspondingly expect our suppliers to practice good animal husbandry. Plucking of live animals is not accepted following our Materials Policy.
G-Star uses little angora wool in its collection. Winter 2012 was the last season in which G-Star used angora wool and we will not use it in the future until we can guarantee good animal husbandry in angora production. We will further inspect our production process to ensure that our requirements are being followed.
June 2013 - ZDHC Group releases Joint Roadmap, Version 2
June 11th, 2013 – The Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Group (ZDHC Group) today released version two of the Joint Roadmap. The Roadmap defines the critical path for achieving a new standard of environmental performance for the global apparel and footwear industry. This initiative, the impact of which will reverberate well beyond the apparel and footwear industry, is led by members of the ZDHC Group – the adidas Group, C&A, Esprit, G‐Star Raw, H&M, Inditex, Jack Wolfskin, Levi Strauss & Co., Li Ning, M&S, New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc., NIKE, Inc, PUMA SE – and a diverse group of stakeholders.
The Joint Roadmap, Version 2, presents the ZDHC Group's long term vision, interim 2015 milestones and 2020 goals. It builds on the previous Joint Roadmap document and sets out a new plan, incorporating and reflecting comments received from a wide range of stakeholders, including textile industry suppliers and associations, government agencies in Asia, Europe and the United States, nongovernmental organisations, international development organisations and the chemical industry.
“To achieve the goal of systemic change and commercialisation of new, preferred alternative chemistries, we will need to transform the industry’s manufacturing inputs and processes. This requires full collaboration amongst thousands of organisations,” said Jessica Wollmuth, ZDHC Programme Manager. She added that “good progress has been achieved thus far, and the Joint Roadmap, Version 2, lays a firm foundation for creating an apparel and footwear industry that delivers high quality products using safe chemistries.”
ZDHC Group achievements in the past year include having:
- Completed chemical use and management surveys, and wastewater testing for approximately 150 analytes at 20 facilities in Bangladesh, China, India, Taiwan and Vietnam
- Completed a chemical inventory that is the most complete, publicly available compilation of information on chemicals used in the textile industry
- Developed training materials in English and Chinese
- Developed and delivered training to suppliers
- Engaged with more than 350 potential stakeholders
- Completed system mapping, critical to the understanding of the interconnected issues, leverage points and stakeholders involved.
- Agreed to timelines for the phase out of C8 chemistry by no later than January 1, 2015 - Worked with suppliers to address the most pressing chemicals of concern, starting with APEOS, and will continue to do so in 2013
- Worked to identify safer chemistries and mechanisms to incentivise chemical suppliers to invest in these alternatives
“Building on the knowledge gained during the first full year of implementation, the Joint Roadmap, Version 2 provides an overview of the guiding principles and long‐term vision of the ZDHC group, and defines key activities that will catalyse industry change,” said Wollmuth. By implementing tasks in seven workstreams defined in the Roadmap, specifically Chemical Hazard Assessment, Prioritisation and Action, Training, Right to Know, Assessment and Auditing, Management Systems Approach, Structure and Documentation, Stakeholder Partnering and Chemicals Management Best Practices Pilot. The ZDHC Group will develop and promote industry best practices to deliver a safer and cleaner environment. “Our goal is ambitious, and the ZDHC Group and partners are fully committed to working together to achieve it,” said Wollmuth.
For more information on the ZDHC programme, please visit: www.roadmaptozero.com.
June 2013 - MADE-BY launched G-Star’s first Scorecard
G-Star is constantly working to increase the use of sustainable materials across our entire collection and to positively contribute to the working conditions of the people making our products. Each year, the independent organisation MADE-BY thoroughly verifies our achievements and publishes this online in a G-Star scorecard. The MADE-BY scorecard enables G-Star to communicate progress on our Corporate Responsibility performance in a transparent, independent and credible way.
On the 7th of June, MADE-BY published G-Star’s first scorecard that transparently shows our social and environmental progress over 2012. The G-Star scorecard can be found here.
G-Star has developed its own social management system and compliance process. As part of this, all suppliers are audited to verify whether they comply with the social standards as listed in our G-Star Supplier Code of Conduct. In addition, our suppliers are coached to continuously improve their social performance. MADE-BY has benchmarked our management system and compliance process against the MADE-BY Social Benchmark.
The result is reflected in G-Star’s Social Scorecard: 72% of our 2012 collection was produced by suppliers that comply with G-Star’s social standards. The remaining 28% share G-Star’s values towards a responsible production and are working actively together with G-Star to make progress and reach full compliance in an agreed time frame.
To boost the use of sustainable materials in our collection, we have been working together with our suppliers to fit these materials into our supply chain, and gave these materials a permanent place in our design process.
This strategy has resulted in an increase of the percentage of sustainable materials in our collection from 1% in 2011 to 10.1% in 2012. Being a denim brand, we mainly achieved this by replacing conventional cotton with organic cotton. Organic cotton accounts for 10% of our total cotton use, making G-Star the biggest user of organic cotton of all MADE-BY partner brands with an amount of 343.424 kg. Other sustainable materials used in our products include Tencel, recycled polyester, recycled cotton, linen and hemp.
In accordance with G-Star’s nature to push boundaries by constantly developing new products, we will further extend our approach and continue to increase the use of sustainable materials in our collection in the coming years.
May 2013 - G-Star’s business relationship with Bangladesh
G-Star does not own or operate any factories; instead we work together with a small group of skilful suppliers that share our passion to make a strong product. We aim to build a trustworthy and long-term relationship with these suppliers.
At the moment, half of G-Star’s production volume is manufactured by suppliers we work with for over 10 years. These suppliers are located in Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America; in countries including Bangladesh, China, Italy, Peru, and Vietnam. We carefully select suppliers that share our values on quality and sustainability.
G-Star works with eight garment factories in Bangladesh that are predominantly vertically integrated. This which means they perform in-house all steps in the production process, from spinning to garment making. We work with our suppliers in Bangladesh for their expertise and vertically integrated processes, making our supply chain manageable and transparent.
The garment industry in Bangladesh is expanding rapidly. It generates employment for several million Bangladeshi and accounts for a large portion of Bangladesh’s exports, making the industry crucial for the country’s future. At the same time, Bangladesh is a country in development with a situation of limited governmental organisation and poor control mechanisms. G-Star wants to help reach lasting progress for workers in Bangladesh’s garment industry by creating healthy and safe conditions in the industry. We make this happen by further expanding our efforts to improve social and environmental sustainability.
Social & Environmental Standards
G-Star feels responsible for the well-being of employees working in the factories where G-Star products are made. Therefore, we only work with suppliers that share our values on sustainable and responsible production, take ownership for meeting our standards and are prepared to improve.
What G-Star considers to be responsible production is summarised in the following standards:
- G-Star Supplier Code of Conduct: This Code of Conduct outlines the minimum social and environmental standards we expect each factory to meet and gives guidelines hereto. The Code is based on the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ILO Core Conventions and the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) Base Code, de SMETA Environmental Criteria and ISO 14000.
- G-Star Restricted Substances List (RSL): The RSL is the basis for monitoring the use of chemicals in G-Star products and follows international laws and regulations. With the RSL we work towards the target to reach zero discharge of hazardous chemicals from all our products and production processes by 2020. The list is therefore updated frequently.
To check whether our suppliers comply with our standards, G-Star has a compliance process in place using a combination of tools: This compliance process is managed by internal experts, checked by external independent organisations, and verified by MADE-BY. More information about our standards and our compliance process can be found on the RAW Responsibility section of g-star.com. MADE-BY will publish the results of their verification over the past year in June 2013.
Extra measures Bangladesh
For our production in Bangladesh we have taken some additional measures focussed on the situation in this country:
- Extra support and monitoring by a local G-Star team on quality, chemical compliance and Social, Environmental, Health & Safety compliance. Because of knowledge of the local norms, customs and the situation at the supplier, the team is able to maintain intensive supervision and a constant dialogue with suppliers in Bangladesh. This results in weekly visits to all our suppliers by G-Star and close monitoring of the situation in the factories. Since subcontracting is only allowed under strict requirements and with approval of G-Star, a strict subcontracting control process is set up as well.
- Coaching and building capacity of suppliers. We offer our suppliers customised training and support them in organising internal trainings. We also inform suppliers about and invite them for relevant local conferences and workshops in order to create awareness and build knowledge.
- G-Star is a system partner of bluesign technologies ag. The bluesign® system brings together the entire textile manufacturing chain to manage all Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) aspects along the chain. In Bangladesh, the majority of our suppliers is in conversation with bluesign technologies ag or already working on a bluesign screening.
- G-Star is working together with Solidaridad and International Finance Corporation (IFC) in the ‘Cleaner Production Programme’ in Bangladesh. This programme is focused on doing assessments at factories on water, energy, dye and chemical usage. Based on the assessment factories receive support to produce with less water, energy and chemicals and to invest in new technologies. Several suppliers of G-Star participate in this programme.
- An extension of the Cleaner Production programme is the WaterPaCT programme in Bangladesh. G-Star signed up for this programme in 2013. The goal of WaterPaCT is to reach a reduction of water and energy consumption, improved chemical management, reduction of wastewater generation, improved water quality, and improved Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) conditions. The programme has a proposed lead time of 4 years and several suppliers of G-Star will participate.
- All suppliers G-Star works with in Bangladesh are either a Bluesign member or will participate in the WaterPaCT programme.
- Our GSRD Foundation supports projects focused on education and entrepreneurship in all our production countries, including Bangladesh. This way, we aim to offer the local community chances for a better future. Currently, the GSRD Foundation supports six education and vocational training projects in Bangladesh. A detailed description of the projects can be found on gsrdfoundation.com.
Fire and Building Safety
On the 14th of May, G-Star has publicly committed to support the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. Within this agreement brands, suppliers, the Bangladeshi government, Industry Associations, NGOs and Trade Unions work together on a structural improvement of the safety in the Bangladeshi garment sector. The signatory brands finance and implement a joint fire and building safety programme that includes safety inspections and fire safety training at supplier factories.
Because cooperation between stakeholders in the industry is crucial for a structural improvement of the safety in the garment sector, the programme will build on the National Action Plan on Fire Safety (NAP) that is agreed by the Bangladeshi Government, Industry Associations and Trade Unions. G-Star also welcomes the strong role within the Accord for the International Labour Organization (ILO).
For more information, please visit the website of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh: www.bangladeshaccord.org.
January 2013 - RAW Sustainable: from niche to mainstream
We aim to gradually increase the use of environmentally friendly materials in our collection. To boost the use of such materials we started the RAW Sustainable programme over two years ago. This programme was entirely made of innovative sustainable materials and consisted of the lines RAW Nettle, RAW Recycled and RAW Organic.
Since then sustainable materials have taken a permanent place in our design process. It is now time to expand and change our focus to making our entire collection more sustainable. As of the Spring Summer 2013 collection that is currently in stores, RAW Sustainable is the name for all items in the collection that contain sustainable materials. These items are present throughout the G-Star collection. With this change we have been able to increase the percentage of sustainable materials in our collection. We mostly use the sustainable materials organic cotton, recycled cotton, recycled polyester and tencel in our products.
RAW Sustainable items are recognisable by a RAW Sustainable label. The label explains customers that these items contain sustainable materials and contribute towards minimising the environmental impact of the G-Star collection. The RAW Sustainable items are indicated as such in the G-Star online shop as well.