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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!