Pierre Robert Group breaks ground by becoming the first Norwegian textile company within the grocery channel to become GOTS certified, as well as the second company registered in Norway to receive the coveted Global Organic Textile Standard.
“I am extremely proud of all the hard work the Pierre Robert Group’s team has put in to make our GOTS certification possible,” says Pierre Robert Group’s CEO, Hege Holter Brekke. “For several years now, Pierre Robert Group has worked systematically with sustainability, and our newly acquired GOTS certification is yet another important step towards becoming a more responsible textile producer. The consumer and the grocery trade are more eco-conscious than ever before, and I therefore look forward to launching the first GOTS-certified textiles in the Norwegian grocery channel.”
Pierre Robert Group’s CSR & Quality Manager Margrethe Vikanes, Senior Buyer Charlotte Schrader, and Senior Buyer and Sourcing Coordinator Preeti Singh Rana have been central figures in securing Pierre Robert Group’s GOTS certification. Together with Pierre Robert Group’s brand manager and supplier, they have worked tirelessly for the past 16 months to ensure that all stages of the supply chain were qualified to meet the GOTS standard.
“We spent a lot of time understanding and evaluating the different certification options available for organic cotton,” says CSR & Quality Manager Margrethe Vikanes. “Ultimately, we decided that GOTS was the best fit for Pierre Robert Group, since this textile processing standard covers the entire supply chain by providing each stage with its own independent certificate. GOTS also requires its certificate holders to adhere to certain environmental and social criteria, which we deem extremely important.”
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) was founded in 2002 with an aim of defining requirements that are recognised worldwide and that assure the consumer of the organic status of textiles, from harvesting to labelling. In order to ensure the integrity of its certified textiles, GOTS relies upon an on-site inspection and monitoring system performed by independent specially accredited bodies. GOTS certificates are valid for one year at a time.
“Our supplier was proactive in immersing herself in the certification requirements, and we’ve had frequent follow-ups with her throughout the process, says Vikanes. “Having a close and open dialogue with our supplier has been crucial to our success in securing GOTS certification throughout the supply chain,” she concludes.
Schrader and Rana echo her thoughts. “After several months of sourcing, the chosen supplier not only fulfilled her obligations to us by checking that all the stages of her supply chain met the requirements for GOTS, but she also understood the benefits of this sustainability initiative for her own business,” says Schrader. “It’s a win-win for both parties and shows that a focus on sustainability is important for everyone in the textile industry, now and tomorrow, Rana adds.
Since 2008, Pierre Robert Group has committed itself to the sustainable and responsible production of textiles. To aid in this effort, Pierre Robert Group has resolved to utilise a greater amount of sustainable fibres in its manufacturing. Mulesing-free merino wool, Tencel® and modal have already been incorporated into the company’s collections. With the newly acquired GOTS certification, Pierre Robert Group has added organic cotton to mix.
The switch from conventional cotton to GOTS-certified organic cotton will take effect in January 2017. The packaging of these products will be marked with Pierre Robert Group’s GOTS license number, as well as an FSC license number, which signifies that the packaging itself comes from responsible sources. Pierre Robert Group’s GOTS and packaging FSC license numbers can be found and verified in their respective databases.