Dr. Denim takes a fact-based approach to sustainability and applies the following principles:
1: ”Kaizen” The path towards sustainability must build on a principle of continuous improvement step by step. Sustainability is a broad area that applies not only the fibers used but also the use of water, chemicals, transportation and packaging.
2: “Long life over fast fashion” Dr. Denim develops quality products that last longer and don’t go out of fashion. When you are done with your jeans or your t-shirt, you should be able to give them to a friend or sell them second hand. Garments don't belong in landfills.
3: “Volume over greenwashing” Sustainability is not about how many ‘options’ there are that are sustainable; it’s about the total quantity delivered, so we put the greatest effort into our volume products because that's what makes the biggest difference.
By the from time to time applicable definitions of ‘sustainable’ it is Dr. Denim’s goal to ship more than half of the goods by mass with at least one sustainability flag by 2023.
Cotton is great in many ways - it has great properties and a great historic value for denim heads given that the first jeans were made of cotton - but it also has its downsides. We source the best cotton we can. Typically we work with pure organic cotton but in some instances we work with blended organic cotton. Regardless, it gets certified as OCS and it can be OCS 100 or OCS blended https://certifications.controlunion.com/en/certification-programs/certification-programs/ocs-blended-organic-content-standard. A tag indicating ”organic cotton” is affixed to all garments with certified organic cotton, both blended and grade 100. We don't yet have this in all our cotton products but we're working on it.
Dr. Denim is a member of the Swedish chemical’s group (Kemikaliegruppen) and as such, our chemical policy is stricter than both the EU directive 1907/2006 “REACH” and California Prop. 65. The complete REACH chemicals list can be found here https://echa.europa.eu/candidate-list-table
We mix Lyocell, Tencel, Modal and Polyester when suitable and possible, with cotton, to make garments more durable or to gain a lower HIGG index score. The HIGG index is a score that rates the entire footprint of the product. You can read more about HIGG here https://apparelcoalition.org/the-higg-index/
Dr. Denim is a member of Amfori. As members of Amfori, we adopt Amfori's standard code of conduct. Amfori is a system for implementing and following up adherence to Amfori's standard code of conduct in manufacturing. The latest version of the code of conduct: https://www.amfori.org/content/bsci-code-conduct
Amfori and its participants pursue a dialogue among business partners and stakeholders to reinforce the principles of socially responsible business.
The Amfori (BSCI) Code of conduct refers to international conventions such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Children’s Rights and Business Principles, UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights, OECD Guidelines, UN Global Compact and International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions and Recommendations relevant to improve working conditions in the supply chain.
Dr. Denim does not use any of the following materials for reasons relating to animal welfare:
- Feathers and down
- Bone, horn and shell
- Angora wool
- Leather (since 2019)
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT - TRANSPORTATION
At Dr. Denim we believe it's important to address the total impact on human health and the planet based on data.
MODE OF TRANSPORTATION
The table below shows that from an emissions perspective, sea freight is by far the least harmful mode of transport, and it is the primary mode of transport we use at Dr. Denim.
By shipping full containers on large bulk container ships, the environmental impact of transporting one pair of Dr. Denim jeans is minimized compared with small scale transport.
A small share of the Dr. Denim volume is transported by truck, from Turkey to Sweden.
It does happen that we have to use air freight. We do everything we can to minimize this.
It's not as simple as saying that local made is better. Sea freight from Asia to Europe scores pretty well in terms of atmospheric pollutants if you compare to truck from countries closer by.
Source: OECD –The Environmental Effects of Freight –Table 18
Dr. Denim strives to minimize the use of packaging material wherever possible, but there is a sweet spot between reducing packaging material and the quantity of damaged goods. The environmental consequence of a damaged product is greater than the addition of a plastic bag that is recycled.
Dr. Denim uses low-density polythene plastic bags and with recycling symbol PE-LD and which are BHT-free as well as free of polyvinylchloride to protect products during transportation.
These polybags are biodegradable, but it takes time. Therefore, they should never be littered openly. Please always dispose of plastic in appropriate recycling bins. Compostable bags currently decompose too quickly – even before the product may be sold, which spoils the product. Therefore, it's currently not viable for us to change into such plastic bags, because the footprint of spoiled garments is worse using a low-density polythene bag and recycling the bag after use.
Dr. Denim uses acrylic based low-density polyethylene tape to seal cartons.
Cartons used for inbound shipping are re-used for export purposes to further minimize the use of packaging material.
Would you like to know more?
Do you know something you think we ought to know about that could potentially improve our work towards sustainability?
Or maybe you'd just like to talk about denim with someone like-minded?
Don't hesitate to get in touch with us! We'd love to have a chat with you.