Frequently asked questions about sustainability
Luhta Sportswear Company
We encourage everyone to be responsible in their clothing and textile purchases, to choose wisely, to use and maintain correctly and to recycle what is worn out and not needed anymore. In this way, you can do your part to reduce the environmental impact of textile manufacturing and use.
At Luhta, sustainability is one of our core values and we are building our business with future generations in mind. We design and produce sustainable and innovative products that stand the test of time, both in terms of quality and appearance.
At Luhta, product durability and suitability in the chosen use are at the heart of our responsibility work. The most responsible material for outdoor clothing is one that is functional and can withstand appropriate use. Finding an environmentally friendly material with these qualities is challenging, but we are constantly looking for new, recycled or innovative materials for our collections.
Our company is committed to respecting animal rights worldwide. Each subcontractor and supplier is required to commit to the Code of Conduct and the unconditional company policy on animal rights, as set out in their supply contracts, before entering into a partnership.
We have phased out the use of fur completely by 2022. We will only use faux fur as a product feature.
DOWN AND FEATHERS
We require certificates of origin for the down and feathers used in our products, the use of which is conditional on the ethical treatment of animals. The cornerstones of ethical treatment in down production are the prohibition of force-feeding and of plucking down from live animals. The down and feathers used in our products are a surplus product from the poultry industry.
WOOL AND MERINO WOOL
Wool is the fibre produced by sheep. We use both traditional wool and merino wool in our collections. Merino wool is a finer quality and more comfortable to the touch than wool from merino sheep. Merino wool is mainly produced in Australia and New Zealand. Mulesing, a painful procedure that produces scar tissue on the animal, is often referred to in connection with merino wool. It is banned by law in several countries and we at Luhta have taken the position that we do not approve of the treatment for the merino we use.
Microplastics are minimal plastic particles that are shed from synthetic fabrics such as polyester. The effects of microplastics on humans and animals are not yet certain, but it is estimated that they accumulate in the body through the food we eat. Technical materials are used in clothing to increase functionality, comfort and durability. From an environmental point of view, the best textile products are generally those that will last as long as possible in good condition, which is why we focus on product quality. It is proven that microplastics are the main source of emissions from poor quality products. Avoid microplastics by buying quality products designed for their intended use and washing them only when necessary.
We aim to use recycled materials wherever possible. This is limited, however, by the availability of materials. Materials are constantly evolving and we are increasing the proportion of recycled materials in each of our collections. Our goal is for all our collections to be circular by 2040. The AWS Circular Economy label indicates the recycled material in the product.
Our products have high quality criteria. We design long-lasting products that will last for years of use, both in terms of quality and appearance. Our products designed for active use are also tested in active use and are designed to withstand heavy use. In addition, products designed for active sports take into account the harsh wear and tear caused by sport-specific use in critical areas. Materials are wear-tested before production to ensure sustainable quality. However, in active and hard use, any material will wear out and the garments will not last forever.
We take responsibility for the products we design and manufacture. We are responsible for ensuring that our products are free from defects and safe and that the information we provide about them is correct and adequate. The finished textile product is the result of the collaboration of many actors. Chemicals, dyes, finishing and fixing agents are an integral part of the textile manufacturing process. Spinning, weaving, knitting require the use of chemicals. Without chemicals, products would not stand up well to wear and tear, could be dangerous (e.g. flammable), would wrinkle or would always be almost the same colour. We take responsibility for eliminating the risks of harmful substances by complying with the REACH and POP regulations on the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals. However, textile products that come into contact with the skin are always recommended to be washed before use, as many hands have touched the product before it finds its place in your wardrobe.
All our products on sale comply with current chemical legislation and consumer regulations. We comply with the REACH Regulation on registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of hazardous substances. Our products are PFC-free.
WHAT HAPPENS TO UNSOLD PRODUCTS / WHETHER SURPLUS PRODUCTS ARE INCINERATED
We do not incinerate clothes left over from seasonal sales or returned to our stores, but sell them at a lower price than the normal price in our factory outlets. We also donate items to charity.
LUHTA AS A COMPANY
FINNISH COMPANY / DOMESTICITY
We are a 100% Finnish-owned family business and our brands are also rooted and managed here. The main areas of our business, from design and product development to marketing, sales, logistics and administration, are in Finland, and the majority of the taxes we pay are also paid in Finland. Unfortunately, we have been forced to abandon production in Europe and move it mainly to Asia to our long-term contract manufacturers, who are guided by our highly refined quality assurance process. We provide a transparent account of our sourcing processes in our Sustainability Report, which you can read more about here. We still produce in Europe and Finland too. For example, a large proportion of the hats in our collections are produced in Finland.
COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURE AND BUSINESS RESPONSIBILITY
Sustainability is at the heart of our business, from the point of view of product sustainability, environmental responsibility and social responsibility. Global operations bring risks and challenges in terms of human resources and human rights, highlighting the importance of managing these responsibly in all countries. Luhta is a member of amfori BSCI, which promotes social responsibility in the supply chain, which, alongside our own processes, helps us to ensure social responsibility in production. The purchasing agreements that Luhta enters into with contract manufacturers bind suppliers to comply with the conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the principles of the amfori BSCI. Compliance with these principles is monitored both by Luhta and by external auditors.
In China, we operate through our local subsidiary. There, our in-house quality controllers are actively involved in monitoring the production of our contract factories, both to ensure product quality and to comply with our Code of Conduct obligations. In China, we have more than 300 employees within our own organisation who are responsible for this process.
North Star is our own production assurance process, whereby we regularly monitor and audit our suppliers and factories, carrying out quality checks both before and during the start of production. In addition to ensuring that the conditions are in line with the requirements, these audits are also to ensure that our products are manufactured in the factories that we have been notified of. Around 7% of all visits are unannounced, i.e. the supplier is not informed in advance of the visit. Our internal quality control is extensive and we have worked hard to ensure transparency in the process. In 2022, a total of more than 7,000 visits to suppliers were carried out. The audit largely follows the same principles as the amfori BSCI.
ACTIVITIES IN RUSSIA
Luhta condemns at all levels the war of aggression launched by Russia against Ukraine. At the outbreak of the war, we immediately ceased all our operations in Russia and also demanded that local franchisees cease doing business under our brand.
Building on our 2021 sustainability programme, we aim to communicate openly about our progress and the background to our emissions reporting. Our emissions reporting will proceed in three steps, strictly following the GHG protocol. We calculated our own carbon footprint in 2021 and global Scope 1 and Scope 2 in 2022. We are aware that in the textile sector, our largest emissions are generated outside Finland and our goal is to identify our most significant Scope 3 emissions during 2023. We are at the beginning of our journey and are continuously improving our operations. Our goal is to be fully carbon neutral by 2030.
RESPONSIBILITY OF THE ENVIRONMENT
Environmental awareness is part of our business. We are constantly improving our operations for a cleaner environment. A significant proportion of the products we design and manufacture are intended for outdoor use, so a clean environment is of particular importance to our business. We want future generations to be able to enjoy outdoor activities in nature and in a clean environment. We also expect our subcontractors and suppliers to act in a similarly responsible manner.
We have also paid attention to environmentally friendly packaging. More efficient packaging, the use of recyclable packaging materials saves energy in manufacturing and transport and also generates less waste. In our retail operations, we have replaced the environmentally harmful plastic bags traditionally used with renewable recyclable materials. The plastic used in our deliveries is recycled and recyclable. The use of plastic in deliveries protects products from breakage and discolouration.
To reduce our carbon footprint, we have switched to using renewable energy for electricity and heat in our headquarters and warehouses. For heating, we use Lahti Energia's emission-free Green Heat, and from Oomi we source renewable electricity generated by the sun, water and wind. In the future, we want to be more self-sufficient in our energy consumption and we will produce a large part of the electricity needed for our logistics centre in Finland locally with solar power.
In early October, we installed solar panels on the roof of our logistics centre in Nastola, Lahti. The energy generated by the solar panels in the summer enables us to produce a large part of the electricity needed in the distribution centre, most of which is used to run the automated warehouse. The installation of the panels will reduce CO2 emissions by around 29 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of around 30 terraced houses. Solar panels have also been installed on the roof of the warehouse in Renkomäki, Lahti, to cover the electricity consumption of the warehouse. The solar panel investment is a significant investment in renewable energy and a value choice for our company. It is one of the agreed responsibility steps on our road to carbon neutrality by 2030.
LUHTA REUSE SERVICE IN FINLAND
In 2022, we launched in Finland the Luhta ReUse service, which allows us to take greater responsibility for the products we already use or will sell in the future. Our ReUse service takes in used Luhta products and gives them a new life, either as reusable or recycled material at our partner's premises. We are exploring possibilities to expand the service to international markets.
What happens to the collected clothes?
Saleable items are delivered to our Lahti office, where they are inspected, described and prepared for sale in the Luhta ReUse online shop.
What happens to products that are not saleable?
Products that cannot be sold are properly delivered to our partner for textile recycling.
How much of the returned products will be sold?
So far, more than half of the returned products have been saleable. The rest of the returned products are sent to our recycling partner for fibre recycling.
Where can I buy used products?
Clothes returned for recycling through the Luhta ReUse programme can be purchased from the ReUse section of the Luhta.com online shop (www.luhtareuse.fi).
Can I buy second-hand products from the shop?
Unfortunately, we do not sell products returned to the store directly on site, but ReUse clothing is sold online.
What are the prices of the second-hand clothes for sale?
In principle, second-hand clothing is available online at a lower price than the corresponding new product. However, some of them can be real gems, vintage treasures, and the price can go up considerably.
Can I return the second-hand clothes I have bought?
The same ordering, payment and return conditions apply to used clothing purchased from the online shop as to other products ordered from the luhta.com online shop.
Can I complain about the used clothing I have bought?
Used clothing purchased from the online shop is subject to the same complaints conditions as other products ordered from the luhta.com online shop. Please read the product description carefully. The characteristics of used clothing may have changed over time, e.g. in terms of water repellency. Please note that the product may have been used for long, so is not in mint condition and may have natural wear and tear and imperfections due to use.