Higher Chemical Standards
One of our top priorities is making sure our materials and products are safe for both humans and the environment. We ensure our products are safe by working with expert partners who test according to our Oberalp Chemical Policy, which is stricter than legal requirements and bans or limits harmful chemical substances from our products or production processes. In 2019, we conducted more than 4000 chemical tests on our products to verify their compliance with our stringent internal standards. A further challenge facing the outdoor industry is represented by PFCs (perfluorinated chemicals). In our apparel and textile equipment we have been able to make very important progress and we are constantly looking for alternatives to reduce our impact on the environment, while still protecting our users. Clear and transparent brand-based data regarding the use of PFCs across our product categories can be found in chapter 4 of the Sustainability Report.
Fair and equal garment production
When we say we put the well-being of people first, we mean everyone who is involved in making our products – not just our employees. The non-profit organization Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) has awarded us with “Leader” status for the third year in a row. The award goes to brands who are doing exceptionally well and operating at an advanced level for safe and fair working conditions. We are challenged to improve and take our work a step further every year. And this is exactly what motivates us. Additionally, as part of our journey towards a more transparent communication, Salewa has recently launched a platform where you can find information on what its supply chain looks like and where the brand produces around the world (www.salewa.com/transparency).
Protecting the outdoors
When it comes to packaging, our objective is to eliminate what we can and recycle what we cannot. This is one of the greatest challenges for the coming years. Our biggest source of plastic consumption are the polybags we use for protecting our single products as they move from manufacturing, through our logistics terminals and retail stores, and oftentimes into our customers’ homes. We are members of the Single-Use Plastics Project led by the EOG (European Outdoor Group), which sees over 30 brands and retailers from the outdoor industry coming together to find a common solution to the problem we are all facing. While looking for a long-term solution, we have shifted to using polybags made from recycled plastic for our apparel items starting from winter 2020 collections. Synthetic microfibers are also an important topic on our agenda and a big concern within the global fight against plastic pollution. We are a member of “The Microfiber Consortium” and actively support research projects investigating new solutions to prevent synthetic microfibers (such as nylon and polyester) in our garments from making their way into the environment.
These three topics are only a small snapshot of our sustainability work. We are committed to several different causes that go from community engagement to employee work-life balance to recycled products to emissions reduction initiatives. For more detailed information on our sustainability work, click here.
To download the Sustainability Report and the Oberalp Handbook, go to our Sustainability Reports & Downloads section.