Taking responsibility to secure the future
Sustainability and social responsibility have been at the heart of Odlo's corporate culture since the company was founded 70 years ago. As a quality-conscious Swiss company with a long family tradition, it is particularly important for us to run our business in line with these principles. We take our social and environmental responsibilities seriously, as we want future generations to also enjoy sporting activities in a beautiful natural environment.
The best way to reduce the environmental impact of the products we buy and use it to choose clothing that is durable and take care of it while we still use and wear it.
Each washing of clothes consumes water and energy and therefore 20% of the environmental impact within a products life are caused by the laundry we do at home. Following the proper washing instructions significantly extends the life of your clothing and decreases its environmental impact. All products are labelled with their material composition and care instructions. This helps our customers to care for their products properly and prolong their active use!
An important part of a textile product's total environmental impact is related to how long the product can be used before it is worn out. Odlo only manufactures and sells products that are guaranteed to be durable and long-lasting. We believe this makes an important contribution to promoting sustainability in our society. A number of different management systems and measures have been put in place to ensure we continue to provide our customers with this guarantee in the years to come.
As early as the 1990s, Odlo signed a code of conduct with its manufacturers.
Code of Conduct & FWF questionnaire
All manufacturers are required to sign the Odlo Code of Conduct (see “The Odlo Code of Conduct”), confirming that they have filled out the FWF questionnaire accurately and in full. By signing they agree on the labour practices and that they are prepared to implement all necessary measures within their company to fulfil them. All manufacturers are required to sign the Odlo Code of Conduct (see “The Odlo Code of Conduct”), confirming that they have filled out the FWF questionnaire accurately and in full. By signing they agree on the labour practices and that they are prepared to implement all necessary measures within their company to fulfil them.
In 2009 it was revised to get in line with the requirements of the Fair Wear Foundation and had it re-signed by each of the manufacturers.
This most restrictive code on the market is based on the conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Its major points are:
Odlo is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation (FWF), which endeavours to improve labour conditions in the textile industry worldwide. FWF verifies that producers abide by its code of conduct and make appropriate improvements.
FWF’s independence is guaranteed because it is governed by trade unions, NGOs and business associations. Transparency and accountability are key principles of the organisation. FWF members work towards improving the labour conditions in factories that produce sewn textiles all over the world.
The basis for the collaboration between FWF and its members is its code of labour practices. Eight labour standards form the core of this code of conduct. FWF members are contractually obliged to comply with these standards. FWF verifies whether companies comply with the code of labour practices through factory audits and complaint procedures, through audits of its members’ management system and through extensive stakeholder consultations in producer countries.
FWF shares its knowledge and (local) contacts with its member companies, providing them with access to information on local legislation, labour legislation and culture. Members are required to set up an effective monitoring system, including factory audits, factory trainings and factory visits.
FWF has a complaint procedure that enables factory workers to anonymously report any abuses related to labour conditions.
For more information about Fair Wear Foundation: www.fairwear.org
Odlo's commitment to the environment is reflected in our underwear and Tec-shirts range, which holds STANDARD 100 BY OEKOTEX® certification. This guarantees that the materials we use contain no harmful substances.
Odlo only works with material suppliers who are STANDARD 100 BY OEKOTEX®and/or bluesign-certified, have their own certified testing facilities or work very closely with an independent laboratory.
As of 2017, Odlo became a member of Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) and therefore is joining a large network within the global textile industry.
With this, we aim to improve our sustainability performance as well as to encourage our supplier to join our efforts.
The industry initiative describes itself and its tools:
"The Sustainable Apparel Coalition is the apparel, footwear and home textile industry's foremost alliance for sustainable production. The Coalition's main focus is on building the Higg Index, a standardized supply chain measurement tool for all industry participants to understand the environmental and social and labor impacts of making and selling their products and services. By measuring sustainability performance, the industry can address inefficiencies, resolve damaging practices, and achieve the environmental and social transparency that consumers are starting to demand. By joining forces in a Coalition, we can address the urgent, systemic challenges that are impossible to change alone."
To learn more, have a look at http://apparelcoalition.org/
From January till May 2017 the first assessment of the HIGG-Index will be done internally. You will hear more details about the membership activities after having the results and conclusions from Odlo's first HIGG-Index.
Odlo continues to use mainly synthetic fibres, though it also uses natural materials such as wool and down. Odlo is committed to ensuring that these natural products are obtained using fair production methods. Practices such as "mulesing" are strictly forbidden when sourcing wool. The down used is a by-product of the meat production industry and is guaranteed not to involve live plucking or force-feeding.
We do our best to ensure that materials are generally sourced from regions close to the manufacturing site in order to avoid unnecessary transportation.
Where possible, we avoid the use of PFOA/PFOS in our water-repellent finishes. 95% of Odlo products with a DWR (durable water-repellent) finish are treated using a fluorocarbon-free product, and we are working hard to ensure that we hit the 100% FC-free mark as soon as possible.
Odlo only works with material suppliers who are Öko - tex and/or bluesign-certified, have their own certified testing facilities or work very closely with an independ - ent laboratory. The company's underwear and Tec Shirt ranges are Ökotex 100-certified.
Of course Odlo also avoids the use of PVC and nickel in its components and, here too, only uses products that have been tested for their environmental compatibility. We take great care to select top-quality materials, as this lays the foundation for creating products that are designed to last.
Odlo attaches a great deal of importance to building long-term working relationships with suppliers at all levels. As a result, in many areas we have the exclusive rights to particular materials.
The Odlo sourcing is based on a dual-principle strategy. This system allows to cover all the wide range of products in every Odlo collection.
PRINCIPLE 1: OWN PRODUCTION
Whenever possible in terms of capacity and know-how, new garments or additional production volumes are manufactured by our own factories in Portugal and Romania.
PRINCIPLE 2: LONG-TERM PARTNERSHIPS
Many other brands use hundreds of different manufacturers, encouraging them to compete with each other and changing them every season. Odlo aims for longterm partnership with a small number of manufacturer and prefers to follow its motto of “less is more”. This policy enables the manufacturers to plan for the long term, which increases their stability and job security.
Wherever possible, Odlo tries to transport goods by sea, as this is the most economical and environmentally-friendly option.
Decisions on transportation methods are heavily influenced by the origin of the products in question. In terms of organisation, transporting products from Asia is very different to transporting products from Europe.
Through careful planning and order tracking and the regular exchange of information with our manufacturers, last year we were able to keep the percentage of goods transported by air to just 4%.
For the 11th consecutive year Odlo International has taken part in the national “bike to work” initiative organized by the association “Velo Schweiz”. For one month, employees commute to work by bicycle, in combination with a team competition about the long - est distance taken as a team. In this way, they made a positive contribution not only to their own fitness but also to the environment.
This stands for a health and fitness package available for Odlo employees at the Swiss headquarters in Hünenberg. It offers employees a variety of activities such as indoor fitness centre, inhouse yoga lessons or a weekly run club.
Odlo supports a variety of internal and external sports events, thus promoting popular sports, employee health and the development of young athletes.
The experiences of recent years have motivated us to intensify our commitment to the future. The textile val ue chain is long and complex, as is the list of social and environmental challenges that we face. We understand our responsibilities. We believe our contribution to society and the environment is also contributing to Odlo's success as a company. This belief lies at the heart of Odlo's ongoing CSR strategy. We are expanding our sustainability strategy throughout the value chain in terms of the environment and society.
We cannot do it alone. Sustainability affects everyone, whatever their age and wherever they live. We can only make this next step with our products if we work with our stakeholders to find new ways of building success - ful, sustainable businesses. This is our contribution to society and to a sustainable future. We believe the social and environmental challenges that society is facing harbour the potential for great innovation. We intend to take this opportunity to continue to build the Odlo brand and let our products inspire our customers to ever greater heights in their sporting activities.
More information on sustainability and social responsibility can be found in our Sustainability Report 2015/16.