Sustainability

We care about sustainability

At Norwegian Concept, we have a strong focus on sustainability, and we want to take our share of the responsibility. We recognize that the textile industry has a major negative environmental impact and faces ethical challenges. As a company designing and developing outdoor and kids clothing it’s of great importance to us to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy the same outdoors that we have today. Therefore, we are committed to promoting responsible business practices in our supply chains, so that we can take care of people, society and the environment in the best possible way.

 

How we work with sustainability

We strive for a more sustainable value chain and production of clothes. To do so we have chosen to partner up with member organizations and use third party certifications. Our memberships give us valuable insights and up-to-date knowledge on sustainability in the textile industry. Our certifications give you, our customers, validation and documentation on our sustainability claims.

Still, it is important to be aware that certifications are not perfect and we do not think they automatically make our production sustainable. But it is the best solution we have found so far.

Our memberships, partners and certifications

Member of Ethical Trade Norway

We are a proud member of Ethical Trade Norway since 2013, and we submit annual production system reports which you can find here. Ethical trade Norway is a member based organization and resource center for sustainable trade. They aim to promote responsible business conduct in supply chains so that trade helps to secure human rights, workers rights, society and environment.

Guide Against Greenwashing

We believe it’s important to be able to document our sustainability claims, therefore we try to use third party certifications and labeling where it is relevant. This aligns with the goals of the Guide Against Greenwashing that we recently signed. Greenwashing is a form of misleading marketing or communication, where a product, service or company is presented as “better” in respect to climate change, the environment or animal and human rights issues, without proper documentation to back this claim.

The goal of this ten-step guide is to help big and small businesses avoid greenwashing. The guide was made by the Norwegian organization Skift – Business Climate Leaders, in collaboration with Zero, WWF Norway and Future in our hands.

Member of the Chemicals Group

The Chemicals Group provides us with a Restricted Substances List for chemicals that is integrated in all our supplier contracts. The Swedish Chemicals Group, part of RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, spreads the latest knowledge in chemical and environmental issues to member companies in the textile and electronics industry. You can find more information here.

bluesign® System Partner

Recently we joined bluesign® as a System Partner. bluesign® is an environmental standard and certification scheme for sustainable production of textiles with strict requirements for chemical use and emissions throughout the production chain. bluesign® works for a sustainable textile production and will ensure the highest level of safety for consumers, minimal impact on people and the environment, and a responsible use of resources. You can find more information here.

Oeko-tex 100

Several of our garments are labeled with Oeko-tex 100. To us, this is of extra importance when it comes to clothes that sit next to the body. Therefore, all our wool underwear is Oeko-tex labeled. Oeco-tex 100 is a label for testing of textiles for harmful substances. Garments with this label do not contain allergenic dyes or carcinogenic dyes. We also guarantee that the product has been tested for the content of chlorinated phenols, phthalates, organic tin compounds and more.

PFC-free impregnation

Norwegian Concept does not use fluoride in our impregnation. Fluorocarbons (PFCs) are harmful to the environment, they do not break down and do not disappear from nature. To keep the outer fabric water-repellent, we recommend re-impregnating the garment after some washing.

Our policy and guidelines for responsible business conduct

At Norwegian Concept we are committed to conducting our business in a responsible, ethical and lawful manner. To ensure this, we have created our policy and guidelines that lay the basis for how we do business.

Policy for responsible business conduct

Our policy for responsible business conduct forms, together with our guidelines for suppliers, the basis for sustainability work in our value chain. It describes how we work with due diligence, which is a risk-based approach to respecting and caring for people, society and the environment in our own business and throughout the supply chain.

Policy for responsible business conduct_Norwegian Concept

 

Guidelines for suppliers

Our guidelines for suppliers, which includes our Code of Conduct (CoC), describes the basic principles for our business cooperation with our suppliers. It covers important areas such as human and labour rights, workers safety and animal welfare. These guidelines have been worked out in collaboration with Ethical Trade Norway and are based on internationally recognized standards such as the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the ILO conventions.

All of our suppliers must sign to indicate that they have received and understood the content of our Code of Conduct (CoC).

 


List of suppliers

As part of being open and transparent, you can find our open list of suppliers here.

Download our List of suppliers

 


Focus areas

Extending product life:
We know that textile production is a burden on the environment and by focusing on the products’ lifetime, we can help extend the lifecycle per product and limit overproduction. Therefore, Norwegian Concept offers durable products. The best thing that can be done for the environment is to choose good quality products that meet one’s needs, and that can withstand everyday use. In addition to keeping warm and dry, the fabrics should be able to withstand repeated washing. We are committed to guaranteeing that the clothes keep color, shape and quality after wash. Therefore, we test wash all our garments at the testing stage, in order to ensure that they can withstand everyday use. We always recommend following the instructions on the washing label inside the clothing to prolong the lifetime of the garments.

Responsible production and purchasing practice:
Norwegian Concept is well-known for our responsible purchasing practice, and we focus on continuous improvement. We must always pay on time, not expect unrealistic prices or deliveries, and we must be able to vouch for what we have said. By planning purchases in the low season, we have been able to contribute to the suppliers having a smoother production line and a clearer cost picture. We have personal contact with all our manufacturers, and never use an intermediary for the production of our products. We have our own employee in China who visits new suppliers, and who collaborates with existing suppliers for a continuous dialogue. We design all our products at our office in Kristiansand, and thus have first-hand contact with the manufacturer, and have information about all components that are used per product. In the context of production, we experience that increased knowledge also results in increased quality and have therefore become very aware of where we buy our accessories and where they come from.

Long-term presence and supplier relationship:
Norwegian Concept started producing goods in China in 2006. Since then, we have had a very low turnover of suppliers, and several have been with us all our lives. We always try to produce complete collections with many of the same suppliers, and rarely switch products between different suppliers. We produce 95% of our goods in China. Every season we have between 30-40 active suppliers, and in one year we may have used up to 70 suppliers. Therefore, it’s important for us to have a good system that safeguards the interests of all parties. To do so, we have created our “General Supplier Contract” where we summarize our expectations of new suppliers. For us, it is important that the suppliers have predictable partners, and with a long-term presence we believe we will have opportunities to create changes over time.

Animal Welfare:
We do not want to support poor animal welfare or harmful environmental practices. We do not use real fur or leather in our garments, only imitations made from PU and suppliers must certify this for each production.
We do not use wool in our products from sheep that have been subjected to mulesing. Suppliers must certify this for each production.