Evaluation and control of wet processes

Inditex has its own programmes designed and implemented to regulate the facilities and processes that use these substances, in order to guarantee the health and safety of the products and that they are produced in a clean manner. Ready to Manufacture is the programme for the evaluation of the wet processes for textile manufacture to implement practices that guarantee the health and safety of the products; and Green to Wear, for its part, seeks cleaner production in the environment and a less intensive resource consumption.

Ready to Manufacture

Ready to Manufacture is a guide with the best textile practices for the processes of dyeing, printing, washing and finishing, with emphasis on how to select adequate chemical products and apply them without generating health risks, as well as a programme for training, monitoring and evaluation of said practices.

Ready to Manufacture consists of two instruments:

  • The Guide to Good Manufacturing Practices is orientated towards guaranteeing the traceability of the items manufactured in the environment of wet processes at the factory (dyeing, tanneries, print mills and washers). Elaborated in collaboration with the best professionals in the fields of dyeing, printing, tanning, washing and finishing textile and leather items, it has been widely accepted as a positive contribution to the sector.
  • The training and audit protocol in the Practices of the Guide provide information and training directly in the facilities that form part of the value chain of suppliers. In this way, the implementation model is adapted to the specific conditions of each facility and to the level of experience of the personnel.

After the processes of training and audit, the facilities are classified as Green, Amber or Red, depending on the level of implementation and compliance with Ready to Manufacture and correction or improvement programmes are designed for the facilities that have not reached the results desired.

Green to Wear: environmental audit and technical training

At Inditex we work so that more than 60 suppliers of the supply chain (48.5% in China, 52.5% in Bangladesh and 39.8% in India) maintain the sustainable environment production standard for Green to Wear products in all wet processes. The visits carried out at more than 100 factories located in China, Bangladesh, India, Turkey and Cambodia have allowed us to train our supply chain and strengthen this philosophy of continuous improvement. Thus, all aligned, we advance towards the commitment of zero discharge of hazardous substances in 2020.

We work with the support of the University of A Coruña, analysing and validating the results of the waste waters of the suppliers. Resulting from this detailed analysis of 280 water samples, we have focused our efforts on the detection of the five most relevant chemical groups in the discharge and the identification of the source of origin. For this, we have also developed a research methodology which allows us to detect the source of the contamination, where applicable, within the inventory of chemical products used.

On the other hand, we also work on the analysis and improvement of the water purification facilities used by our suppliers. The training materials created by the University of A Coruña on the treatment of waste water from textiles, available on the Master Plan for Water in the Inditex Supply Chain website, permits the suppliers to find improvements for the use and management of each of the treatment processes at the facility. Also, our teams will be responsible for verifying that the factories with wet processes have correctly installed and sized the water purification stations and that they are adequately managed, in compliance with the discharge parameters established. A good installation and adequate management of a standard purification plant in the textile sector will even permit reuse of part of the treated water, mixing it with clean water and using it again in the wet process. This good practice is one of those that our suppliers must have in order to be classified as Best in Class in our environmentally sustainable production standard for "Green to Wear" products.

The analyses of waste water in our supply chain are public on our website, and we encourage our suppliers to do the same on the website of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs of China (IPE), a non-profit organization that promotes access to environmental information of companies.

In 2014, Inditex eliminated the use of undesired water repellents in the supply chain. The demands of our PFC Free Policy and the disclosure of safe alternatives in the sector have allowed us to place more than ten million waterproof items on the market that are PFC free.

Bangladesh Water Pact: partnership for Cleaner Textile

Inditex is one of the main promoters of the Bangladesh Water PaCT: Partnership for Cleaner Textile, which seeks to improve the sector of wet processes in Bangladesh, contributing to the well-being of its employees and the community and encouraging competition in the long term.

Currently, almost one hundred factories participate in this initiative. The joint work of all of these, through their adhesion, has permitted savings of 2.9 million cubic meters of water, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions up to 7% and has avoided the discharge of 4.5 million cubic meters of waste water.

Thanks to the Bangladesh Water PaCT and the environmentally sustainable production standard for Inditex Green to Wear products that guides the actions of our suppliers, we have been able to identify personalised measures for greater energy and water savings and better management of the waste water of our suppliers.

As a result of these efforts, in 2014, more than 50 million items placed on the market have been manufactured by suppliers with efficient use of resources.