REI Adds bluesign Standard to its Product Sustainability Strategy

Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a national retail cooperative providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, today announced its membership with bluesign technologies ag.
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Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a national retail cooperative providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, today announced its membership with bluesign technologies ag allowing the company to use the bluesign® independent standard as part of its product design and sourcing process.

Founded in 2000 in Switzerland, bluesign is an approach to product sustainability that considers textile environment, health and safety issues from the ground-up, addressing the use of toxic-free ingredients, efficient production and resources, and informed product and process design. Since its development, the standard has been adopted by a number of worldwide textile manufacturers and apparel companies. Certified mills that comply with the standard are more efficient and have less environmental impact, while their operations comply with worker health and safety standards.

REI considers the bluesign standard as the strongest global solution available to proactively address textile environmental, health and safety strategy. Further, utilizing the standard is an important step in managing the substances used to create products the co-op sells under its branded labels.

With this announcement, the design teams for REI branded apparel and cycling brands will begin to use the bluesign standard to help make more informed textile supply chain choices. For example, designers will utilize the standard in making yarn, fabric and dye decisions and in the selection of mills and production factories. This approach will provide greater supply chain transparency in support of REI's goal of reducing the environmental impact of its products.

REI has a number of efforts in place to reduce its environmental footprint and increase its product stewardship involvement. For example, the co-op is currently working with other outdoor brands and retailers to help drive positive, lasting change within the industry. The co-op was a founding member of the Outdoor Industry Association's (OIA) Eco-Working Group, an industry organization establishing a common framework to measure, report and ultimately improve on the environmental impact of outdoor gear and clothing. Today, the group includes more than 100 brands, manufacturers and others working toward a mutually agreeable definition of what “green” means for products and apparel. bluesign's methodology covers a significant portion of the material impacts that the OIA Eco-Working Group is considering.

For more information about REI's stewardship efforts or to access REI's annual stewardship report, visit http://www.rei.com/stewardship.

About REI
REI's in-house team designs and develops award-winning gear and apparel for camping, hiking, cycling, urban lifestyle, travel, and general outdoor recreation. The brands REI and Novara are private labels and sold exclusively through the co-op's retail stores, online at www.rei.com
and through its catalogs. REI is a national outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. Founded in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions.

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