ESPRIT RELEASES DISCHARGE PROGRESS REPORT
Esprit, the global brand of clothing and life style products, has released a comprehensive Discharge Progress Report and published an extensive table with detailed test results on our wastewater discharges, the Wastewater Discharge Results.
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.
We aspire to a cleaner environment, and encourage conscious, and cautious, use of chemicals in the manufacture of our products. Therefore, we do 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 we check our products for restricted substances as they arrive at our warehouse.
We recognise that it is important not only to confirm that chemicals of concern do not contaminate our product, 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 we have much to learn before we get there. Details of our action plan include:
- 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. We are 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 our 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 we continue 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. We already conduct comprehensive testing to ensure that PFOS and PFOA are below any legal limits and not used in processing. Our goal is to phase out all Perfluorinated Carbons by the end of 2014.
- Esprit is working with our suppliers to encourage increasing transparency. In addition to the published RSL available on our web site, we have basic environmental data available for 33 wet processing facilities (Dyehouse, Laundry etc.). We are working with our partners in the ZDHC to encourage greater transparency industry-wide.
Esprit welcomes engagement with all organisations and stakeholders to increasing sustainability in the global value chains of all industries. Only through collaboration within our industry, and beyond, can we expect to make real and lasting progress.
(1) - APEOs: Alkylphenol Ethoxylates are emulsifiers used in detergents and surfactants. They are banned in Europe, but legal in China and North America. APEOs are on Esprit’s Restricted Substances List of banned chemicals.