Duty of care
The problem of environmentally friendly disposal at the end of the product life cycle applies to all textiles. In any case, we have agreed with our customers that no worn-out workwear should end up in the natural cycle, i.e. in the sea or on the ground.
Especially textiles with synthetic fibre content are difficult to recycle. The time and energy expenditure hardly justify this procedure.
In the case of thermal recycling, it should be noted that a combustion temperature of well over 900°C must be achieved so that certain pollutants, such as aromatic hydrocarbons, are not produced. Likewise, the filtration of fine dust emissions must be taken into account.
With regard to recycling, the Dutch member of the teamdress Group, De Berkel B.V., based in Varsseveld / NL, continues to maintain an agreement with the Radboud Hospital to take back used workwear. This includes that the clothing is reconditioned and processed into felt rolls.
We are currently examining several processes that take an energetically advantageous and low-emission approach to recycling worn-out workwear.
We are always aware of our social responsibility and pay attention to fair and safe working conditions along the entire production chain.
In our own production plants in other European countries, we have been ensuring for years that there is no child labor and that there are no restrictions on the formation of and participation in employee interest groups. Furthermore, persons of trust have been established to act as contact persons in the event of any problems. To date, no cases of discrimination or harassment have been reported to us.
In all contracts with contract manufacturers, compliance with social standards and the required safety in the workplace have been incorporated. In doing so, we have not only referred to our own Code of Conduct, but also to the requirements that our various certifications entail.
At all our production sites, but especially at our new site in Uzbekistan, the advisory deployment of our technicians on site, with the primary aim of optimizing work processes, has generally been accompanied by confirmation of appropriate compliance with standards and safety. There were a few exceptions, but these then prompted us to terminate our cooperation with the production sites.
The aforementioned technicians were also able to successfully implement optimizations at contract workplaces in this reporting period. This always resulted in improved working conditions and increased efficiency, which made improved remuneration possible. Our special thanks go to these dedicated technicians.
Furthermore, both the management of the company's own production facilities and the contract manufacturers were prohibited from passing on production orders to subcontractors. On the one hand, this ban had the effect of improving quality control, but on the other, in particular, of circumventing wage and safety standards.
A pilot project was also initiated for the Uzbekistan site, following the example of dual training in Germany. With the help of the GIZ, a basic training program for seamstresses and mechanics is being set up, which will increase work efficiency in the clothing sector through accompanying practical training. In this way, a better professional perspective and at the same time increased earning potential is ensured. Both the government of the Fergana region and the Uzbek Ministry of Education support this pioneering project.
Our own production plants as well as external companies are bound to the principles of the Fair Wear Foundation and the Green Button and are regularly subjected to social audits.
These audits were also positive in the reporting period.
In the course of a move at the Hamburg headquarters, adjustable desks were installed for significantly improved ergonomics, as well as luminaires in the daylight spectrum for reduced workload.