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CSR - THEN, NOW AND FOREVER

We are a fashion brand in the business of dressing families. Just like any family, we aren’t perfect. But like all families, we try to do better every day– especially when it comes to sustainability. Where other brands might refer to corporate social responsibilities, we prefer to call ours Family Values… and if you want to get to know us, you’ll have to get to know them too.

Our business consists of a lot of moving parts. From design, to our supply chain, to our distribution centers and offices. All working together to make sure you and your family get the jeans, skirt, shirt, sweater, or blouse that fits just right. Although not all parts of the GARCIA family have been sustainable in the past, we are now working hard, step by step, to make sure our future is.

A FAMILY CODE OF CONDUCT

In 2013 we decided to only work with suppliers who share our family values. This came to life through a code of conduct that all our suppliers had to sign. Based on the BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative) code of conduct.

The Amfori Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) is an initiative of companies committed to improving working conditions in their global supply chain. BSCI offers companies a common code of conduct and a roadmap that applies to all sectors and production countries.

BSCI provides factories with free training and implementation with official NGOs, trade unions, educational institutions and media. The work of Amfori BSCI is based on important international standards for the protection of labor rights, such as guidelines of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the guidelines of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

GREEN ELECTRICITY

GARCIA wants to take care of a more sustainable planet. The climate is changing because the global temperatures are rising. Global warming is unstoppable but will slow down if we cut CO2 emissions globally.

In co-operation with Climate Neutral Group  we calculate and measure our CO2 impact. With Climate Neutral Group we discuss how we can reduce our CO2 emissions.

As of 1-1-2020, our head office will run entirely on green (wind) electricity from Norway. The transition from grey (fossil) power to green power is done in co-operation with De Energiespecialist

WHAT’S A FAMILY TREE WITHOUT TREES?

We rely on packaging to make sure orders get to you undamaged and dust-free. Plastic has always, and probably will always be the most efficient way to ship clothing. However, we believe when it comes to our jeans, efficiency isn’t everything. Especially when municipal waste comes from packaging material.

Where we have direct influence ourselves, we want to reduce our negative impact on the environment. This fits in with the sustainable journey we are making. We believe that by looking critically and starting a dialogue with our suppliers, we can make a positive contribution to the plastic waste problem. We will analyse how much packaging material we currently use and discuss with our suppliers how we can reduce this.

A FAMILY CONSCIOUS ABOUT COTTON

BETTER COTTON

Right now, not all the cotton is as conscious as we would like it to be, which is why we’ve embraced Better Cotton's Mission.

We are sourcing our cotton through Better Cotton. Better Cotton is an initiative that is committed worldwide to better conditions in the cotton sector. Better Cotton is sourced via a system of Mass Balance and is not physically traceable via end products. See bettercotton.org/who-we-are/our-logo for details. Better Cotton trains farmers to use water efficiently, care for the health of the soil and natural habitats, reduce use of the most harmful chemicals and implement the principles of decent work.

DUTCH CONVENANT

The Dutch government also plays a major role in making the clothing industry more sustainable, which resulted in the "Sustainable Clothing & Textile Convenant". This Covenant was signed by 59 Dutch fashion companies and 81 fashion brands. In October 2019, we as GARCIA signed the convenant.

This Convenant has been drawn up by a broad coalition of trade associations, trade unions, critical organizations, and the national government. Together these parties want to tackle overarching issues such as better working conditions and environmental issues. By joining forces with industry associations and trade unions, we improve working conditions and tackle environmental pollution.

The Covenant offers tools to prevent and combat negative impact by participating in joint activities and projects that we as a business cannot solve on our own.

FAMILY SECRETS

Buying an article of GARCIA clothing means you take the pledge to share our family values. This means you’re privy to some valuable information which helps you fit our family as much as GARCIA fits you:

- Hang clothing instead of throwing them in the dryer. It keeps their colours vibrant and you’ll have a lower energy bill.

- Hanging clothing in the bathroom steams out any creases while you shower.

- Hanging jeans upside down uses gravity to iron out the legs as they dry.

- Longer lasting clothes don’t need to be replaced as often. Zip and button up clothes before each wash so that they don’t damage the other clothes.

- Delicate items should also be washed in a mesh laundry bag.

You can make even more of an impact by drying clothes on a clothes rack instead of putting them in your dryer. Drying a laundry load in a dryer requires a lot of heat and therefore a lot of energy.

BETTER WASHING, THAT'S HOW YOU DO IT

By taking a critical look at your own washing behaviour, you can reduce the environmental impact of your clothes. How do you do that? Start with your washing machine. The most economical washing machine (A+++, 76kWh) uses about 10,000 litres of water per year at 220 washes per year. Assuming use of the eco setting, wash 40℃ and 60℃.

Per wash this amounts to approximately 40-60 litres of water. For comparison: showering costs approx. 65 litres of water for approx. 9 minutes. The greatest impact of washing (approx. 80% - 90%) is caused by the temperature and thus the energy consumption of a washing machine.

If you wash your clothes at 40℃ instead of 60℃, that saves about 1/3 of energy, which you use less.

You can make even more of an impact by drying clothes on a clothes rack instead of putting them in your dryer. Drying a laundry load in a dryer requires a lot of heat and therefore a lot of energy.

Also consider whether washing a garment is really necessary. Clothes worn directly on skin, such as underwear, T-shirts and shirts, are often washed after a day's use. You can often wear sweaters, cardigans, jackets and jeans longer before they need a wash. Especially if they are made from natural materials such as cotton, hemp, wool and linen. Natural materials are less likely to retain odours than synthetic materials.

Finally: choose detergents with an ecolabel as much as possible. These detergents contain vegetable ingredients and are free from harmful chemicals such as synthetic dyes, brighteners, and chlorinated bleaches.

If you do not want to wash and still want to freshen up or de-wrinkle your clothes, you can also think of a biodegradable water-based spray from, for example, DFNS

Source: de correspondent publication date 23 September 2019.

Supporting documentation can be provided upon request.



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