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Production Part 3

Chemicals

Our challenge is to reduce the use of harmful chemicals and to increase the use of better chemicals.

We recognize that chemicals are needed in the production of textiles, but our challenge is to reduce the use of harmful chemicals and to increase the use of better chemicals. This is a big challenge, but we have taken steps in the right direction. We want all our products to be safe for consumers, the environment, and the people who work in the production process. One way to ensure that our production is safe for the surrounding environment is to only work with suppliers with proper chemical handling procedures and approved wastewater systems, as chemicals released with wastewater are a large source of chemical pollution in some countries.

Nudie Jeans requires all of its suppliers, whether production is outside or within Europe, to comply with European legislation and regulations on chemicals. All Nudie Jeans suppliers must sign and follow our code of conduct including our chemical policy includes a Restricted Substance List (RSL), which regulates chemicals that can remain in the final product and a Manufacturer Restricted Substance List (MRSL), which regulates chemicals used in the production process. The Nudie Jeans chemical policy is based on the European chemical legislation REACH, but with stricter limitations for many of the listed chemicals.

Nudie Jeans chemical policy is in line with the best practices within the textile industry and legislation in our production countries outside the EU. Each season, we conduct random chemical testing to check that the requirements of the Chemical policy are upheld for our production. The Chemical Policy form our basic requirements, and we continuously communicate with our suppliers about the chemicals used, as well as the handling and storage of the chemicals. It is of high importance for the suppliers to provide their employees with the right personal protective equipment (PPE), and also to offer training to increase awareness and knowledge of how to use PPE correctly and why it is important.

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We only work with suppliers with approved wastewater systems, as chemicals released with waste water are a large source of chemical pollution.

Water

Water is one of our most important resources. Access to clean and safe water is crucial for our continued well-being and our existence. As an active player in a very water-intensive industry, we continuously endeavor to reduce water use, but most importantly, we make sure to only work with suppliers with an effective wastewater system in place, to ensure that no contaminated water reaches natural water systems and their ecosystems.

Already at the raw material stage, water use is an important issue to tackle, because cotton needs water to grow. The water consumption of cotton depends primarily on the geographic location of the cotton field, where rainfed cotton farming in a favorable climate is preferable. According to a Textile Exchange report, organic cotton farming has the potential of reducing the blue water consumption with 91%, compared to conventional cotton.

Denim fabric manufacturing also involves significant water consumption. The key part of the process is fabric dyeing. We work with a few carefully selected fabric suppliers for our denim. They are all engaged in sustainability-related issues and develop new technology and methods to save water during the dyeing process.

When it comes to denim washes – which give our denim a worn look – we are also happy to see the rapid development of water-saving methods and technologies at our suppliers. The use of laser technology to create a washed look is a very effective substitute for hand-scraping and classical water washes for example. Using ozone washes decreases the need for water to achieve the same look and numerous water steam machines, sandpaper drums, and other creative developments decrease both water and chemical consumption at this stage.