It is important for us that the materials we use come from accountable resources and we continuously strive to find new, sustainable ways of producing and manufacturing high quality, long lasting products. We use materials produced as close to us as possible, and we believe strongly in natural materials. In our classic products we utilize cotton fabrics. Our seasonal collections contain besides cotton, other natural materials, such as wool and silk, which are practical, high class and timeless.
Most of the materials come from European suppliers, such as Finland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, France and sometimes from Asia. For years, our traditional sweatshirts and t-shirts have been made from fabric made in Orivesi, Finland. We collaborate closely with our suppliers to develop fabrics that fulfill the high standards of quality that R-Collection demands.
We are constantly striving to increase the use of organic and recycled raw materials in our collections. Our goal is to use only organic cotton in our classic collection by 2022. In 2018, we changed the material of our anorak products to US COTTON and used organic cotton in adult and children's seasonal collections. We are currently working on the development of organic cotton anorak and other recycled cotton products. It is important for us that these materials meet our quality standards, so we will test them carefully. R-Collection believes that a durable piece of garment that you use for years to come is the most sustainable way of consuming garments.
We used the following sustainable materials in our production in 2019:
Organic cotton 3,8% of all materials used in the collection
Recycled cotton 2,75% of all materials used in the collection
Recycled polyester 2,75% of all materials used in the collection
In the future, we want to further utilize recycled materials in our production. We have implemented several development projects with educational institutions and other experts in the field, where we have explored new uses for our production leftover fabrics. Currently, we utilize our leftover fabric to make new products such as anorak bags, pouches and pillow cases. We organize annual pop-up sales events, where we sell leftover fabrics and we have also donated fabrics to educational institutions.
We want to make sure that no environmentally harmful chemicals are used in production. Our anorak, sweatshirt and t-shirt materials meet the requirements of the international OEKO-TEX® Environmental Standard 100. Dyeing and finishing treatments use standard non-toxic colors. We require the OEKO-TEX® 100 standard for most of our products whenever possible. OEKO-TEX® tests fabrics for pH, formaldehyde, pesticides, soluble heavy metals and chlorine compounds, preservatives such as pentachlorophenol and tetrachlorophenol, as well as allergenic and carcinogenic dyes.
We do not yet have a policy for the brand to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from the whole lifecycle and all production procedures to make the apparel? We are doing a research in our production processes and working towards this kind of policy.
Our anorak products are finished with Aquatx coating, which makes the fabric dirt and water resistant and windproof. The treatment does not change the natural properties of the fabric but maintains its breathability and softness. Aquatx coating also meets the OEKO-TEX® 100 standard. We are actively looking for environmentally friendly and PFC-free options for water and dirt-repellent treatment, but we have not yet found one that meets our high-quality standards. For us, it is important that the finishing treatments remain in the product after washing cycles and do not dissolve in water. We do not use PFOA in our products.
In our production processes we only use heavy cardboard boxes that are being used for 20 years now over and over again. The heavy cardboard boxes are piled on top of an euro pallet and then the whole shipment is wrapped in plastic. This is how we ship the ready cut fabrics first to the sewing houses in Estonia and this is how the sewing houses return the same boxes packed with ready made garments back to our warehouse in Kajaani. During this process we use 95% recycled card board boxes and 5% plastic that we recycle afterwards.
In the online orders we ship the products packed in a paper back with no plastic wrapping. The silk and knitwear are sometimes exceptionally wrapped in plastic depending on the delicacy of the product. 95% of the shipments we don't use plastic at all. The paper bags of online shipments are FSC certified and made of Finnish wood materials which are 100% recyclable. Paperipussi Oy is the company who delivers these paper bags for us.
In our brick and mortar stores we use Cabassi paper shopping bags with paper string as a handle. The shopping paper bags are made of PEFC certified paper and they are made in Finland from Finnish materials.
As a conclusion, 100% of the consumer packaging is made of FSC or PEFC certified paper.This is how we have packed our products for 8-years now and we find it efficient and sustainable way of packing products. At the same time, we are still finding new ways to reduce waste and we are considering the use of RePack packaging solution for the year of 2021 as one option.
In the near future we want to be more see-through with our waste materials footprint and implement concrete policies to minimize waste, by reducing, re-using and recycling, and through this work we want to decrease our waste footprint. We are looking for a partner who can help us to find out what our weak spots are and develop our waste reducing policy to a next level. We aim to give better answers to this topic by the end of year 2021.