Over the years, BITTE KAI RAND has already taken some important steps on this journey – with more to come.…
Since the establishment in 1981 an important value for BITTE KAI RAND has been to behave and act fairly, properly and respectfully in all aspects of our business, like sustainability and social responsibilities.
This implies that we are constantly trying to improve our behaviour and actions as new knowledge and insights emerge in relation to our environmental footprints. We are all facing challenging times, which call for new, better and responsible ways to behave, both as consumers and businesses. Difficult challenges also offer new possibilities. New materials, production methods and ways to use fashion are being developed.
BITTE KAI RAND is committed to actively join this difficult but also exciting journey.
For us, the reduction of environmental footprints is a continuous process consisting of many – major and minor – steps. This process is deeply rooted in our brand’s philosophy and guides our daily operations and processes. Several factors have to be considered: CO2 emissions, pesticides, water consumption, use of agricultural land, waste management, impacts on inland waters, oceans and marine environments, etc.
Our main focus areas are:
The single most important factor determining the sustainability of a garment is how long it will last in use and how long the consumer will find the design attractive and relevant. This regards to fabric quality, workmanship and consumers care of garment.
An important part of our DNA is to design and manufacture clothes that have a long life with our customers.2
The challenge for our Design and Buying team is to integrate our objective of reducing our environmental footprint in the development of new collections.
We prefer to use certified products as much as possible, such as Tencel™ Lyocell, organic cotton, GOTS certified fabrics and FSC certified viscose. Garments are individually labelled when a certified fabric is used.
Our designers also have a preferred list of fabrics creating a smaller footprint like linen, tencel and wool. Since our establishment, linen has been one of our favourite fabrics in the collections because of its properties like longevity, comfort and hand feel. And for being among the group of fabrics least polluting to the environment.
We also use the balanced scores in the HIGG MSI index for environmental impacts of different types of fabrics.
Polyester is a fabric much discussed. Its negative effects are mainly the CO2 emissions and waste issues. However, the positive effects are no use of pesticides, less water needed, no use of agricultural land required and a long lifespan. All together the footprint is smaller than for instance conventional cotton. Polyester is a strong fibre, which we use in blends for increasing the longevity of a piece of garment as in tight pants.3
Our designers are drawing all our prints for each collection and all our Printers and Dye-house Suppliers are OEKO-TEX certified. This ensures that the prints and dyeing of fabrics imprint no harmful chemicals in our garments.
We prefer to use digital prints, which use fewer chemicals and less water than Rotary screen prints.4
We take pride in providing our customers with the best Wash & Care instructions for our clothes. All necessary details of caring are added to the care labels. For instance, if we recommend flat drying of our knitwear, this recommendation will be visible in the care labels along with a piece of advice on how to proceed.
Our ultimate goal is to guide our customers on how to provide their clothes with the best care for prolonging the attractive appearance and ensuring a long-term use of the clothes.5
All plastic bags are now recyclable or made from recycled plastic. Historically, we used a lot of plastic for clothes packaging, plastic-hangers for transport, large plastic bags for each garment, shopping bags in our shops, etcetera.
We have stopped shipping and distributing garments on plastic hangers. By shifting from hanging garments to flat-packed garments, we have reduced the size of the plastic bags by one third, which saves a lot of plastic.
All paper articles and cardboard used in our packaging are FSC or Ecolabel certified.6
Lesser volume because of no hanging garments means lesser CO2 emissions. We aim to change all transportation from Asia from “All sea freight” to “Rail/sea freight”. Rail freight is the greenest way of freight as it has the lowest CO2 emission. Rail infrastructure has a limited capacity but it remains our preferable freight choice.7
BITTE KAI RAND clothes are being manufactured by carefully selected suppliers in EU-countries, Turkey and China.
We put a great emphasis on the establishment and maintenance of long-lasting relations with our suppliers and we do our best to ensure fair and good working conditions for the employees. All suppliers are asked to sign a contract, thereby committing themselves to follow the Code of Conduct based on the 10 principles recommended by the UN Global Compact. All suppliers are frequently visited by a BITTE KAI RAND controller.
Most human activity has severe implication on our climate. BITTE KAI RAND accounts for the negative factors of our production and is committed to their continuous reduction, though perfection might never be reached. Over the years, BITTE KAI RAND has already taken some important steps and is excited to take even more of them…