Clothing factory workers. Photo: K-Group

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Can affordable be sustainable? Where was my clothing sewn and how does its production affect the environment? In answer to questions presented by customers and NGOs, K Group tracks the different stages of T-shirt production in more detail than before. The journey of organic cotton mywear T-shirts is monitored on the Tracing Our Products website.

“Customers wish to receive more information on the sustainable origin of clothes. At K Group, we work hard to ensure the sustainability of products and we want to tell our customers more thoroughly about all the things we take into account,” says Matti Kalervo, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at Kesko.

Customers and NGOs are especially interested in where and in what kind of circumstances the products produced in far-off countries are manufactured.

“On this website, we answer these questions with reference to the most popular product we have had manufactured for the mywear clothes collection sold in K-Citymarkets. We provide information on the sustainability requirements that K Group sets for its suppliers. We describe our sourcing cooperation with ICA from Sweden, tell about the factory where mywear T-shirts are made and the audits conducted there, and discuss cotton production and the sourcing of more sustainable cotton,” Kalervo continues.

In K Group, the sourcing of more sustainable cotton is guided by a cotton policy

Cotton is the most widely produced natural fibre in the world, and around half of all textiles are made of cotton. Cotton production involves risks: cotton farming consumes a lot of water, and the supply chain contains human rights risks. To control these risks, sourcing is guided by K Group’s cotton policy.

“Kesko has made the commitment that all of the cotton sourced for its own clothing and home textile brands is more sustainable cotton by the end of 2025. More sustainable cotton is certified organic cotton, recycled cotton, Better Cotton or Fairtrade cotton,” Kalervo says.

The cotton of mywear T-shirts monitored on the Tracing Our Products website is GOTS certified organic cotton. Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is a leading certification system for organic textiles worldwide.

K Group also opens up the origin of tuna, roses and timber products

In addition to mywear T-shirts, the Tracing Our Products website provides information on the origin of all Pirkka and K-Menu canned tuna, Pirkka Fairtrade roses and PROF Timber, and on their journey to K-stores. More products, on which customers and other stakeholders wish to receive further information, will be added to the website.

Source: K Group

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