Image Wear is a Finnish family business and operational responsibility is part of our ownership and business strategy. For a long time, we have been systematically developing our operations to be more sustainable and have provided annual sustainability reports since 2015. Read our sustainability reports here. Our sustainability work is based on the following principles:
We are involved in creating better workdays for the users of our products, our clients and our personnel.
We develop environmentally sustainable solutions and aim for carbon neutral operations.
We believe in partnership, open dialogue, and transparency with our stakeholders.
We divide our sustainability efforts into three parts: rewarding work, reliable partner and environmentally sustainable processes. The sustainability force field figure below shows the themes of different subdivisions.
A rewarding work
We monitor the job satisfaction of our personnel with the eNPS survey twice a year. We create a pluralistic work community and develop anonymous recruitment. We encourage our employees to maintain and develop their professional skills through both training and on-the-job learning.
Manufacturing chains are long and we work on promoting transparency. The majority of our products are manufactured in our own plants in Narva and Viljandi, Estonia. Our whole personnel are committed to our Code of Conduct, which is based on the UN Global Compact operating principles.
In addition to our own plants, we have partners in Europe and Asia. On our website we publish a map, which shows the countries, where our partners operate. In the future we plan to add a Digital Passport to our products, which will show the manufacturing chain of the product.
All our subcontractors and suppliers commit to supplier responsibility principles . We are a member of Amfori BSCI and have access to Amfori's audit data. Our goal is to get all our long-term subcontractors operating in high-risk countries to become members of Amfor. Our subcontractors operating in risk countries are regularly audited in accordance with BSCI requirements. BSCI's social requirements for its manufacturer members correspond to the requirements of the SA8000 standard.
All our subcontractors and suppliers commit to the Code of Conduct of suppliers. We are a member of Amfori BSCI and have access to Amfori auditing data. Our goal is that all our long-term subcontractors, who operate in high-risk countries, become members of Amfori. The subcontractors operating in high-risk countries are audited on a regular basis in accordance with BSCI requirements. The social requirements of BSCI for its manufacturer members correspond to the requirements of the SA8000 standard.
At subcontractor locations in non-risk countries, our experts of manufacturing monitor the fulfillment of social requirements by recording their observations on Amfor Byer's Checklist form at each visit. At these sites we also introduce the self-monitoring form used by Amfor. We strive to help and support our subcontractors in eliminating the shortcomings detected in audits. In addition, we conduct continuous, product-specific demand forecasting with an aim to load subcontractors evenly, enabling them to prepare and execute long-term plans.
We wish to be a responsible corporate citizen and strive to promote the well-being of the entire community in those locations, where we have the opportunity to make an impact. In Narva, we have supported, for example, the activities of a children's hospital and a children's home. In Viljandi, we are currently looking for a suitable target. In addition, we donate part of the company's profits to charity by supporting the activities of Save the Children Finland both in Finland and in Rajasthan, India. Another charity, where we are involved, is the Finnish Freshwater Foundation, through which we want to learn different ways to reduce our water footprint and support the protection of the inland waters of Finland.
Environmentally sustainable processes
We have a certified environmental system corresponding to ISO 14001. In line with the requirements of the system, we have reviewed the environmental effects of our operations by describing the environmental impacts of various functions, processes, premises, products and services during their life cycle. The review has shown that the most important tasks from the aspect of the environment are: using eco-friendly fabrics and materials, extending the life cycle of products, disposal of products at the end of their life cycle.
Our goal is to become carbon neutral in our operations by the end of 2025. In our operating sites in Finland, all the premises covered by our own electricity contract use only renewable electricity, we use Posti Green transportation for deliveries from the warehouse in Tampere to our clients, and we compensate our transportation from our plants to the warehouse. We are bound to the Carbon Neutral Textile Industry 2035 commitment and we calculate the carbon footprint of our operations every year.
We conduct energy efficiency surveys at our operating sites in Tampere every four years and implement the improvement proposal provided in the surveys.
Our products are manufactured from fabrics and materials developed specifically for workwear. It means that the products are made to withstand daily use and industrial washing. Our aim is to replace all the fabrics we use with more ecological alternatives. First it means replacing, for example, polyester fiber with recycled polyester, followed by replacing other fibers also with recycled ones as new alternative materials emerge.
The most important thing for the environment is to keep every product in use as long as possible. We have developed various services to extend the life of our products and strive to be a circular economy operator.
With the Aarre® Reuse Service, clients’ products are rotated from one user to another within the company. Additional products (such as at the end of an employee’s contract) are returned through the laundry to Image Wear’s warehouse and delivered to the next user upon order. Along with the order, the new user will be informed that he/she has received the rotated product.
With the Työvaatelainaamo Rental Service, a company can rent needed workwear for as long as needed. The products are returned either to the nearest store or directly to the laundry, from where they are returned to Image Wear's warehouse after washing and, if necessary, repair.
The FabPatches can be used to easily repair small holes and tears in your workwear and thereby extend the life of your clothing.
End-of-life products can be recycled into Kierre® textile composite products. The products are shredded and mixed with recycled plastic chips and binders resulting in a granulate, which can be used to make products such as benches for parks, flower boxes or tables.