After the pet bottle coat, JBC is launching an I AM collection with transparency tool, which allows customers to track where the purchased clothing was produced.
Sustainability in all its facets
For JBC, an established value in the Belgian middle segment, sustainability in all its aspects forms an essential part of their positioning. Producing clothing will always affect our environment, but the challenge is to minimize that impact. In order to produce sustainable clothing, it is important to consider all aspects of the supply chain, ranging from design, material use, production process and origin to the (transparency of) communication around. Fashion Revolution Week is therefore a time to give something a moment’s thought and think about how consumers and producers together can step by step contribute to a more sustainable and fairer clothing industry.
Transparent throughout the entire production process
Of course, sustainability at JBC goes beyond the use of only ecological materials, as well as transparent communication about the production process is important. Therefore, JBC is also launching an I AM collection with transparency tool. In 2015, JBC joined the Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) as one of the first major clothing retailers on the Belgian market, an independent NGO that strives for good working conditions in garment factories. Through independent audits, FWF conducts checks on the workfloor in production countries. Workpoints are then listed in a plan of action.
Saartje Boutsen, CSR Manager at JBC: "We are actively in dialogue with the supplier to resolve this within a predetermined period of time. Thus, we always make progress where necessary. Now we go one step further: For each I AM garment you can now click on 'Trace this item' from the webshop and see in which country and in which factory it was produced. All of these factories are regularly subjected to audits from independent agencies attached to FWF. "
After the dramatic events in Rana Plaza, today, 4 years ago, JBC signed as the first Belgian clothing retailer the Bangladeshi Security Agreement. A binding agreement to make safe workplaces from the Bengal clothing factories.
"Visible progress has been made in the Bengal factories that fall under the agreement. The inspection reports of the affiliated factories can be found transparently on the Bangladesh Accord site. "
Clothes with environmentally friendly materials
I AM chooses as much as possible for environmentally friendly materials. All the cotton used is biocotton, grown without pesticides and chemicals, and therefore more environmentally friendly and healthier. All denims are also made biologically and environmentally friendly, with as little water consumption as possible and without the unhealthy 'sandblasting' technique. This collection has also worked with lyocel (an artificial fiber on natural wood pulp base, an ecological variant for viscose), and with recycled polyester (made of pet bottles).
Sven Bullaert, the inspector of I AM, said: "In the future we want to experiment more and more with other environmentally friendly substances and integrate them into our collections. On the other hand, a number of materials on our forbidden list, such as exotic hides, fur, fuzz picked of living animals and angorawol, for example. The pursuit of sustainability is not a revolution, but a continuous search, in which we are constantly moving forward and moving boundaries. Also I AM is a project in evolution. "