Our 3-year strategy
In order to make our products as sustainable as possible, we felt it was necessary to draw up a three-year plan to give us sufficient time to make the changes and also to test our product as the changes were made. This is essential in a business where extreme performance is a fundamental requirement.
The first change we made was to our backing cloth. We introduced organic cotton across all of our ranges and eliminated conventionally-grown cotton completely from our production. We then started testing on rPES and replaced our conventional polyester with recycled polyester thread.
In 2017 all dyes used in production were organic, that is to say, sourced from natural origins. So, they would contain no heavy metals or harmful substances.
As of November 2017, Chieftain Fabrics have joined the United Nations Global Compact. This is an initiative to encourage businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies and also to make an annual report on their implementation.
In order to be accepted as members, it was necessary for Chieftain Fabrics to outline the changes already made to products and production as well as planned changes for the coming years.
It is essential that all elements involved in our production are as sustainable as possible, so each separate ingredient must be the best it can be. We intend to remove DMF from our lacquers in early 2018 and by the end of 2018 all our lacquers will be water-based.
In 2019 we intend to launch our water-based PU fabric. This will be 100% recyclable and will have a very gentle impact on the environment as all the ingredients will be as ethically sourced as possible.
We have launched our new woven collection called Carousel. This is a product by Aquaclean. Carousel is made from 59% recycled cotton and 41% Polymide fibers. This means that this is almost 60% biodegradable. It is also PFC Free.
Chieftain Fabrics have completely eliminated DINP from our formulation.
DINP, (the most commonly used plasticiser in PVC manufacturing) was on the Subjects of Very High Concern list produced by the EU in conjunction with REACH (Regulation, Evaluation and Authorisation of Restricted Chemicals). It has since been removed from this list, however, and is now only banned in the manufacture of children’s toys which may be placed in little mouths.
This is why we thought it was a good idea to remove it from our recipe. We replaced it with a non-phthalic plasticiser which is an environmentally safe alternative; DOTP. This is a more difficult product to use and it took some time for our production lines to adapt. We think it was worth the effort, especially as it means our products are perfectly suitable for use in child-centric environments as well as demanding sectors such as transport, education and healthcare.