Starting at the Source: REI Partners with bluesign technologies ag to Minimize Environmental Impact and Increase Customer Care

REI Private Brands commits to only using 100 Percent bluesign®-certified fabrics by 2018

Jan 21, 2014

SEATTLE and ST. GALLEN, SWITZERLAND – REI’s Private Brands division, which is the largest source of apparel and equipment sold by the U.S outdoor retailer, has committed to using only 100 percent bluesign-certified fabrics by the time the company launches its 2018 product lines. This target reflects REI’s efforts to continuously address the environmental impact of its apparel and business while meeting customer expectations for quality outdoor products.

The independent, Swiss-based bluesign technologies ag is the world’s leading system for managing the environmental impacts of fabric manufacturing.  Rather than just focusing on testing finished items, the bluesign® standard is a textile certification system that works to prevent chemicals of concern from entering into materials at each step of the manufacturing process. Textile mills producing bluesign-certified fabrics must meet strict standards for handling chemicals, protecting worker safety and properly treating water and air emissions. As part of this process, bluesign ensures that mills also have invested in energy and water efficiency measures.

“Creating products with the highest level of environmental responsibility and customer care is a core component of delivering innovative products to our customers,” said Kathleen Peterson, vice president of REI Private Brands. “Our supply chains are enormously complex. That’s why we need ways to analyze the full supply chain—from raw chemicals to finished products.”

REI has been a bluesign member since 2008. During that time Private Brands has converted 25 percent of the fabrics used for REI-branded apparel to the bluesign certification. The 100 percent target signals REI’s commitment to accelerating this progress.

“We are very excited REI demonstrated its trust in the bluesign system by making this commitment,” said Kevin Myette, bluesign director, North America. “The creation of products is immensely complex. Clearly the best chemicals management strategy is one that treats the challenge systemically, tackles the issues at the source and prevents problems rather than simply detecting them. This is exactly what bluesign does.”

About bluesign technologies ag

Swiss-based bluesign technologies ag was founded in 2000. Since then, the bluesign® system has been adopted by worldwide leading textile manufacturers. Various significant key players of the chemical and machine industry apply the bluesign® system. Well-known brands of the sportswear and industry rely on the extensive knowledge of bluesign technologies. For more information, visit www.bluesign.com.

About the REI Co-op

REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 19 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 167 locations in 39 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI Outlet or the REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. Adventurers can take the trip of a lifetime with REI’s active adventure travel company, a global leader that runs more than 250 itineraries across all continents. In every community where REI has a presence, professionally trained instructors share their expertise by hosting beginner-to advanced-level classes and workshops about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.