Our business sets out to create the best product around, whilst reviewing our processes from beginning to end, to enable us to reduce our environmental impact. We have established a detailed plan across the business to document what we can do, with key dates and targets.
We keep up-to-date with industry standards on sustainability and chemical testing of product through our partnership with the EOG (European Outdoor Group), attending webinars, monthly updates and information exchanges at the Outdoor Trade shows.
Craghoppers is now a Bluesign system partner. This is a globally recognised independent system that verifies compliance throughout the production process. It focuses on 5 guiding principles: Resource Productivity, Consumer Safety, Air and Water emissions and Occupational Health & Safety to guarantee a safely manufactured product through a clean process.
We already work with suppliers who are Bluesign system partners and we actively encourage our other suppliers to become Bluesign system partners too, whilst also obtaining Oekotex certificates from our suppliers as verification.
The Higg Index – Sustainable Apparel Coalition
By January 2018 we will become a licencee for the Higgs index, submitting our first evaluation by May 2018. This self-assessment standard is unique to the apparel and footwear industry and we will be using it to assess our environmental and social sustainability throughout our supply chain.
This will help us, every year, to identify areas for improvement and benchmark our performance against the Industry.
The assessment is based on modules which consider corporate policies and practices in every impact area and at every level of sustainability. We will enter our own data and will receive performance scores broken down by category as well as an overall company score. The scores are displayed anonymously to everyone using this standard which allows other brands and retailers to benchmark their performance and discover where they stand compared to others
Our involvement with the Higg Index will enable us to strive for better improvements where required and ultimately raise the bar on our sustainability efforts.
The Microfibre Consortium
The Microfibre consortium was created by European Outdoor Group, we joined the consortium in June 2017.
The consortium is made up ofa selection of EOG members, all brands, working alongside experts to review and find a solution to reducing the fibre loss during production, wear and washing that has been contaminating our water systems and oceans. Collaborative links exist with sister organisations such as the Scandinavian Outdoor Group, Peak Innovation and also the Boulder (CO, USA) based Outdoor Industry Association.
The members fund and review findings on research that will initially aim to answer and consolidate fundamental questions, such as:
- How much microfibre shedding are we producing?
- How are the fibres being shed?
- What fabric types could be the key offenders?
The desired outcome of this first phase is an open source database that details research findings about the effect polymer, yarn and textile structure may play on Microfibre shedding.
Global attitudes to chemicals have intensified in the past decade. We have seen the introduction of the EU REACH programme’s restricted substance list that began evaluating and regulating chemicals being produced before entering specific countries. Many countries have now begun similar programmes in order to review and restrict harmful chemicals. Each season we evaluate the ranges with a rigorous testing programme in place. The Group reviews all its regulations against global directives to ensure that we are compliant.
Already PFOS and PFOA free, Hawkshead is working to replace DWR (Durable Water Repellent) treatments with PFCs (Perfluorinated compounds) with more environmentally friendly alternatives by 2020.
For our full list of restricted substances can be seen here.
Our warehouses are fitted with high frequency TS light fittings and they are on sensors so the energy used changes to the presence of people in that area. Lighting sensors are also used throughout the offices. We also use low energy usage battery chargers for all our MHE.
Our sites in the UK all comply with waste management legislation and the relevant environmental regulations by recording all movements of general waste.
This is then matched with certificates received from authorised contractors, verifying the appropriate disposal. Clean and foul drain systems are identified where appropriate and comply with the requirements of pollution control regulations. Arrangements are in place to manage chemical spillage with appropriate spill kits installed at all site facilities.
Control of Hazardous Substances
The health, safety and welfare of our employees and anyone else who comes into contact with our operations are of paramount importance.
We ensure that we comply with regulations set out to manage the presence and use of chemicals or substances that may be potentially hazardous to health. This is relevant both within our own operational sites and those of our key supply chain partners.
We have management systems in place that comply with the requirements of The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH). Under these regulations, UK operations evaluate and control the risks to the health of all employees from exposure to hazardous substances at work.
We carry out 3rd party audits on our supply chain manufacturers to verify that they comply with local legislation ensuring as a minimum that:
- Chemicals are well covered and safely stored
- Workers handling chemicals are appropriately trained
- Workers have access to suitable equipment and protective clothing when handling any chemicals
The recycling schemes at our Head Office and warehouse site have recorded 0% office waste in landfill from June 2016 onwards. In 2015, 483 tonnes of paper and 5 tonnes of plastic were recycled
We aim to recycle as much waste as is reasonably possible. At all our operating sites we have recycle centres and we segregate waste streams ready for disposal.
Working with properly registered and licensed contractors, the following waste streams are shipped to recycling facilities:
- Cardboard packaging
- Polythene packaging
- Office paper
- Printer cartridges
- Lamps & lights
- WEEE (electronic equipment)
We do have returned stock and samples and avoid sending any pieces of surplus product to landfill by donating 90% of this to charity. In addition, Craghoppers offer a Lifetime guarantee providing information for the products care and repair. Products are replaced if there is a quality issue.
Our partnership with Newlife - the Charity for Disabled Children supports our environmental commitment and enables us to recycle returned stock to raise much needed money to help provide essential equipment for disabled children.
Newlife has been recycling returned, sample and un-sold textile stock for over 25 years, building its reputation as a leader in the field of recovery and recycling.
How does it work?
The Group donates some end of line stock and samples to Newlife’s commercial recycling division where it is fully de-labelled and de-branded (to prevent fraudulent returns to shops) and sold direct to the public through Newlife’s popular fashion and home retail stores.
Profits generated by the sale of these products help disabled children and their families by providing specialist equipment (wheelchairs, buggies, seats and beds), as well as investing for a better future for children with disabilities supporting medical research into birth defects and campaigning at local and national government level to improve services and access to equipment.
When it comes to sustainability, fabric selection is considered and we have added sustainable fibres such as Bamboo, in the Group’s ranges.
70% of the Craghoppers fleeces are made from recycled plastic bottles. To date we have used over 6 million bottles which if laid end to end would cover the same distance as travelling from Manchester to Rome.
In addition to the product, Craghoppers swing tickets are made from recycled materials and Craghoppers product poly bags are made from Biodegradable materials and are recyclable.
We take our carbon footprint very seriously, especially for our logistics department who are concerned with the transportation of our products from China and Bangladesh to the UK and abroad. We have offices in China and Bangladesh which help us reduce our air miles when we are required to QC our products or visit our suppliers.
We work extremely hard to ensure our shipping company provides 98% container efficiency. In 2012, we joined the Peel Ports Cargo 2000 Initiative which is set to reduce the number of road miles from port to warehouse. We are currently reducing our road miles by 47,000 miles per year.
In 2016, we started to ship more goods by train from China than by air. Based on carrying a 20ft container (one unit) we have reduced our CO2 emissions considerably.