What Does Gelato Have To Do With Sustainability?

5/4/2021

You've got some great news and you're ready to tell the world. Where do you start?

In Deane Apparel's case, we started at home - our Auckland headquarters - and with a staff party. With gelato, even.

The party, on Monday 3 May 2021, was a kick-off for Our Sustainability Journey, an introduction in both printed and e-book formats to Deane's corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy.

Deane's General Manager, Corey Mulligan, says a staff party was an obvious starting point for the launch of the book. "Formal sustainability strategies can start from many different places, but in our case much of the initiative was internal. It was Deane people putting sustainability on the table and asking what the company could do to make workwear and uniforms kinder to the planet."

Still plenty to do

Mulligan says the book's title is deliberate. "We've called it Our Sustainability Journey because it's a path that we started on in 2009 and our sustainability strategy really has evolved since then. There's plenty still to do and we expect its work that we'll be doing alongside our suppliers and customers. It's a journey we're on together."

Highlights from Our Sustainability Journey:

Deane's sustainability journey began in 2009, when we first mandated workplace codes of conduct from suppliers.

In 2018 we asked all our garment manufacturers to comply with the Workplace Conditions Assessment (WCA), which audits workplace conditions including the freedom to work, fair wages, and zero tolerance for modern slavery and child labour.

We first offered customers a sustainable fabric in 2018. Now, natural or recycled fibres make up 50% of our fabrics and we offer 13 eco-fabrics for wear trials and volume production.

Deane began removing plastic components in our garment packaging in 2018. Now we save 1.7 million plastic bags, 32,000 collar stays, 32,000 butterflies and 60,000 pegs from landfill each year.

Our workspaces are going green too. Our warehouse has been retrofitted with high transparency roofing materials to reduce the need for artificial lighting, and our offices all have recycling facilities and low-energy LED lighting.

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