"Vertical" textile manufacturing is where each product component is supplied to the next stage in the process within a single location. As one of Scotland's last remaining vertical mills, we dye, spin, weave and finish all our products on site. As a result, we have absolute control over what goes into our products and what goes out during our processes. We are gentle with our precious fibres, and as members of the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) programme, all our dyes and chemicals are on their approved list.
Founded in 2011, in response to the Greenpeace DeTox campaign, ZDHC aims to eliminate the use of priority hazardous chemicals in the global textile, leather and footwear value chain. We ensure that no chemicals listed in the ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substances List, which is reviewed and updated frequently to reflect the latest research, are used in our supply chain. The programme is a collaboration between chemical suppliers, manufacturers and brands, and as Johnstons is a manufacturer as well as a brand, we are well placed to contribute to this process, sitting on the Suppliers Advisory Group.
One example of the ZDHC programme's value is the elimination of APEO's (Alkylphenol ethoxylates) from our supply chain.
Until just a few years ago, manufacturers widely used APEO's in cleaning (scouring) wools and cashmere. By adopting the strict standards of the ZDHC programme, we have been able to eliminate the use of APEO's in the scouring of our wools and cashmere. By influencing the development and selection of detergents for our suppliers, we believe we have influenced the removal of this from an extensive section of the textile industry.
You can find more information on the ZDHC website: Roadmap To Zero.
We select our fibres to our own extremely rigorous standards. In addition to sourcing the finest, highest quality cashmere and wool from around the world, we use traditional manufacturing processes, which are as gentle with the environment as they are with our delicate fibres. We know exactly how each process is carried out because it is done here at our own sites.
For example, many manufacturers buy cheaper dark fibres and heavily bleach them to produce a lighter base for dyeing their desired colours. Our complete control of the manufacturing process allows us to select fibres close to the desired end colour, minimising bleaching and dyeing. In addition to the immediate environmental impact of bleaching, it can be extremely damaging to fibres. Avoiding this is one of the many ways we can produce softer finished products with a longer life expectancy.
Scotland's soft water allows us to use minimal chemicals in the treatment of our wool and cashmere. As some chemicals are naturally occurring, we measure our wastewater to ensure these levels remain minimal.
Learn more about our approach to reducing water stress.
Using fewer chemicals is not just a response to environmental concerns. It is the long-standing secret of Scottish cashmere. Soft Scottish water, generations of skills and the very best technology combine to make cashmere and woollen products that are intrinsically soft. The beautiful softness which tempts you to invest in our products will not only endure but will improve through your garment's lifetime.
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