Gudrun Sjödén’s own ecolabel
Next to each garment representing an eco-friendly choice, you’ll now be seeing the following symbols, in a system we call Gudrun’s Good Guide:
Gudrun’s Good Fibres
These items are made entirely or partly from a material grown or produced with sustainability in mind. We impose requirements for transparency and certification.
We regularly revise which fibres are to be rated as Gudrun’s Good Fibres. The following are our green choices:
We use a range of recycled materials like cotton, linen, wool, cashmere, down, polyamide, polyester, wood and paper. Going forward, we hope to be able to make use of even more recycled fibres! We believe that manufacturing from existing fibres is a sound, sustainable alternative.
Recycled fibres are categorised as either pre- or post-consumer waste. The fibres are either sourced from textile industry waste (pre) or from used garments collected from consumers (post). In future, access to post-consumer cotton is expected to increase as we all become even better at sorting and recycling discarded textiles. The constituent fibres in textiles can be recycled mechanically or chemically. We mainly use cotton recycled mechanically in processes to tear it and shred it into its constituent fibres. The resulting fibres are then spun into new yarns and woven or knitted to produce new textiles. In some cases, the material is first sorted by colour, which means that it is not bleached or re-dyed. This is obviously ideal, as it avoids the use of water, energy and chemicals. When cotton undergoes chemical recycling, the reclaimed fibre turns into a viscose-like fibre.
In some cases, fibre recycling is subjected to lifecycle analysis (LCA) in which data from the various manufacturing stages are used for reporting on how the environment has been spared. The majority of recycled materials are certified according to GRS (Global Recycled Standard) or RCS (Recycled Claim Standard).
For our nylon tights, we use chemically recycled polyamide in which surplus material from the factory is used to make new material. When synthetic fibres are recycled chemically, they basically retain the properties of the original fibre, making them an excellent alternative, especially since new fibres would otherwise have been made from plastic, a non-renewable raw material.
The recycled down we use was an innovation on the market in 2016, and we were one of the first brands to use it in our down-filled coat. The down comes from used featherdown quilts and pillows. These are collected, opened and the reclaimed down is then sterilised before it is reused.
For our Christmas decorations, we use recycled paper.
Recycled materials are increasingly part of the circular economy that is needed in order to reduce our environmental footprint. By using recycled materials, we save land use, water, chemicals and energy, and also reduce our carbon emissions compared with using new materials.
We source virtually all of our lyocell from the Austrian company Lenzing AG. TENCEL™ Lyocell is their brand name for lyocell, and they have a long tradition for developing sustainable fibres. TENCEL™ Lyocell is manufactured using wood pulp from forests certified by FSC® (Forest Stewardsship Council). The wood pulp is converted into fibres in a closed-loop system in which the water and chemicals are used over and over again. This is why TENCEL™ Lyocell is rated as one of the most sustainable fibres. TENCEL™ is a brand owned by Lenzing AG.
Our soft and smooth modal is almost always sourced from certified modal made by Lenzing AG in Austria. It is manufactured from wood from certified forests, in closed-loop systems in which both the energy and chemicals are recirculated. TENCEL™ Modal, TENCEL™ Modal x Micro and LENZING™ ECOVERO™ Viscose are all regenerated cellulose fibres. The production of LENZING™ ECOVERO™ Viscose results in a 50% reduction in emissions and water use as compared with conventional viscose. TENCEL™, LENZING™ and ECOVERO™ are trademarks of Lenzing AG.
Organic cotton accounts for the largest volume of organic fibres in our collections. We love the properties of cotton and take great pride in being able to offer such a high percentage of organic cotton, having almost completely phased out conventional cotton. We also use other organic materials such as flax (for linen) and wool. In fact, all natural fibres can be certified as organic if their production complies with the certification requirements. Neither genetically modified seeds (GMO), chemical pesticides or artificial fertilisers are permitted in organically farmed crops. Vi require Scope and Transaction Certificates from recognised organisations for all of our organic products.
Naturally retted flax and hemp
Retting by water or dew is an organic, natural fermentation process that takes time and requires minimal water, and is therefore regarded as more eco-friendly. We accept European Flax-certified fibres and Oekotex-certified fibres.
Cotton made in Africa (CmiA)
Cotton grown by smallholder cotton farmers in Africa with a focus on sustainable and eco-friendly cultivation methods. The farmers gain an opportunity to raise their standard of living through increased yields and income. The cotton has several advantages over conventionally grown cotton, including that no genetically modified (GMO) seed is used, the crops are irrigated only by rainwater, and no virgin forest is cleared to create arable land.
Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)
BCI cotton comes from sustainable crops cultivated by farmers using more efficient irrigation methods for water stewardship. They use a smaller volume of chemical pesticides and artificial fertilisers, which gives the cotton several advantages over conventionally grown cotton.
Silk thread is produced by silk worms that cocoon themselves in vast lengths of silk threads. Silkworms feed on the leaves of mulberry trees, which are easy to grow and do not usually require large amounts of water or chemicals. The pupa is protein-rich and edible, and the cocoon can be recycled as fertiliser or as wadding. Silk has natural temperature-regulating properties, and can therefore be seen as nature’s own insulating material. It warms us in the cold and feels cool in hot weather.
Alpaca wool comes from alpacas kept in natural habitats, meaning that they live in harmony with nature. Their hooves do not pack the ground hard, and their fleece contains no lanolin, so large amounts of water and energy are saved in the fleece cleansing process. This makes alpaca wool a good choice.
Leather – vegetable tanned and dyed
The entire process of tanning and dyeing the leather must be done using natural extracts, the best available technology (BAT) and the best environmental practice (BEP) for the leather to be rated as an eco-friendly choice.
Wood and natural rubber
The wood must be certified by either FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council) or PEFCTM (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification). Natural rubber is a renewable and recyclable material that requires little energy and few chemicals during the extraction process.
Gudrun’s Good Manufacturing
These products are manufactured entirely or largely at audited factories geared to the best possible production processes for the external environment and human health. We make strict requirements for all the influential processes in the manufacturing to be certified, in some cases all the way from the fibre to the stitching factory. In other cases, it’s the principal processes of dyeing and printing that are certified. Fabrics that have not been bleached or dyed are also rated as Good Manufacturing.
Certifications for manufacturing units we rate as Gudrun’s Good Manufacturing are:
An independent organisation committed to alleviating poverty and empowering small-scale farmers to achieve equity in trading their produce. Certification is subject to strict environmental requirements prohibiting the use of harmful pesticides and for water and forest stewardship, protection of biological diversity and species at risk of extinction. Strict requirements also apply to human rights, and regarding anti-corruption and anti-bribery.
The price of the materials must be based on the cost of sustainable production and living wages, not solely on the market price. Buyers pay a premium which is invested, democratically, in healthcare, education, infrastructure or in actually producing the commodity traded. All factories in the manufacturing or production chain must be inspected by a third party in order to be permitted to trade in Fairtrade-certified cotton.
Organic standards certifications
The main organic standards certifications cover materials such as cotton, flax and wool. They certify natural fibres produced organically, or, in the case of wool, that the animals are reared organically. They also certify processes such as wool mills, dyers, printers and other production entities. Many of our products are already certified along the entire manufacturing chain, and we are continuously including more organic products in our assortment. Certification along the entire manufacturing chain means all the stages from the virgin fibre to the seaming factory. When this is the case, we state this in the materials specification for each item we offer. Since much of the organic footprint is from farming and wet processes in manufacturing such as dyeing of the fibres, we also rate our products with a certified dyeing and/or printing process as Gudrun’s Good Manufacturing. This is verified for each process by a Scope Certificate or Transaction Certification.
bluesign is a set of environmental certification standards covering the entire manufacturing chain. The materials meet strict requirements for environmental protection and health and safety. The following are examples of what is measured and monitored: That the material is free from harmful chemicals, uses energy and raw materials sustainably to reduce any environmental and carbon footprint, involves minimal water consumption and maximum water purification, and that the factory ensures occupational health and safety and decent terms of employment. In this way, bluesign certifies consumer safety, emissions to air and water, chemicals and energy use as well as CSR aspects at the factories.
STeP by OEKO-TEX
STeP (Sustainable Textile Production) is a certification from OEKO-TEX®. This sets stringent social requirements concerning terms of employment and workplace safety. Regarding environmental factors, this certification standard focuses on reducing waste by verifying resource consumption, including water and energy use, and also on responsible chemicals handling. STeP certification also requires quality assurance by the manufacturers.
Gudrun’s Unique Handicraft
These items are crafted by skilled artisans according to age-old traditions. Each item has its own unique appearance and artistic value. By purchasing items with this label, you will be helping to keep unique skills and crafts alive and thriving.
Gudrun’s Good Deed
These items are sold in aid of various charitable causes. More specific information on the projects we’re supporting is provided in the product description for each item.
Gudrun’s Good Guide
– A whole collection to take pride in.
We aim to have as many of our products as possible produced in an environmentally-friendly way, not just a limited and exclusive line. Over the decades, environmental awareness has evolved and gone in and out of fashion. From the 80s when eco-friendliness was tentative and virtually impossible, through the 90s when we launched our first organic collection, to today when green choices are obvious.
In the forest of eco-labelling systems, we felt that having our own label would make it easier for our customers to find their way around our collections. So, in 2008 we introduced our own eco-labelling system, which we called our Leaves label, and in 2017 we will be updating our labelling system and Gudrun’s Good Guide.