REI’s Private Brands division has committed to using only 100 percent bluesign-certified fabrics by the time it launches its 2018 product lines. REI’s private label brand is the largest source of apparel and equipment sold by the U.S outdoor retailer.
Swiss-based Bluesign Technologies AG is a system for managing the environmental impacts of fabric manufacturing. The bluesign standard seeks to prevent chemicals of concern from entering into materials at each step of the manufacturing process. Textile mills producing bluesign-certified fabrics must meet strict standards for handling chemicals, protecting worker safety and properly treating water and air emissions. As part of this process, bluesign ensures that mills also have invested in energy and water efficiency measures, says the organization.
“Creating products with the highest level of environmental responsibility and customer care is a core component of delivering innovative products to our customers,” said Kathleen Peterson, vice president of REI Private Brands. “Our supply chains are enormously complex. That’s why we need ways to analyze the full supply chain—from raw chemicals to finished products.”
REI has been a bluesign member since 2008. During that time Private Brands has converted 25 percent of the fabrics used for REI-branded apparel to the bluesign certification.