FAQ

The topic of sus­taina­bi­li­ty is very diver­se and some­ti­mes high­ly com­plex. You will find the ans­wers to the most fre­quent­ly asked ques­ti­ons on this page! Is your ques­ti­on not inclu­ded, or would you like to know more about sus­taina­bi­li­ty at Ket­tel­hack? Then feel free to con­ta­ct us!

Envi­ron­ment

EMAS stands for Eco-Manage­ment and Audit Sche­me and is a Euro­pean stan­dard for envi­ron­men­tal manage­ment systems.

An envi­ron­men­tal manage­ment sys­tem is part of an over­all manage­ment sys­tem and inclu­des, for examp­le, envi­ron­men­tal poli­cy, struc­tu­ral and pro­cess con­trol and envi­ron­men­tal objec­ti­ves. EMAS or ISO 14001:2015 are examp­les of stan­dar­di­sed envi­ron­men­tal manage­ment systems.

The EMAS requi­re­ments inclu­de ISO 14001:2015 at their core, but go bey­ond this stan­dard in some respects. In addi­ti­on to the obli­ga­to­ry annu­al publi­ca­ti­on of an envi­ron­men­tal state­ment, EMAS also con­si­ders all direct (and indi­rect) sources of envi­ron­men­tal impact by a company.

You can find more infor­ma­ti­on about our envi­ron­men­tal manage­ment sys­tem accord­ing to EMAS → here!

STeP by OEKO-TEX® is a cer­ti­fi­ca­ti­on that rela­tes to a com­pa­ny and its pro­duc­tion pro­ces­ses. STeP stands for Sus­tainab­le Tex­ti­le & Lea­ther Pro­duc­tion and fol­lows a holistic approach. This is becau­se this modu­lar cer­ti­fi­ca­ti­on sys­tem takes a look at dif­fe­rent are­as of the com­pa­ny, e.g. che­mi­cals management.

You can find more info on this stan­dard → here!

Fibres

Lyo­cell, also known under the brand name TENCEL™, is an indus­tri­al­ly pro­du­ced rege­ne­ra­ted cel­lu­lo­se fib­re made from cel­lu­lo­se using the direct sol­vent pro­cess. It is main­ly used in the tex­ti­le indus­try, but also for non­wo­vens and tech­ni­cal app­li­ca­ti­ons. The cel­lu­lo­se is extrac­ted from the raw mate­ri­al wood. The manu­fac­tu­rer Len­zing is one of the lar­gest pro­du­cers of this cel­lu­lo­se fib­re and mar­kets it under the brand name TENCEL™.

You can find more info on our fib­re stars → here!

In fact, the water con­sump­ti­on is signi­fi­cant­ly hig­her com­pa­red to the syn­the­tic fib­re poly­es­ter, but this is also due to the fact that it is an agri­cul­tu­ral pro­duct. Agri­cul­tu­re accounts for about 70 per cent of glo­bal water con­sump­ti­on, with cot­ton accoun­ting for only 3 per cent.

Irri­ga­ti­on in cot­ton pro­duc­tion is pre­do­mi­nant­ly (at about 55 per cent) rain-fed. Arti­fi­cial irri­ga­ti­on of the fiel­ds is tar­ge­ted due to eco­no­mic cons­traints cau­sed by the cost of water, pumps and the necessa­ry labour. In India and the USA, about one third of the cul­ti­va­ted area is arti­fi­cial­ly irri­ga­ted, in Chi­na up to 95 per cent and in Paki­stan 100 per cent. Howe­ver, tar­ge­ted irri­ga­ti­on can also lead to an incre­a­se in yiel­ds of up to 400 per cent – ther­eby incre­a­sing the effi­ci­en­cy of land use.

Recy­cled poly­es­ter is obtai­ned eit­her from was­te stem­ming from pro­duc­tion pro­ces­ses (pre-con­su­mer was­te) or from con­su­mer was­te (post-con­su­mer was­te), for examp­le, PET beverage bot­t­les. We only use recy­cled poly­es­ter of the REPREVE® brand from Uni­fi. Uni­fi is one of the lea­ding manu­fac­tu­rers of recy­cled poly­es­ter and sets new stan­dards with its REPREVE® brand. Mecha­ni­cal recy­cling makes the fib­re pro­du­ced more envi­ron­ment­al­ly friend­ly than vir­gin poly­es­ter. We have the authen­ti­ci­ty of the goods ensu­red by an addi­tio­nal inspec­tion at Unifi.

Recy­cled poly­es­ter is obtai­ned eit­her from was­te stem­ming from pro­duc­tion pro­ces­ses (pre-con­su­mer was­te) or from con­su­mer was­te (post-con­su­mer was­te), for examp­le, PET beverage bot­t­les. We only use recy­cled poly­es­ter of the REPREVE® brand from Uni­fi, which is recy­cled in a mecha­ni­cal pro­cess. Mecha­ni­cal recy­cling makes the fib­re pro­du­ced more envi­ron­ment­al­ly friend­ly than vir­gin polyester.

The actu­al eco­lo­gi­cal advan­ta­ge of recy­cled poly­es­ter is made clear by the Higg Mate­ri­als Sus­taina­bi­li­ty Index (MSI for short). Com­pa­red to the nor­mal poly­es­ter with an MSI score of 11.2, the mecha­ni­cal­ly recy­cled poly­es­ter scores much bet­ter with 2.3. The MSI eva­lua­tes the envi­ron­men­tal impact of dif­fe­rent mate­ri­als using a life cycle ana­ly­sis. Four impact cate­go­ries are asses­sed: Glo­bal war­ming, eutro­phi­ca­ti­on, water scar­ci­ty and resour­ce depletion.

Sup­ply chain

We exclu­si­ve­ly pro­cess high-qua­li­ty raw fab­ric made of long-stap­le fib­re mate­ri­als, whe­ther cot­ton, poly­es­ter or lyo­cell. Due to the high qua­li­ty stan­dards of our fab­rics and the glo­ba­li­sa­ti­on of the tex­ti­le indus­try, sourcing on inter­na­tio­nal mar­kets is essential.

We buy about a third of our raw fab­ric from just next door: At a spin­ning and wea­ving mill that belon­ged to our com­pa­ny until 2011 and is only two rol­ling gates away. We source other fab­rics, espe­cial­ly ring yarn, with the sup­port of our long-stan­ding part­ners from Paki­stan and Tur­key. We have been working tog­e­ther with most of the pro­du­cers for many years.

You can find more infor­ma­ti­on on our sup­ply chains → here!

Due dili­gence is the pro­cess of due dili­gence that com­pa­nies should under­ta­ke, accord­ing to the OECD Gui­de­li­nes for Mul­ti­na­tio­nal Enter­pri­ses, to iden­ti­fy, avoid and miti­ga­te the actu­al (and poten­ti­al) nega­ti­ve effects ari­sing from their ope­ra­ti­ons, sup­ply chains and other busi­ness rela­ti­ons­hips, and to account for how they address the­se effects.

The OECD (Orga­ni­sa­ti­on for Eco­no­mic Co-ope­ra­ti­on and Deve­lo­p­ment) is an inter­na­tio­nal orga­ni­sa­ti­on with 37 mem­ber sta­tes com­mit­ted to the pil­lars of demo­cra­cy and mar­ket eco­no­my. The OECD also sees its­elf as a forum in which governments exchan­ge their expe­ri­en­ces and work out solu­ti­ons to com­mon problems.

At Ket­tel­hack, we imple­ment due dili­gence requi­re­ments pri­ma­ri­ly through our risk-based sup­ply chain manage­ment and envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion mea­su­res at our pro­duc­tion site. We are also sup­por­ted in this endea­vour by our various mem­bers­hips in cor­re­spon­ding orga­ni­sa­ti­ons, for examp­le, the Part­ners­hip for Sus­tainab­le Textiles.

You can find more infor­ma­ti­on on the topic of sup­ply chains → here!

Part­ners­hip for Sus­tainab­le Textiles

The Part­ners­hip for Sus­tainab­le Tex­ti­les is com­mit­ted to a social, eco­lo­gi­cal and cor­rup­ti­on-free tex­ti­le and garment indus­try — an indus­try that respects the rights of all workers, pro­tects the cli­ma­te and the envi­ron­ment, and ope­ra­tes with inte­gri­ty and wit­hin pla­ne­ta­ry bounda­ries. To achie­ve this, the Tex­ti­le Part­ners­hip is gui­ded by the fun­da­men­tal inter­na­tio­nal agree­ments of the UN on the obser­van­ce of human and workers’ rights, envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and the pre­ven­ti­on of cor­rup­ti­on, as well as by cor­re­spon­ding gui­de­li­nes and initia­ti­ves of the EU. To achie­ve its goals, the Tex­ti­le Part­ners­hip pla­ces par­ti­cu­lar empha­sis on the imple­men­ta­ti­on of cor­po­ra­te due dili­gence in Ger­ma­ny, Euro­pe and worldwide.

Infor­ma­ti­on on our mem­bers­hip in the Part­ners­hip for Sus­tainab­le Tex­ti­les can be found → here!

With the review pro­cess, the Part­ners­hip for Sus­tainab­le Tex­ti­les has deve­lo­ped its own imple­men­ta­ti­on stan­dard and repor­ting for­mat for due dili­gence. It repres­ents the indi­vi­du­al respon­si­bi­li­ty of com­pa­nies to imple­ment due dili­gence in their sup­ply net­work. The aim of the review pro­cess is for com­pa­nies to ana­ly­se and effec­tively pre­vent the most serious social, envi­ron­men­tal and cor­rup­ti­on risks.

After a fun­da­men­tal revi­si­on, the review pro­cess has now taken place in its new form for the first time. It now focu­ses more stron­gly than befo­re on con­ti­nuous impro­ve­ment in line with OECD requi­re­ments and on cor­po­ra­te due dili­gence (see OECD Due Dili­gence Gui­d­ance for Respon­si­ble Sup­ply Chains in the Garment & Foot­we­ar Sec­tor). Through an ambi­tious imple­men­ta­ti­on of due dili­gence, the Tex­ti­le Part­ners­hip mem­bers also want to achie­ve an impro­ve­ment in the living and working con­di­ti­ons of peop­le in the coun­tries whe­re tex­ti­les are produced.

In recent mon­ths, the com­pa­nies ana­ly­sed and prio­ri­ti­sed social, envi­ron­men­tal and cor­rup­ti­on risks in their busi­ness acti­vi­ties and value chain. They were gui­ded by ele­ven sec­tor risks, which inclu­de, for examp­le, wages and working hours, green­house gas emis­si­ons and the use of che­mi­cals. Based on the­se, they set tar­gets for the most serious risks and defi­ned mea­su­res for the next two years. They ent­e­red all this into the Partnership’s own repor­ting tool, Tex­PerT. The revi­si­on of the review pro­cess is also accom­pa­nied by a chan­ge in the per­spec­ti­ve of risk assess­ment: Whe­re­as pre­vious­ly the focus was pri­ma­ri­ly on eco­no­mic risks for the own com­pa­ny, now it is more about the ques­ti­on of what risks the own busi­ness acti­vi­ty poses for other actors and for the envi­ron­ment in the sup­ply chain.

For the first time, the­re were one-day eva­lua­ti­on mee­tings for con­sul­ta­ti­on and review. A tan­dem of the Part­ners­hip secre­ta­ri­at and an exter­nal ser­vice pro­vi­der eva­lua­ted the indi­vi­du­al pro­gress sin­ce the last review pro­cess. Tog­e­ther with the com­pa­ny, they dis­cus­sed in detail the risk ana­ly­sis as well as the cur­rent goals and mea­su­res. The tan­dem che­cked, among other things, whe­ther the goals were deri­ved from the risk ana­ly­sis in a mea­ning­ful and com­pre­hen­si­ble way and whe­ther the goals were ambi­tious. After the mee­ting, the com­pa­nies were able to revi­se their risk ana­ly­sis as well as the goals and measures.

Much of the infor­ma­ti­on we pro­vi­ded in the review pro­cess has been publis­hed and can be view­ed on the Tex­ti­le Part­ners­hip web­site. You can find Kettelhack’s report -> here.

The online review reports con­sist of four parts:

  • The com­pa­ny pro­fi­le con­tains gene­ral com­pa­ny infor­ma­ti­on, infor­ma­ti­on on the value chain and sup­ply chain manage­ment, the sourcing model and fibres.
  • The pro­gress report shows whe­ther the mem­ber com­pa­ny has achie­ved the goals set in the last review process.
  • In the road­map, mem­ber com­pa­nies indi­ca­te which of the ele­ven sec­tor risks have been iden­ti­fied in their sup­ply net­works and which tar­gets and mea­su­res have been deri­ved from them. In addi­ti­on, the report descri­bes how the risk ana­ly­sis was prepared.
  • The last part of the report shows which com­p­laint chan­nels exist in the sup­ply chain, how com­p­laints recei­ved will be dealt with and how access to com­p­laint mecha­nisms and reme­dia­ti­on will be promoted.

Stan­dards and certifications

The OEKO-TEX® Stan­dard is a pro­duct cer­ti­fi­ca­ti­on that ensu­res that all com­pon­ents of a pro­duct are tes­ted for harm­ful sub­s­tan­ces. In many cases, the limit values set for STANDARD 100 exceed natio­nal and inter­na­tio­nal legal requirements.

STeP by OEKO-TEX® is a cer­ti­fi­ca­ti­on that rela­tes to a com­pa­ny and its pro­duc­tion pro­ces­ses. STeP stands for Sus­tainab­le Tex­ti­le & Lea­ther Pro­duc­tion and fol­lows a holistic approach. This is becau­se this modu­lar cer­ti­fi­ca­ti­on sys­tem takes a look at dif­fe­rent are­as of the com­pa­ny, e.g. che­mi­cals manage­ment. You can find more infor­ma­ti­on on this stan­dard → here!

Ket­tel­hack is Fairtra­de-cer­ti­fied and thus aut­ho­ri­sed to source, pro­cess and sell raw fab­rics with Fairtra­de cotton.

Through the Fairtra­de cer­ti­fi­ca­ti­on of its cot­ton, the jour­ney taken by the cot­ton can be traced back to its ori­gin. The cer­ti­fied pro­du­cer groups must com­ply with exten­si­ve social and envi­ron­men­tal stan­dards. The mini­mum pri­ce – in line with Fairtra­de princi­ples – ensu­res that pro­duc­tion cos­ts are cove­r­ed. The Fairtra­de pre­mi­um also gives cot­ton coope­ra­ti­ves the oppor­tu­ni­ty to imple­ment com­mu­ni­ty projects.

Howe­ver, Kettelhack’s Fairtra­de cer­ti­fi­ca­ti­on does not mean that all pro­ducts con­tain Fairtra­de cot­ton. Fairtra­de cot­ton may only be sold to cus­to­mers who are also Fairtra­de-cer­ti­fied. For more infor­ma­ti­on on Fairtra­de cot­ton at Ket­tel­hack, click → here!

Che­mi­cals

REACH has been in for­ce sin­ce 2007 and aims to ensu­re a high level of pro­tec­tion for human health and the envi­ron­ment. At the same time, it aims to ensu­re the free move­ment of che­mi­cals in the inter­nal mar­ket, and to pro­mo­te com­pe­ti­ti­ve­ness and inno­va­ti­on. REACH is based on the princip­le that manu­fac­tu­rers, importers and down­stream users take respon­si­bi­li­ty for their che­mi­cals. They must ensu­re that che­mi­cals they manu­fac­tu­re and place on the mar­ket are used safe­ly. The abbre­via­ti­on “REACH” is deri­ved from the Eng­lish tit­le of the regu­la­ti­on: Regu­la­ti­on con­cer­ning the Regis­tra­ti­on, Eva­lua­ti­on, Aut­ho­ri­sa­ti­on and Restric­tion of CHe­mi­cals. The REACH regu­la­ti­on is con­si­de­red one of the stric­test che­mi­cals laws in the world. Fur­ther infor­ma­ti­on on REACH can be found on the →EU web­site and at the →Federal Envi­ron­ment Agen­cy.

The ent­i­re Ket­tel­hack ran­ge is cer­ti­fied accord­ing to OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 and our pro­duc­tion is cer­ti­fied accord­ing to STeP by OEKO-TEX®. The requi­re­ments of the cur­rent ZDHC-MRSL are also met.

The estab­lis­hed envi­ron­men­tal manage­ment sys­tem in accordance with the Euro­pean stan­dard EMAS (Eco-Manage­ment and Audit Sche­me) also ensu­res the safe use of che­mi­cals and com­pli­an­ce with all legal requirements.

At Ket­tel­hack, the selec­tion and use of the necessa­ry che­mi­cals are car­ri­ed out with spe­cial care and con­si­de­ra­ti­on of eco­lo­gi­cal stan­dards. We source our dyes and auxi­li­a­ries from repu­ta­ble sup­pliers in Ger­ma­ny, the Nether­lands and Switzerland.

Our legal regis­ter ser­ves to ensu­re legal cer­tain­ty at all times. Fur­ther­mo­re, we are invol­ved in various, rele­vant indus­try asso­cia­ti­ons and are kept up-to-speed about the latest deve­lo­p­ments through the­se channels.

You can find more infor­ma­ti­on on our che­mi­cals manage­ment → here!

An MRSL is about pre­ven­ting cer­tain che­mi­cals from ent­e­ring the pro­duc­tion pro­cess. An RSL, on the other hand, focu­ses on the pre­sence of spe­ci­fic che­mi­cals in the final pro­duct. Both lists may con­tain some of the same sub­s­tan­ces, but with dif­fe­rent limit values. Rea­sons for inclu­ding che­mi­cals in an MRSL or RSL may be, for examp­le, legal requi­re­ments or avoiding poten­ti­al all­er­gic reactions.

You want to know more about che­mi­cals in the tex­ti­le indus­try? Then “Deto­xing the Fashion Indus­try for Dum­mies” is just the thing for you! This hand­book sim­pli­fies com­plex issu­es and offers valu­able insights into the world of tex­ti­le che­mi­cals along the way. Under­stand­a­ble for ever­yo­ne, avail­ab­le free of char­ge for ever­yo­ne! You can find the manu­al → here! 

Without dyes, the­re can be no colou­red, high-per­for­mance fab­rics. But other important pro­per­ties, such as a water-repel­lent func­tion of the fab­ric, are not pos­si­ble without the use of auxi­li­a­ry materials.

In the work­we­ar sec­tor, the fab­ric pri­ma­ri­ly ser­ves to pro­tect the wea­rer. But the fab­ric can also make the wearer’s work easier. At Ket­tel­hack, the selec­tion and use of the necessa­ry che­mi­cals are car­ri­ed out with spe­cial care and con­si­de­ra­ti­on of eco­lo­gi­cal standards.

You can find more infor­ma­ti­on on our che­mi­cals manage­ment → here!