We have worked with the independent bluesign® standard since 2000 to evaluate and reduce resource consumption and to screen raw materials, including dyes and finishes, used in our supply chain. Bluesign® technologies, based in Switzerland, audits the energy, water and chemical usage of its members and helps them achieve continuous, long-term environmental improvement.
Bluesign® members agree at the outset to establish management systems for improving environmental performance in five key areas of the production process: resource productivity, consumer safety, water emissions, air emissions, and occupational health and safety. Members regularly report their progress and must meet improvement goals to maintain their status; bluesign® technologies performs regular audits.
In addition, bluesign® technologies helps factories implement an input-stream management system for raw materials. This includes screening of chemicals, which are assigned to one of three categories: blue, safe to use; gray, special handling required; and black, forbidden under the standard. Bluesign® technologies helps factories eliminate black chemicals and find equivalent alternatives.
It's a rigorous standard, but as of spring 2013, 15 percent of our products contain bluesign®-approved fabrics. Our progress has inspired us to work with other suppliers in the outdoor industry to encourage more major textile providers to adopt the bluesign® standard. We have established a goal with our suppliers to have all Patagonia fabrics bluesign-approved by 2015.
To learn more about bluesign®, check out www.bluesign.com