Sustainability in Dressmann

Dressmann is part of Varner and has been since 1967. With this comes values ​​and responsibility, with the environment and the people behind the production at the forefront.

A part of Varner

Varner is one of Scandinavia’s biggest fashion houses, with sustainability development at the core of the business.

Varner have their own corporate social responsibility employees and specialists.

Working within Varner’s sustainability means taking responsibility for climate, humans, and consumers. Investing in more sustainable materials, quality control of factories and workers are among the responsibilities taken towards a circular business model.

 

For you, the costumer

As a part of Varner, Dressmann partakes towards a more sustainable textile industry.

With sustainability at the core of our business, we have a constant focus on developing designs and forward-thinking concepts, to offer our consumers the best quality and alternatives.

Certification schemes

We work with three certified standards, which contribute to making sure our promises regarding production, employees, animal welfare, suppliers and sustainability are kept.

Fairtrade

Fairtrade

Since 2017, Dressmann has been working with Fairtrade, and by 2018 we became the largest fashion house using fairtrade cotton.

Fairtrade ensures that we can trust the process of responsibility towards traceability, environmental and socio-economic aspects, resulting in a more responsible buying process.

Fairtrade is one of our most important certified standards. By 2025, Dressmann has committed themselves to only purchase cotton from more sustainable sources. This can be Fairtrade cotton, organic produced cotton, cotton purchased though Better Cotton or recycled cotton.

Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS)

Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS)

GOTS is a worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain.

Organic fibres are natural fibres grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, or herbicides and GMOs (Genetic Modified Organisms) according to the principles of organic agriculture.

 

All processing units of GOTS products must demonstrate environmental management practices, including wastewater treatment, energy and water use monitoring, prohibition of environmentally hazardous substances in chemical inputs.

 

GOTS is setting social requirements including among others: freedom of association and collective bargaining, remuneration, occupational health and safety, working time, discrimination.

Responsible Down Standards (RDS)

Responsible Down Standards (RDS)

Responsible Down Standards (RDS) is an important animal welfare standard that Dressmann works closely with. Clothes marked with their blue and white logo means the item is produced according to RDS. Responsible Down Standards is an important certification that both gain and effect down and the feather production industry, with the focus on humane and respectful treatment of ducks and geese.

By practicing this standard, Dressmann are insured that the feathers from these animals are collected from animals being taken care of and haven’t been exposed for any harm.

Production and supply reinsurance

Production markets

China, India, Bangladesh, and Turkey, among others, are Dressmann’s main production places. Each of these named places contains a Varner office with their own CSR specialist, to maintain our presence and knowledge of the workers in our supply chain.

 

Supply reinsurance

Our main principle for production is respect for humans, all parties involved and their rights. Varner has created guidelines for production and supply collaboration, based on the rights to good working conditions and that works rights will be kept and maintained. These measures will need to be met to work for Varner.

Varner performs due diligence assessments, which means that Varner considers risks along the supply chain and evaluation of the production factories. Visits and inspections are made on a regular basis.

 

Supply follow-up

How our supply follow-up works:

  • The CSR specialists of Varner execute the follow up by attending announced and unannounced visits.
  • When visiting, Varner’s CSR specialists will report on the factory’s safety, workers’ rights, relevant interviews, overlook relevant documents and other relevant inventory checks.
  • If necessary, improvements necessary to be made will be reported by the CSR specialists.

 

For Varner and Dressmann, being transparent with production markets and supply follow-up is highly important. Therefore, all our products are marked with information regarding production country and fabric used. All first and secondary factories Varner works with will appear on Open Supply Hub.

Human rights and workers’ rights

Knowing the risk areas of the fashion industry, Varner has made it their priority to maintain and take care of workers along the supply chain. The focus is based on risk analysis tied up to countries, regions, outsourcing of materials and production processes.

 

Rights to be in a trade union

This makes it possible to maintain a fair dialog between workers, managers, authorities, and companies.

 

Health and safety

An important focus knowing how the production of clothes implies manual labor, the use of machines and chemicals, as well as production in places surrounding building security. Varner has made it their priority to control check safety regarding buildings, escape routes and protective gear. Regular inspections and relevant courses around health and safety are made.

Varner signed the Accord agreement: Home (internationalaccord.org) after the Rana Plaza accident in 2013. It’s an important agreement among companies and global businesses, made to maintain the safety for workers in the textile industry. An updated agreement was signed in 2021.

 

Salary schedule and fair salaries

Practicing a fair salary schedule is an important right. Varner are constantly researching salary terms and agreements, through documentation related to workers’ salaries. However, the risk of workers being exposed for an unfair salary still might appear further along the supply chain. Varner demands all their factories to pay their workers minimum wages, and a lot of our suppliers provide salaries above that. Still, we are aware that we will need to increase this salary level additionally.

 

Employment contract

All workers are offered a contract stating their salary and working hours. To minimize and control the number of hours worked, Varner has made it their focus to educate buyers through courses and supplier surveys to maintain working hours and working environment.

 

All workers treated equal

Varner demands that all workers, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, background, ethnicity, political point of view or religion. All suppliers are required to maintain this and take measures to prevent harassment or gender-based violence. Varner works together with organizations as Social Awareness and Voluntary Education (SAVE) in India and Joint Ethical Trading Initiative (JETI) in Bangladesh, to make sure female workers are safe.

Climate and environment

Recircle and re-use

Recirculating and re-sure of surplus goods is important for Varner. All our surplus goods are donated to Fretex unless they’re wrongfully produced, or do not meet the health, environment and saft measured, which will be destroyed. Donations to Fretex will be distributed for resales, recirculating or to energy production.

By doing this, Varner can use the opportunity to extract all resources. Recirculate materials have a positive effect on reduced carbon footprint, water consumption, as well as contributing to maintaining the eco system. However, we are aware that recirculating textiles are not enough and are continuously developing new strategies.

In Dressmann we use recycled polyester in most of our products and are constantly working towards recycled materials in our products.

 

Reduce water consumption

Reducing water consumption is something Varner takes very seriously. The textile industry uses a lot of water throughout the process, and Varner has made several changes in order to reduce the amount of water used. By mapping out the amount of water used, making sure the fabrics and well functional cleaning systems, and participating in initiatives which the industry works together with, to reduce the water consumption. We focus on choosing materials which use less water, and we do demand a high standard of production for our suppliers regarding treatment, chemicals, waste, and water emission.

 

Reducing carbon emissions

We are working on reducing our carbon footprint. With this in mind, we are looking into carbon emission based on production, where and amount, and focusing on using materials that are more sustainable and environmentally friendly. We also choose to use transportation by sea rather than airplanes, and work with shipping companies that are actively seeking to reduce their carbon emission.

We are in an commitment agreement in order to maintain our climate promise with Swedish Textile Initiative for Climate Action.

 

Animal welfare

During production, animal welfare is an important part of a more sustainable production. Our demands with our suppliers are highlighted in our Animal Welfare Policy. We choose not to use or purchase materials from suppliers known for an unfair treatment of animals or unethical treatment during transportation.

We also have prohibitions that we adhere to. Examples of our prohibitions are fur, leather from endangered species and animal testing of cosmetics.