August 2019

Reducing clothing consumption by buying better quality garments and wearing them for longer is the single biggest change we can make to reducing the environmental impact of our wardrobe. Using natural animal fibres with inbuilt antibacterial properties also means less washing and lower temperature washing.

The textile industry is estimated to account for 10% of global carbon emissions. The culture of cheap, disposable textiles is a major contributor to massive environmental issues. Synthetic fibres such as polyester, nylon and acrylic pour into our seas every time they are washed. Cheap, disposable clothing travels around the world from country to country before it is even worn. By using natural fibres and minimising transportation we can greatly reduce this impact.

We know that our customers love and reuse our garments. To support this, we offer a repair service for our knitted garments which can repair holes and tears and restore them to their full former glory. We prioritise energy-efficient equipment when making new purchases and invest in energy-saving technologies where we can. For example, we use highly efficient heat exchangers in our dye vats to reduce energy use.

Paper, cardboard and aluminium are recycled at all our sites while our brochures are printed on paper sourced from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified supplies, and are mailed in 100% compostable packaging. Cardboard packaging for our products is from sustainable forests, and we have a long-term plan to remove all single-use plastics from our operations.

We are proud to use Scotland's clean, soft water in our manufacturing, reducing the number of chemicals required in our processes. An on-site effluent plant means we can treat any textile waste before it enters the local infrastructure. All our dyes are on the approved list of the ZDHC. The ZDHC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals) Foundation oversees the implementation of the ZDHC Roadmap to Zero Programme, a collaboration of fashion brands and affiliates to drive the global implementation of safer chemical management practices.

Leftover material from our collections rarely goes to waste, where every possible fibre is given new life. Batch ends of yarn and cut-offs are reused and re-dyed to produce sale-line scarves and other products, while waste fibre is normally used in fillings or as insulation. A minimal quantity of waste is sent to landfill from our sites, and we have targets in place to reduce this further. We manage our environmental commitments using the ISO 14001 Environmental Management Standard.

Our ability to dye, card, spin, weave or knit and finish our products on-site reduces movement of our products. When we do need to move products, we minimise airfreight, preferring transportation by land and sea.

We take our time to make Johnstons of Elgin products, so you can take your time to enjoy them for years to come. You can take comfort in the fact that our wool and cashmere products are biodegradable, returning to nature when they do eventually come to the end of their life.

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