Environmental impacts of our operations
Our goal is to constantly reduce the environmental impacts of our operations. The environmental aspects of our in-house manufacturing concern the operations of the Helsinki fabric printing factory. We have set environmental targets until the year 2020 to reduce energy consumption, water consumption and the amount of waste, to increase the use of renewable energy sources, and to limit carbon dioxide emissions. Our printing factory has been using biogas since 2016, which has meant that our direct carbon dioxide emissions (scope 1) have fallen to zero. In our annual Sustainability Review, you can learn more about our targets and how we are progressing.
When producing a cotton garment, for example, Marimekko accounts for roughly a third of the value chain’s carbon dioxide emissions from the cotton field to the stores. Thus, a major part of the environmental impacts occurs outside Marimekko’s in-house operations: during the production of materials, during logistics, in the factories making our products and during the use phase of the products. We have therefore decided to set new emissions reduction targets both for our own operations and for the supply chain and have started mapping the emissions in more detail throughout the value chain. We regularly discuss environmental topics with our partner suppliers, for example as part of supplier selection and assessment, as well as during factory visits.
In textile manufacturing processes such as bleaching, dyeing, printing and finishing chemicals are used, which are important for the appearance and properties of the textiles. Apart from finishing treatments, majority of the chemicals are washed off after the dyeing or printing. The use of chemicals in production is strictly regulated in Europe with the REACH chemical legislation. Also Marimekko’s other customer markets such as Japan and the United States have their own stringent chemical regulations. Legislation helps to restrict the use of substances found to be harmful to people and the environment. It is Marimekko’s responsibility to ensure that all Marimekko products – manufactured in Europe and elsewhere – comply with chemical requirements of both European legislation and the legislation and regulation in Marimekko’s other customer markets. Marimekko has a Restricted Substances List for its suppliers and we monitor compliance with the restrictions with regular product or material tests. Testing is done in external laboratories.
We also continuously seek to find possibilities for environmentally better alternatives to chemicals used in our manufacturing processes. we aim to phase out the use of PVC plastic and PFC compounds in our products by the year 2020. The PVC coating previously used in our oilcloth has been replaced by acrylic coating, and in our own printing factory we do not use finishings that contain PFC compounds.