At Lindström, we’ve practiced – and promoted – sustainable ways of working for decades already, and our well-developed strategy continues this history of positive developments. As Senior Vice President for Ecosystems, Anna-Kaisa Huttunen points out, “We have a 170-year history that we can all be proud of, in which we have always strived to raise the bar for sustainability. However, one thing has remained the same: the passion and commitment we have for making sustainable decisions every day. It’s a goal that’s tightly woven into the DNA of our business.”
We have long practiced good corporate social responsibility with regard to the environment, our employees, and also our customers’ own sustainability aspirations by offering them sustainable products and services. And now we are even more committed to placing our sustainability commitments very clearly at the heart of who we are. Not only have we committed to a 100% recycling target for our products, but we have also pledged to operate with the same sustainability principles everywhere we do business. Simply put, we aim to be the most sustainable company in our industry.
Toward 100% recycling
While Huttunen is rightly proud of Lindström’s solid sustainability record and reputation, she is even more enthusiastic about the company’s plans moving forward. “We have huge potential to increase our offering based on sustainability. For example, we recently set a target to reach 100% recycling of our products within 5 years. Because we rent rather than sell our textile-based products, we are well-positioned to show the way toward 100% recycling.”
“We recently set a target to reach 100% recycling of our products within 5 years.”
Our business model is built on a circular economy model in its purest form. It is an alternative to disposable items, or owning textiles and washing them at home. According to a McArthur Foundation report, the fastest way to promote a circular economy is to extend the life cycle of textiles by using them for as long as possible, and this is exactly what we do: we design for specific purposes and maximal lifetime, make clothes that are easy to repair and maintain and produce new pieces only when needed. Our business model keeps clothing in circulation in good condition for as long as possible and after they are worn out, we recycle them into new products in ways that are helping to revolutionize the current clothing business.
Many markets – one world
Wherever we operate in the world we follow certain principles with regard to the environment. We have objectives to decrease water, energy, and detergent consumption in every country, as well as common worker health and safety policies. We aim to offer jobs that are safe and where people prefer to work, so we place a lot of emphasis on our employees’ working conditions. Related to this, we also focus on the working standards of our suppliers, and monitor such things as the use of child labor, low salaries, overly long working hours, and potentially toxic conditions.
Bio-based and beyond
Another green edge Huttunen is quick to highlight as being highly relevant to the textile industry is the emerging technology of bio-based fabrics. “This new generation of textiles are designed from the start to be much more effectively recycled than existing polyblend fabrics. I am personally quite convinced that these coming bio-based fabrics will replace the current textiles we use in our products, though this will take some years.”
When one reflects that Lindström has been around for almost two centuries, it can help bring perspective to why we have such a clear plan for a sustainable future. As Huttunen observes, “we are committed to developing our company so that it brings value to all its stakeholders – for the next two centuries and beyond.”