Knowing your products is a key for achieving supply chain transparency.
There’s no sustainability without transparency – The Transparency Pledge
At Nudie Jeans we strive to be as transparent as possible on how our products are made. We were early on with the launch of our Production guide in 2013 and in 2020 we presented product level transparency. An important part of being a sustainable brand is having increased transparency internally and for customers and the wider public.
We also support the Transparency Pledge by having a full list of all our suppliers available for download on our website. There can be suppliers appearing in the full supplier list that are not yet presented in the production guide or on product card, the reason is in most cases that we just started production there or that we have not yet made a visit or social audit at that supplier yet.
The Apparel and Footwear Supply Chain Transparency Pledge is an initiative by nine global trade unions and human rights organizations. The initiative was developed to promote deeper and wider transparency in supply chains by getting companies to publish information about the factories in the manufacturing phase of their supply chains. For Nudie Jeans, transparency is a key part of sustainability work. We believe that only by knowing all steps, from the cotton fields, the fabric process, the trims and laundries to the stitching processes all the steps in between, we will be able to address non-compliances and take responsibility in our supply chain. We have full transparency, meaning we have made a visit to the suppliers, for 69% of the suppliers in our supply chain.
We make a significant effort to keep our supply chain as consolidated as possible. To enable consumers to see how everything is connected, in 2013 we developed The Production Guide. It is an essential tool in which we present our supply chain visually on our website, where visitors can click on products for detailed information about the production premises. The Production Guide is updated four times annually according to the collection seasons presented in the Repair Shops. In the Production Guide, we publish information on audit procedures, materials, transportation, audit summaries, and general supplier information. It also lists the raw material suppliers and links to their websites.
In 2020, we took additional steps in our work for transparency by launching transparency at the product level. We initiated a new project to develop and present transparent information at the product level on our website. The goal is to present both social and environmental information for every product, and so far, we have included audit summaries for the audited factories and supplier information for every step in the production chain.
In late 2021 we added all of the suppliers with which we have an established relationship and/or that whom we have visited the Open Apparel Registry. The need for increased transparency in the textile industry We believe transparency in the supply chain is a crucial part of making lasting improvements in the supply chain. If brands do not know where or how products are made, it will be impossible to make any improvements to the conditions in the supply chain. We believe in showing the full supply chain, and not only the first tier of suppliers. We also believe more data should be added to each supplier, to create awareness among consumers of the environmental and social aspects of the products they buy. In 2021, to further push transparency in the industry, we added our suppliers to the Open Apparel Registry.
It is important for us to visit the supply chain partners that produce our products, to understand the conditions in which our products are made, and to build relationships. As seen in the illustration we have visited 100% in Tier 1, 28% in Tier 2, 20% in Tier 3, and 10% in Tier 4. In total, we visited 46 % of our full supply chain, Tier 1 – Tier 4.
To create a more sustainable industry, built on transparency, social and environmental justice, social dialogue, and equal partnerships, industry collaborations are essential. The organizations we have chosen to partner with all have their specific purposes that align with Nudie Jeans’ sustainability work. The most crucial networks for our daily operations are our memberships in STICA, RISE, Fair Wear Foundation, and Textile Exchange.
Fair Wear Foundation
We have been members of Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) since 2009. We have been an active member of the living wage Incubator, where selected FWF brands work with challenges related to implementing a living wage. The latest Brand Performance Check is available on Nudie Jeans’ website, as well as on the FWF website. Nudie Jeans has been in the “Leader” category for seven years in a row, since 2014.
We have been a member of Textile Exchange since 2009. Textile Exchange is a global non-profit organization that works to make the textile industry more sustainable. Textile Exchange inspires and equips people to accelerate sustainable practices in the textile value chain. The organization focuses on minimizing the harmful impact of the global textile industry and maximizing its positive effects.
Swedish Textile Initiative for Climate Action
The purpose of the Swedish Textile Initiative for Climate Action (STICA) is to support the apparel and textile industries and their stakeholders in the Nordic region to, at a minimum, reduce greenhouse gases in line with 1.5C of warming, as outlined by the United Nations Framework on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement.
Since 2015, we been a member of Kemikaliegruppen (The Chemical Group) at the Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE). It is a platform for chemical knowledge in the textile production chain, for staying updated on chemical legislation and regulations, for communicating chemical requirements to our suppliers and for responding to questions from the media and consumers on this issue. We meet four times annually and share experiences and knowledge with other brands, NGOs, experts in the field, and authorities.
The Chetna Coalition is a network of brands, suppliers, and producers with a mutual interest in collaboration on organic cotton growing. Chetna Coalition´s primary level of impact is economic sustainability, with a focus on the drivers of shared value. The top priority is to secure and improve the economic sustainability of the Farmer Producer Organization and the raw material producer community growing the cotton. By communicating the demand, through pre-booking and prepaying of cotton, to the farmers within Chetna Organic, the farmers get the possibility to plan their farming and secure their income. Through our purchase of organic cotton via Chetna Organic we also support the work of Fairtrade foundation.
We joined the program, Sağ Salim, during 2020, aiming to increase transparency in the part of the supply chain not known to most brands, the cotton farmers. The program was initiated by our main fabric supplier and another denim brand and the purpose is to create a grievance channel and capacity building program for cotton farmers, cotton pickers, and agricultural workers in Turkey.
By growing organic and Fairtrade certified cotton, farmers can actually sell their cotton at a higher price than the global market price for conventional cotton. By selling cotton as Fairtrade, the farmers receive a Fairtrade Premium, to invest in their communities, building schools, roads, and health care facilities. The premium is paid with license fees from sold Fairtrade garments. Of the organic cotton we use, the cotton sourced from Chetna Coalition is also Fairtrade certified. This means we have both the positive aspects of organic cotton and the Fairtrade system that guarantees fair working conditions and correct payment to the farmers for their cotton.