PROUD TO WORK WITH FASHION’S MOST AMBITIOUS MANUFACTURERS
We are only as good as the manufacturers we work with and ours are as good as they come. Like us, they nerd out over material sourcing, how to lower the environmental impact of production and which innovations will keep us all moving forward. Like family, we challenge each other to do better, leaning on each others’ expertise to solve problems and push what is possible, all while staying true to who we are and the values we stand for.
We believe this close relationship is pretty unique. We work shoulder-to-shoulder with a consolidated group of just 43 manufacturers, with a core group of 18 producing 86% of our products. These manufacturers are true craftspeople, raising standards across the industry from pioneering the development of sustainable materials to developing more people and planet friendly ways to operate.
It’s also one of the reasons why we are focusing on increasing our transparency. For us, the more open we are, the more we can continuously improve. Through our Manufacturing Map, we list the main manufacturers we work with, detailing what they are about, where they are based and how they operate. And, with codes of conduct, human rights policies, protocols and other checks-and-balances in place, we are doing the work to ensure our products are being made more ethically and responsibly.
But real progress happens in the space beyond compliance. Together with our manufacturers and parent company BESTSELLER, we invest in projects focused on elevating the people and communities contributing “behind the scenes”. Like the HERproject™, which as of early 2012 had provided health, financial management and workplace equality training to over 60,000 women across all of our manufacturers.
When it comes to our environmental impact, we are taking a close look at how we source, design and create our products in a more sustainable way. We are committed to ultimately going climate positive and have ambitious Science Based Targets (SBT) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across our supply chain. We are also taking action to improve our water and chemical footprint, incorporating innovative dyeing and finishing processes into our collections.
Back at home, we have the JACK & JONES LAB: our own textile laboratory where every thread, every zip, every button is put through its paces so you get clothes that fit and last — all day, every day. Why does that matter? Because wearing your clothes for longer is one of the most sustainable things you can do. Whether at HQ or at certified manufacturer laboratories, The LAB is where we bring together trusted partners and in-house technologists focused on extending the life of your clothes.
GOING TRANSPARENT WITH OUR KEY MANUFACTURERS
Since 2018, we have been transparent about our key manufacturers through a publicly-available factory list published by our parent company BESTSELLER. Why? Firstly, because we believe transparency leads to more action. Secondly, because it is not enough to ask you to trust us without showing you evidence that you can. Now, we have taken that list one step forward and launched an interactive Manufacturing Map where you can view 99 factories from 43 of our key garment manufacturers.
Right now, the map shows the details of our key factories, which includes any manufacturer involved in the cut-and-sew and finishing of our garments (including processes like embroidery, dyeing and washing). By 2023, we will have increased our transparency with these key factories and added partners further down the supply chain, such as those who make our fabrics and process our materials and trims. Plans are also underway to add our footwear and accessories manufacturers to the map in the same year.
For the last six years, we have also worked with the Institute of Public Affairs (IPE), a non-profit environmental research organisation, mandating our suppliers in China share their environmental performance data with IPE. In 2020, we also joined their Global Brand Map a publicly-accessible map where you can see our manufacturers’ environmental performance in real time
We are transparent about all of our key garment factories through our new Manufacturing Map.
RAISING THE BAR WITH THE BEST MANUFACTURERS IN THE BUSINESS
The best partnerships are like friendships: you hang with those you have a connection with, you build trust over time and you push each other to do things better. Since we started JACK & JONES we have partnered with, and continue to partner with, the industry's pioneers. We only work with manufacturers that meet our high social and environmental standards, and we have kept our manufacturer base purposely small so that we can invest in and develop more planet-friendly and socially-uplifting practices together.
From the start of JACK & JONES, we have had a strong system for assessing manufacturers on their social responsibility performance. This system allows us to not just measure how manufacturers are doing, but also to discuss improvements and take action.
Each factory producing our products is given a rating based on how they perform in workplace health and safety as well as labor rights. All factories have to meet our minimum requirements, however ratings of bronze (good), silver (better), gold (even better) and platinum (exceptional) show us that the factory is going above and beyond. We are proud to say that in 2021, 70% of JACK & JONES orders were produced in factories with high performance in social responsibility.
Our rating system is under constant development, to give our customers more information on how our products are produced as well as to support our goal to drive improvements in the supply chain. We plan to bring even more transparency to our program and our manufacturers' performance on working conditions and environmental management in early 2022.
How does a manufacturer get to work with JACK & JONES? Well, it is not easy! BESTSELLER’s Sustainability Report gets into the details, but here is a quick summary:
● First, new manufacturers have to pass a comprehensive onsite inspection to ensure they meet BESTSELLER’s Basic Requirements across labor, social, chemical and environmental performance.
● Then, manufacturers conduct routine self-assessments across 16 areas including child labor, employee treatment, wages and benefits, health and safety, environment and waste water management through our Factory Standards Program.
● The self-assessment is then verified during an on-site visit and the factory is given a rating for social and labor as well as for environmental performance. If one of our manufacturers falls below our standards, we work together to come up with a plan for improvement.
One of the things that we think differentiates our relationship with our manufacturing partners is the trust and loyalty we have built up over the years. 86% of our products are made by a core group of 18 manufacturers, some of which we have worked with for over 10 years, and we only work with about 43 garment manufacturers across all product categories in any given year.
Many of these manufacturers have long-standing social and environmental programs that are uniquely designed to meet the needs of their employees and communities — like generating on-site solar energy, providing free daycare and funding local development projects. You can learn more about these initiatives from the people who are driving them forward here.
PARTNERING UP TO MAKE AN EVEN BIGGER IMPACT
To make real change, we have got to look at the whole picture. Ethical trading, worker health and safety, fair wages, worker empowerment, environmental impact — these are just some of the areas where we are pulling up our denim-shirt sleeves and doing the work. But we can not do it alone. Alongside our manufacturers and our parent company BESTSELLER, we are involved in a number of high-impact programs and initiatives focused on improving the apparel sector overall.
Worker health and safety. Since 2013, we have been part of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety In Bangladesh, a landmark, legally-binding agreement signed by over 200 fashion houses around the world to improve worker safety in factories across the country. In 2021, we signed an updated agreement called the International Accord for Health and Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry , which remains legally-binding and upholds the commitments made as part of the original Accord. 100% of our manufacturers in Bangladesh are covered by the Accord, meaning factories are regularly inspected, safety training is given to employees and corrective plans are issued to resolve any fire, electrical or building safety issues. We do not onboard any new manufacturer that is unwilling to participate in the inspections, remediation and workplace programs.
Fair wages and ethical trading. Through BESTSELLER, we are part of the Action Collaboration Transformation (ACT), an agreement between 21 major fashion brands and Industriall Global Union to work together to make purchasing practices and negotiations on working conditions and living wages transparent and fair. We have also been a partner of the Ethical Trading Initiative, a leading alliance of companies, trade unions and NGOs that promotes respect for workers' rights around the globe, since 2016.
Worker empowerment. Since 2012, we have collaborated with HERproject™, a program that is focused on improving health education for women in the workplace and provides training in financial management and workplace equality for women and men. To date, our HERproject™ training has positively impacted over 60,000 workers across 19 of JACK & JONES’ manufacturers. In 2019, our parent company BESTSELLER committed to a five-year strategic partnership with the organization behind this project, Business for Social Responsibility, which means that we have been able to step up our involvement and become more hands-on with developing new empowerment programs. You can learn more about the impact of our HERproject™ partnership.
Social and environmental responsibility across the board. Since 2013, we have been a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, a not-for-profit organization working to reduce the environmental and social impacts of apparel and footwear products around the world. We have adopted a number of their tools, including the Higg Facility Environmental Module (Higg FEM).
This tool measures and tracks sustainability performance so we can work toward improvements together. It assesses seven areas of impact: environmental management systems, water use, wastewater, chemical use, waste management, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. So far, across all BESTSELLER brands, 219 manufacturers have completed the HIGG FEM assessment, representing 86% of our group’s supply chain.
ON THE PATH TO BECOMING CLIMATE POSITIVE WITH OUR MANUFACTURERS (AND BEYOND)
There is no getting away from it, making clothes involves the use of natural resources, which impacts climate change. Being a key player in the industry, we recognize our role to play and the impact we can have when we get things right. We have been working closely with our manufacturers to rethink how we design and create products to minimize our climate impact — from standardizing fits to using automated machinery, cutting down energy use to switching to renewable power. It is all in service of our commitment to ultimately go climate positive and our ambitious Science Based Targets (SBT) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across our supply chain.
In 2021, our parent company BESTSELLER’s commitments to reduce GHG emissions were approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). They are the ones who assess whether the actions laid out will meet targets set by the Paris Agreement (a legally binding, international treaty on climate change). BESTSELLER’s SBTs have now been approved as aligned with a 1.5°C pathway, the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement.
By 2030, we will have:
● Reduced absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 50% (compared to a base year of 2018). This includes emissions from electricity, heating and vehicle use.
● Reduced absolute scope 3 GHG emissions from purchased goods and services and upstream and downstream transportation by 30% within the same timeframe. That includes emissions from raw materials, yarn and fabric production, garment manufacturing, transport, packaging, use of sold product and product end-of-life.
Working with our manufacturers to achieve these targets is vital. We use the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Higg Facility Environmental Module (Higg FEM) to measure and track sustainability performance so we can work toward improvements together. It assesses seven areas of impact: environmental management systems, water use, wastewater, chemical use, waste management, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.
We also know there is a lot we can do on our end to make production more efficient, and therefore less energy-intensive. For example:
● We are standardizing core designs to streamline manufacturing and avoid creating high volumes of samples for every new collection. That has involved nerding out on designing cuts and components that fit really well and sticking to what we know works, so there’s less back-and-forth and less waste.
● We are switching to digital sampling for our yearly collections and have plans to further develop this way of working.
● We are supporting our manufacturers’ transition to automated machinery, which allows them to reduce their material waste and energy use while ensuring a consistent level of quality. We have created product-specific Tool Boxes and we are limiting small differences between items so that production is standardized (and lower waste).
Like with workers’ rights and empowerment, partnership is key when it comes to climate. In China, we cooperate with the Institute of Public Affairs (IPE) a non-profit environmental research organization which monitors different aspects of environmental supply chain management (such as energy use, wastewater, air emissions and waste) and records factories’ performance on a public database, letting us (and the public) know about any issues we need to act on.
Together with our parent company Bestseller we have been part of BESTSELLER’s recently launched FWD>>ENV initiative, a first-of-its-kind two-year cleaner production and capacity building program for manufacturers in Bangladesh to help lower the impact of their facilities over time (learn more about it in BESTSELLER’s Sustainability Report).
These are the actions we are taking toward Better Manufacturing, but our commitment to climate action goes well beyond that. Check out our Better Materials page to learn about our transition to more climate-friendly fibers and our Better Retail page to learn more about climate efforts across our operations (including building our very own solar plant).
By 2030 we’ll have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 50% in our own operations and by 30% across product materials (including packaging), manufacturing and transportation*.
*Compared to 2018 baseline analysis. End of life is not included.
REDUCING OUR WATER AND CHEMICAL FOOTPRINT
Water and chemicals feature heavily in the production of clothes — traditionally, that is. From water use to dyes and finishes, what goes into clothes can also come out, having a big effect on the environment. Here at JACK & JONES, we take this seriously. Since launching our Low Impact Denim concept in 2012, we have been continuously evolving and improving our processes, teaming up with cutting-edge companies like Jeanologia who are helping to disrupt the industry with their more sustainable, high performance production methods. By partnering with them to push what is possible — and doing it at scale — we are continuing to challenge not only ourselves but the industry to do better.
Diving into our water use: Our Low Impact Denim concept is where we get our most innovative. We use DyStar Liquid Indigo Vat 40% Solution — the cleanest indigo on the market — and special dye accelerators to reduce water use by 70% in the dye process. Of the water that is used, at least 85% is recycled and wastewater is treated in a closed-loop system, which is safer for workers and the environment.
Across our core styles, water-saving processes include the use of:
● Poly reactive dyes which absorb color quicker and hold it for longer but require 50% less water and energy in production.
● Acid-based, low temperature soaping agents that reduce water and energy use by 5% compared to a conventional soaping agent.
● Jeanologia’s e-Flow washing technology which saves 95% of water by using nanobubbles of air (instead of water baths) to achieve the authentic jeans look we all love.
We are focused on managing effluent too. That covers any by-product of making clothes that can impact water, such as dyes, dissolved solids and toxic metal traces at the end of the process. Although most effluent is treated at effluent treatment plants within the factories, there is still a leftover sludge that needs to be dealt with. This is a big issue for the fashion industry — so we are looking at ways to recycle it. In Bangladesh, eight of our suppliers (including GMS have begun working with Geocycle, which reuses textile mill sludge by incorporating it into the cement making process. By mid-2021, our manufacturers had recycled 164 tonnes of the stuff.
On the chemical side of things: By 2025, all of our core products will be made using approved and traceable chemicals. Right now, we follow a strict chemical testing program inline with BESTSELLER’s Restricted Substances List. Our trims are also produced in line with these restrictions, by suppliers who meet (and exceed) our high-level quality and safety standards. We test products on a continuous and yearly basis with the expectation that 98% of products across the BESTSELLER group will pass.
Our membership with the Apparel and Footwear International RSL Management (AFIRM) Group means we are aligned with industry standards on restricted substances and kept up to speed with any new legislation. We are also improving manufacturer transparency by encouraging the use of tools like BHive which enables factories to cross-check chemicals in real-time via an app.
And, with state-of-the-art finishing experts Jeanologia, we are actively working on new technologies to replace chemically-intensive treatments such as stonewash and conventional bleach with more sustainable treatments. For instance, their G2 technology achieves the faded look by turning air into ozone to react to the dye. When the job is done, it is transformed back into air and safely released, in turn cutting our chemical use by 80%. Pretty neat, and there is more on the way.
Our Low Impact Denim uses special dyes and accelerators that reduce water use by 70% in the dye process.
Going above and beyond to make clothes that last
We have a comprehensive testing system for all JACK & JONES products in The LAB, our very own textile laboratory. That is because wearing what you already own and keeping your clothes for as long as possible is one (big) way to minimize your (and our) impact on the environment. Home to experts with the skills and knowledge to test production and performance, The LAB assesses every aspect of your clothes, bringing in manufacturers, buyers and partners to continuously innovate and improve — no cheap, fast-and-easy routes here. Because for us, durability is what JACK & JONES is all about.
The LAB is located at our HQ in Brande, Denmark. There are also nine manufacturers with in-house facilities that have been awarded our LAB Certification, which allows them to undertake their own testing. Manufacturers without a JACK & JONES-approved LAB use third-party testing facilities.
In our LAB we test qualities like tear strength, snagging, pilling (the fuzz that can form on clothing), bursting, color fastness, changes of surface and seam slippage. We make sure to test performance not just once but over three, five and 10 washes to measure how well products hold up over time.
If a product does not meet our requirements, test results are shared with buyers and manufacturers along with recommendations on where and how to improve. For example, we might ask a partner to investigate a different type of seam construction to avoid the seam slipping.
By doing the work upfront, The LAB gives us the opportunity to continuously improve our products and is just one more way we are making sure our clothes are durable so they can stay in use for as long as possible. You can learn more about The LAB
You can’t add quality – you have to built it. — Naja Thyge Johansen, Quality Manager, JACK & JONES