We consider a product to be "eco-friendly" when its main material is made up of at least 50% fibres with a lower ecological impact than a so-called "conventional" material. These are, for example, organically-grown fibres, and/or recycled, and/or less impactful due to their cultivation processes, such as linen.
An “eco-friendly” product is one where we have sought to reduce the environmental footprint of the most impactful phases of its life cycle. Based on the LCA (Product Life Cycle Analysis) of a textile product, its main impacts are linked to its material (culture, production, finishing, dyeing) and its end of life (durability, recyclability, etc…).
We therefore work with certified materials recognised for their reduced environmental impact. To extend the life of our products, we combine very strict quality criteria with support services for our customers (maintenance guides, in-store recycling depots, and soon, a repair service).
We know we still have a long way to go. A product always has an environmental impact, even when it is reduced. We are constantly expanding our range of eco-friendly products to make them even more appealing.
On each of the online product sheets, we show the manufacturing location, any material certification, and the percentage of materials used. We do not yet have a specific product label in-store, but we are working on this to provide you with more detailed information.
If you have any questions about the style or size of our products, you are welcome to contact our customer service here. If you have specific questions about the environmental and social impacts of a product, you can write to us at this dedicated address.
Here is a list of the alternatives we use for our collections, according to the type of material:
In 2022, we used 49%* of so-called “eco-friendly” cotton (*% quantities produced)
- 41% is organically grown, that is to say grown without the use of pesticides, insecticides or chemical fertilizers, and without GMOs. This protects the health of the farmers who grow it and has less impact on ecosystems and soils. Comptoir des Cotonniers uses certified organic cotton, such as the OCS label (Organic Cotton Standard).
- 7% is “in transition” cotton, which helps to promote sustainable farming practices. Various organisations support farmers to help them reduce the use of chemical pesticides and insecticides. We use BCI cotton or Cotton made in Africa (CmiA).
- 1% is recycled cotton, one of the best alternatives to conventional cotton, since it makes it possible to recycle cotton destined to be thrown away by transforming it into new raw material. Favouring recycled cotton intrinsically reduces the consumption of natural resources (in particular, the high consumption of water), pesticides and insecticides. Nevertheless, there is still very little recycled cotton on the market, hence our current low quantities.
Supima® cotton is exclusively grown on family-run farms in America. It is 35% longer than regular cotton. It produces stronger yarn which makes garments better quality and longer-lasting.
In 2022, we used 79%* viscose from certified eco-managed forests, of which 73%* was certified LENZING™ ECOVERO™. (*% of quantities produced)
Viscose is an artificial material made from plant cellulose (eucalyptus, bamboo, etc.), and can therefore be a cause of deforestation. Using viscose from eco-managed forests guarantees that this is not the case. In the choice of our raw materials, we refer to initiatives that attest to the sustainable and legal management of forests, via the FSC label, and/or PEFC, and/or the Canopy initiative.
LENZING™ ECOVERO™ certified viscose goes further. It guarantees that the fibre comes from eco-managed forests, and that its manufacturing processes comply with the Ecolabel standard. Its criteria also imply a reduction of up to 50% in water and CO2 impacts.
Another alternative to viscose and conventional cotton is TENCEL™ which we use in some of our t-shirt designs. This fabric, also known as Lyocell, is produced in a controlled environment from a 99% non-toxic solvent. It comes from eco-managed forests and is certified by the Ecolabel.
In 2022, 20%* of our garments will have been produced in linen. 98% of this material is grown in France and Europe, and 84% is European Flax® certified. Linen is a material with a reduced ecological impact. Indeed, it is cultivated in milder climates, mainly in France and Belgium, and it requires little water and pesticides to grow. The European Flax® certification guarantees the European origin of the flax, the absence of irrigation and GMOs. (*% quantities produced)
41%* of our wool products comply with the RWS labels (Responsible Wool Standard (31%) and Global Recycle Standard (10%) (*% product quantities) Wool production has impacts on the environment and animal welfare. The RWS (Responsible Wool Standard) label guarantees that the wool comes from farms that take a sustainable approach to managing their land, and respect the principle of the five freedoms of animal welfare. The GRS label guarantees that the material comes from recycled fibre. It ensures traceability from the recycler through to the final product.
Fast Retailing Group prohibits the sourcing of down or feathers from farms that practice live-harvesting or force-feeding. All our partner clothing factories involved in producing our down products are RDS (Responsible Down Standard) certified and have been since the end of 2019.
Quality is one of our key criteria when it comes to selecting our materials. They are put to the test before being incorporated into our collections, and pass a series of standardised quality controls: seam resistance, durability after several washes, pilling, etc. If, despite all the care taken in this selection, one of our customers encounters a quality issue, our customer service is on hand to help here.
We use almost no synthetic materials in our collections (less than 5% polyester in 2022). We may need to use some for our down jackets, and some in the blended fabrics used to produce trousers. Our favourite materials are natural fabrics, such as cotton or linen, or man-made fabrics produced from plant cellulose such as Tencel® or viscose. 79% of our viscose products are made of materials from certified eco-managed forests, 73% of which are LENZING™ EcoVero™ certified.
We manufacture our collections in China, Turkey, Portugal, Italy, Morocco, Romania, Bulgaria and France. We have chosen these countries and our suppliers based on their product expertise (T-shirts in Portugal, denim in Turkey, etc.), along with strict criteria concerning social responsibility, quality and skills. When we select a supplier, we aim to establish a long-term partnership which we would like to continue for many years to come. All of our manufacturing sites are audited by independent bodies. This ensures that our suppliers respect human rights, the ILO (International Labor Organisation) regulations and our Code of Conduct for our partners.
Each product sheet available on our website tells you the country of manufacture, and we share the list of our suppliers here.
To learn more about our relationships with our suppliers, visit the Committed to our partners page.
We are highly sensitive to animal welfare issues and would like to use an increasing number of certified materials. 31%* of our wool products already comply with the RWS (Responsible Wool Standard) label, and 100% of the down in our down jackets complies with the RDS (Responsible Dawn Standard) label. These two labels aim to respect the five fundamental freedoms of animal welfare, allowing the specific needs of each species to be met. We also ask our suppliers to undertake not to practice mulesing, a painful surgical technique practiced on sheep in certain countries in order to prevent parasites.
(*% of quantities produced)
The care of a garment is largely accountable for its environmental footprint: energy and water consumption for washing and drying, pollution due to washing products, the release of microplastics from synthetic materials, etc. Not to mention that over-washing a garment causes it to wear prematurely due to friction, water temperature, and repeated spinning, which reduces its overall lifespan. We therefore advise you to wash your clothes only when necessary, and to adopting a few good practices that we have outlined which will be soon available.
You have more questions ?Just write to us here, we will be happy to answer them.
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