THE PRODUCTS

Where do mywear t-shirts, Pirkka and K-Menu tuna products, Pirkka Fairtrade roses, and PROF Timber sold in our stores come from? We want to increase the transparency of our purchasing chains by providing information on the origin of our products and their journey to our stores. Choose a product to find out more.

More sustainable cotton

Cotton production provides livelihoods but also some challenges

Cotton is the most widely produced natural fibre in the world. About half of all textiles are made of cotton. Cotton production provides a livelihood for more than 250 million people. The majority of cotton farmers and people working in cotton production live in the developing countries. Cotton is farmed mostly on small farms with an area of less than 2 hectares, of which there are more than 100 million across the world.

Cotton production involves several risks related to environmental responsibility, social responsibility and economic responsibility. Cotton farming consumes a lot of water. If pesticides are used recklessly, they could harm the environment or endanger workers’ health. Human rights risks encountered in the production chain include the use of child labour and forced labour, overlong working hours, low pay and a lack of gender equality.

GOTS CERTIFIED ORGANIC COTTON

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is a leading certification system for organic textiles worldwide. GOTS certification covers the whole production chain. GOTS also includes social criteria covering the entire manufacturing chain which guarantee fair working conditions for those participating in production.

A product with the label grade 'organic' must contain a minimum of 95% certified organic fibres.

 

WE SUPPORT MORE SUSTAINABLE COTTON

In accordance with our cotton policy, all of the cotton sourced for our own clothing and home textile brands will be more sustainable cotton by the end of 2025. Our own brand clothing and home textiles include K-Citymarket’s mywear clothes and myhome home textiles, Pirkka socks and K-Rauta’s PROF workwear and Cello interior textiles. More sustainable cotton is certified organic cotton, recycled cotton, Better Cotton or Fairtrade cotton.

Kesko is a member of Better Cotton. Better Cotton exists to help cotton communities survive and thrive, while protecting and restoring the environment. Kesko is committed to improving cotton farming practices globally with Better Cotton. 

The cotton supply chain is complex. Better Cotton is not physically traceable; the cotton is sourced through the Mass Balance system. Even though Better Cotton is mixed with conventional cotton in its journey, its total content in the supply chain remains the same.    

We control the sustainability of production

We pay special attention to human rights and working conditions in our supply chains in countries with the greatest risk of human rights violations.

FACTORIES ARE AUDITED ON A REGULAR BASIS

We ensure social responsibility of our suppliers’ production through third-party audits. During audits, attention is paid to the working conditions in production, including occupational safety, salaries, working hours and compliance with the ban on child and forced labour, among other aspects.

SOURCING COOPERATION WITH ICA

We purchase the mywear clothing sold in K-Citymarkets from Asia in cooperation with ICA in Sweden. The ICA Global Sourcing (IGS) team, which operates in Asia, is responsible for ensuring social responsibility at the factories in cooperation with Kesko. With a total of around 100 employees, IGS has offices in China, Hong Kong, Bangladesh and India.

An essential part of the cooperation is to ensure social responsibility at the suppliers’ factories as well as the safety and quality of the products. Beside third-party social responsibility audits, IGS performs its own social responsibility audits. IGS also organises social responsibility training for suppliers in Asia.

Where does the mywear Cole T-shirt come from?

The organic cotton for mywear Cole T-shirts is produced in India. The cotton is spun into yarn by Bhuvaneswari Cotspin India Private Limited located in Tirupur, India. Other stages of the manufacturing of the T-shirts are carried out at the factory of Shakthi Knitting Private Ltd, located in the same town. From the factory the T-shirts are taken to Tuticor port in India, where their journey continues in a container on a large ship via Colombo in Sri Lanka to Antwerp, Belgium, and then on a smaller vessel to Vuosaari port in Helsinki and finally by truck to K Group’s central warehouse in Hakkila, Vantaa.

From cotton fibre into a t-shirt

The ginning process of cotton includes drying, cleaning, ginning, classifying and baling. The cotton used in mywear Cole t-shirts is spun into yarn at Bhuvaneswari Cotspin India Private Limited based in Tirupur, India. During the spinning process, cotton lint is blown to fluffy, various bales are blended together, carded and spun into yarn. Other stages of the manufacturing of the T-shirts – knitting, colouring, cutting, sewing and finalising – are carried out at the factory of Shakthi Knitting Private Limited. Shakthi Knitting manufactures clothing for leisure use and has customers all over the world. For K Group, Shakthi Knitting manufactures, among others, mywear Cole T-shirts for men.

FACTORY AUDITS

A SMETA audit is performed by a third party at the factory of Shakthi Knitting on a regular basis. SMETA (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit), designed to assess working conditions at plants, is one of the most widely used social responsibility audits in the world.

Audited in

2/21

Next audit

2/22

At Shakthi Knitting some

800

workers
Co-operation with Kesko since

2020

PRODUCT SAFETY IS IMPORTANT

A lot of chemicals, such as colouring and finishing agents, are used in the textile industry. The choices made in production of what chemicals to use have an impact on the environment and people’s health. We closely monitor any changes made in legislation regarding forbidden and restricted chemicals, and we choose the use of less-harmful chemicals. At Kesko, we maintain an up-to-date list of forbidden and restricted substances which is even more strict than the EU REACH regulation itself.

Can affordable products be sustainable?

Absolutely. An affordable T-shirt can be sustainable. With continuous, long-term agreements with the factories, the price level can be kept affordable. We do not produce unnecessary surplus, either. Everything that we buy is sold.

At K-Citymarkets we offer long-lasting clothing. Beside seasonal models, our selection includes basic clothing that is sold for a longer period with a focus on sustainability and timeless elegance. Long-term usability has also been taken into account in seasonal clothing.

We wish to provide our customers with more information on the sustainable production of our products. Customers must be happy with our products, aware that they are sustainably produced.

RECYCLING OLD CLOTHES

We provide our customers with diversified recycling services for waste and discarded items and develop innovative circular economy solutions in cooperation with other operators.

Next to many K-stores, UFF, Fida or the Salvation Army have their clothes collection points, for example. Check the location of the Rinki eco take-back point nearest to you from the Rinki website.

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