The misuse of chemicals within the fashion industry has caused huge damage to local environments, especially waterways and has inflicted significant negative health impacts on those working with them. A 2012 study estimates that up to 20 percent of all industrial water pollution is from the dyeing and finishing of textiles.
We are restricting the use of hazardous chemicals in our supply chain by monitoring our textile production processes. We comply with the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) monitored restricted substances list (MRSL) to ensure the zero use of legally banned chemicals and restricted use of potentially harmful substances in our clothing.
Many of our suppliers share our commitment and hold third party certifications around responsible water and chemical use. These organisations such as GOTS, OEKO-TEX® and Bluesign certify the restriction of hazardous chemicals. As of the end of 2020 all our virgin sourced fabrics are certified by at least one reputable chemical management certification body.
For all of our suppliers, including those who are not third-party certified, we require them to be signed up to our Supplier Code of Conduct which includes parameters around the responsible use of chemicals and water management.
At Maggie Marilyn we take responsibility for the impact of our business operations on the health and well being of people and our planet. The use of freshwater is an inevitable part of producing clothes but it's use should not cause any harm.
The use of freshwater in the fashion industry is very complex due to the huge variance in accessibility, quality, and management of this resource globally and the volumes of water required, and the farming method used, to produce the raw fibres.
There are three main considerations for us when we evaluate the use of freshwater in our supply chain:
- Extraction - where is water being extracted from and what is the impact of that;
- Usage - what steps are taken to ensure the most efficient use of water; and,
- Discharge - what is the quality of any discharged water and where is it discharged.
As part of our commitment to becoming a circular and regenerative business we intend for our impact on freshwater to be restorative. This means that we will work with each level of our supply chain to help improve the quality of any waterways we are associated with. We understand the complexity of this goal however freshwater is an essential human right that we must ensure is protected, and the historical damage to waterways the fashion industry is responsible for must be repaired.
Further to this Goal 6 of the United Nations SDGs 'Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all', is one of the SDGs we have committed to helping achieve.
We have invested a significant amount of time in informing ourselves about the use of freshwater in our supply chain and fashion industry at large, however we understand that we always have more to learn. This policy is written based on our knowledge at this time and it will evolve as we continue to learn.
We are committed to ensuring that:
- All of our suppliers have an environmental policy that includes targets and procedures to maximise their water efficiency, and ensure no negative environmental impacts from the withdrawl or discharge of water;
- All wet processing units we work with keep full records of the use of chemicals, energy, water consumption and wastewater treatment, including the disposal of sludge. And the wastewater from all wet processing units must be treated in a functional wastewater treatment plant.
- We use only GOTS certified organic cotton;
- Research is undertaken on the local freshwater situation of all new suppliers;
- We partner with suppliers on finding new technologies / processes such as waterless dying;
- We educate our customers on the freshwater issues the global community faces and how they can care for their clothes to conserve water;
- We prioritise working with growers who follow regenerative agricultural practices;
- Continually improving our knowledge and understanding of freshwater usage in fashion is a priority.