Esprit has always taken sustainability very seriously; starting in the sixties at the company’s very beginning. Esprit cares about the environment, resources and employees, whether they are direct Esprit employees or working in distant parts of the supply chain.
Being sustainable also means creating high quality fashion that customers can enjoy for a long time, and making sure that we produce this fashion in a responsible way. It is a continuous journey on which we strive every day to make a difference.
It aspires to a cleaner environment, and encourages conscious, and cautious, use of chemicals in the manufacture of its products. Therefore, it does not only require independent test reports on chemical content for every product, Esprit is also one of the few fashion brands that has in-house laboratories where it checks its products for restricted substances as they arrive at its warehouse.
It recognises that it is important not only to confirm that chemicals of concern do not contaminate its products, but also to make sure that there is no deliberate use in the manufacturing process.
This concern is why Esprit joined the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals group (ZDHC) to research and phase out all hazardous chemicals in the global textile supply chain by 2020 through following the Joint Roadmap to Zero. Esprit recognises that this goal requires long term commitment and that it has much to learn before it gets there.
Esprit maintains a publically available Restricted Substances List (RSL) which is revised on an annual basis to ensure that any new substances of concern are quickly brought under control. It is currently preparing to extend this list with a published Manufacturing Restricted Substance List (MRSL). Whereas the traditional RSL targets chemicals in the final product, the MRSL also includes harmful chemicals used in manufacturing that may be washed out, or may otherwise be undetectable in the finished product.
Tighter contractual arrangements with its supply chain to prevent use of APEOs(1) (listed on our RSL) and assure the use of more suitable substitutes in the manufacture of Esprit products. APEOs are chemicals, which are legally used in laundry detergents in the USA and China, but are not permitted in Europe. They have been effectively banned in Esprit products since 2012, but it continues to put efforts on assuring that they do not inadvertently enter the supply chain.
Esprit recently bought the latest generation of in-house test equipment to detect Perfluorinated Carbons (PFOS/PFOA) in our products. These chemicals are used to make fabrics stain- and water-proof. It already conducts comprehensive testing to ensure that PFOS and PFOA are below any legal limits and not used in processing. Its goal is to phase out all Perfluorinated Carbons by the end of 2014.
Esprit is working with its suppliers to encourage increasing transparency. In addition to the published RSL available on its website, it has basic environmental data available for 33 wet processing facilities (Dyehouse, Laundry etc.). It is working with its partners in the ZDHC to encourage greater transparency industry-wide.
Click here to read Discharge Progress Report
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