Dutch textile agreement
We pledge to work towards a better, more responsible fashion industry. This is not something that we or anybody else can do on our own. That is why in 2018 we joined industry associations, trade unions, NGOs, and the National Government of the Netherlands in signing the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile (AGT). Everyone who signs the AGT is committed to improving economic and environmental conditions throughout our supply chains.
That means that we have pledged to eliminate discrimination, child labour and forced labour throughout our supply chain. We ask our partners to pay a fair wage, provide decent health and safety standards for workers, and ensure the right of independent trade unions to negotiate. To protect the planet, we and our partners pledge to reduce the negative impact of our activities on the environment, prevent animal abuse, reduce the amount of water, energy and chemicals in our production processes and generate less chemical waste.
None of these goals will be realized overnight. Our efforts and progress towards these goals is assessed by the AGT, to whom we provide full information on our production sites. The veracity of this information is checked by the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER), and audit inspections are executed by certified audit companies.
Sustainability is not a short-term goal. Making all our operations sustainable is a long, challenging, intensive process and we wish to be as transparent as possible in how we move towards the targets we have set for ourselves. These goals, and our progress towards them, are set out in a Sustainability Roadmap that we have published online in order to share our goals with everyone in our network, from the people and partners we work with to our customers.
The roadmap sets out our goals and progress towards sustainability from 2018 – 2025. Each year we track our progress towards the standards we wish to attain in the following areas: Social Compliancy, Materials, Environmental, Product safety.
Code of Conduct
To reach our sustainability targets we must demand the best from ourselves and everyone we work with. As our partners are spread around the world, we have implemented a code of conduct that sets out the standards that Profuomo and all our partners must adhere to ensure we conduct business responsibly and with respect for people and the planet.
Everyone who works for, and with, Profuomo must respect human rights, eliminate child labour, provide safe work places, good environmental practices and animal welfare. These standards are set out in the Profuomo Code of Conduct, which is based on the 13 topics of the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) Code of Conduct. In addition, the Profuomo Code of Conduct contains other themes that we find of vital importance, such as transparency, animal welfare and the safe use of chemicals. It must be signed by every supplier that delivers to Profuomo.
Making clothes is a long, chemically intensive process. While we do our best to minimize the use of toxic materials in our production process, it’s impossible to dye or finish fabrics without using chemical substances. To limit the environmental impact of this process we ensure that all the chemicals and additives (e.g. dyes, finishes) used in the production of Profuomo apparel conform to EU and other international standards.
To further reduce the use of hazardous substances in our textile and apparel supply chain we have created a Restricted Substances List (M)RSL. This list contains all the chemicals that are banned or restricted in the production of Profuomo apparel. It is distributed to all our supplies, all of whom are obliged to conform to it. To further reduce the use of hazardous substances in our textile and apparel supply chain we have created a Restricted Substances List (M)RSL. This list contains all the chemicals that are banned or restricted in the production of Profuomo apparel. It is distributed to all our supplies, all of whom are obliged to conform to it.
To make sure we stay on top of the latest legislation the Profuomo (M)RSL is updated every year. This ensures not only the minimal use of chemicals in our manufacturing process, but also improvements in wet processing in the country of origin (e.g. managing waste water and energy use).
The transport of materials and finished apparel is responsible for a large part of our impact on the environment. The first step we are taking to minimize transportation is searching for production locations closer to, and in, Europe. Until we have found suitable sites, we focus on using ‘slow transport’ and couriers who are also looking to increase their sustainability. Slow transport is travel at slower speeds. This reduces fuel consumption, which in turn reduces pollution. Currently we use ships and rail as forms of slow transport to get our goods from Asia to Europe.
Our partner for shipping pallets is Quicargo. This is a real-time transport platform that identifies empty space across different carriers in the Benelux to maximize efficiency and Co2 reduction.
For logistics the company we work with most is DHL. We use three of their services: DHL Global Forwarding, which transports 90% of our Asia imports by sea or train; DHL parcel, which is working on reducing C02 emissions by using more electric delivery cars; DHL Express, which is an air service, and therefore produces significantly more CO2 emissions. To lower the environmental impact of these deliveries we ask suppliers to collect and combine shipments.
Our packaging consists primarily of carton for shipping and plastic polybags to protect our products.
Our goal for carton is to use only 100% FSC certified carton by 2020. The FSC 100% label attests that all the wood used to make the carton comes from FSC-certified, well-managed forests.
We are stopping the use of plastic bags in our stores and use recyclable and PVC free polybags.
A major part of our plastic consumption concerns the bags used to protect the finished shirts our suppliers send to Profuomo. These must be strong enough to protect the garment sufficiently during transportation and stock keeping. Therefore we specify that the quality of the plastic polybags is 100% recyclable (and BHT and PVC free), and we ask our suppliers to minimize the use of this plastic inner protection as much as possible.
Ultimately our goal is to use bio-based plastic instead of recycled polybags, but the bio-based plastic currently available isn’t high enough in terms of performance and quality. However this will not deter us from achieving our aim of using bio-based plastics in the short term.