Products & Materials
Varner has a goal of reaching 100% preferred fibers in 2025. As a member of Textile Exchange, we are committed to participate in their Climate plus strategy towards 2030, with the goal of 45% reduced CO2 emissions from textile fiber and material production in the pre-spinning phase by changing to preferred fibers. They have focus on three impact areas in particular, soil health, biodiversity, and water.
By changing to preferred materials, we can reduce the carbon emissions and the use of water, energy, and chemicals, as well as creating better soil conditions and conditions for farmers and others who produce fibers.
Our definition of preferred fibers is guided by the lead of Textile Exchange, third-party verified lifecycle assessment (LCA) data and Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Material Sustainability Index which offers external material benchmarks based on LCA data.
Below you can read more about some of our most commonly used fibers.
Cotton is the world’s most popular natural fiber. It is soft, light and durable after wash and use. Cotton is moisture absorbent which make the cotton clothing especially comfortable next to skin. A variety of knitting and weaving methods can be applied giving us everything from very light, delicate underwear to heavy knitted garments.
Most of the cotton farmers and farmworkers are located in some of the world’s poorest and worst affected areas of climate change. Although cotton is of immense commercial importance globally, it is a sector that faces many social, economic, and environmental challenges.
As cotton is our main fiber, we are continuing to work toward using cotton with less impact on the environment, which takes both soil health, biodiversity, and the working conditions for the farmers into consideration.
All Varner concepts have a goal of only using preferred cotton, and we have banned the use of conventional cotton. Preferred cotton is defined as certified organically grown cotton, recycled cotton, cotton sourced through Better Cotton or Fairtrade cotton. We have also signed the 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge under the auspices of the Textile Exchange. The goal is to use only 100% more sustainable cotton by 2025.
Due to the higher risk of forced or bonded labor in certain countries or regions, Varner has signed the
Turkmen Cotton Pledge and Uzbek Cotton Pledge, which means we have banned any cotton from these countries. We have also banned the use of cotton from the Xinjiang region in China. Read our statement on XUAR here.
Varner partners with Better Cotton to improve cotton farming globally.
Varner is committed to sourcing 100% of our cotton as ‘more sustainable cotton’ by 2025.’ ‘More sustainable cotton’ includes Better Cotton, organic cotton, Fairtrade cotton and recycled cotton.
Better Cotton is sourced via a chain of custody model called mass balance. This means that Better Cotton is not physically traceable to end products, however, Better Cotton Farmers benefit from the demand for Better Cotton in equivalent volumes to those we ‘source.’
Better Cotton’s mission is to help cotton communities survive and thrive, while protecting and restoring the environment.
Better Cotton trains farmers to use water efficiently, care for soil health and natural habitats, reduce use of the most harmful chemicals and respect workers’ rights and wellbeing.
2016 marked the start of our journey with Better Cotton.
Fairtrade is an international, third-party certification organization that works with nearly 2 million farmers and workers in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Standards are based on strict social, economic and environmental criteria and aim to secure decent working conditions, fair prices and better terms of trade so that producers can thrive and live sustainably. Fairtrade provides an essential safety net for producers by setting minimum prices for all major commodities and the Fairtrade Premium provides additional funds for farmers and workers to invest according to their own needs. Varner buys Fairtrade cotton which provides the farmers with support in the transition to more sustainable farming methods. The Fairtrade Premium can also be invested in the local communities in children’s education and improved infrastructure and services in order to build resilience in the face of climate change.
We have been working with Fairtrade certification since 2017.
Certified Organic Cotton
Many of our products are made with certified organic cotton. Organic fibres are natural fibres grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, or herbicides and GMOs (Genetic Modified Organisms) according to the principles of organic agriculture.
GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) and the Organic Content Standard (OCS) are the two certification schemes that we commit to and in 2022 we also got certified to these standards. Look for the logo on the hangtag to find a certified product.
Global Organic Textile Standard- GOTS is a voluntary certification scheme that ensures that the material used in the final product is really coming from an organic farm.
Products certified to GOTS contain organically grown material that has been independently verified at each stage of the supply chain, from source to final product. In addition, certified organizations have met social, environmental, and chemical requirements at each stage of the supply chain.
A garment with GOTS certified material can be recognized by a hang tag with the GOTS logo on.
Organic Content Standard (OCS) Products certified to the Organic Content Standard contain organically grown material that has been independently verified at each stage of the supply chain, from source to final product.
A garment with OCS certified content can be recognized by a hang tag with the OCS logo on.
Varner carefully selects animal fibers based on their unique characteristics and capabilities.
Read more about animal welfare here.
Wool is a natural fiber with unique properties and an important fiber for Varner brands. The fiber is lightweight and at the same time warm and is the only fiber that still retains heat in a wet state. It is versatile and can be used for everything from underwear to suits and outer coats. We have a ban of using wool from sheep that has been exposed to mulesing.
Varner has been committed to the Responsible Wool Standard from its launch and started sourcing RWS in 2019.To know more about our progress since then read our sustainability report page 107.
Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) The Responsible Wool Standard describes and independently certifies animal welfare and land management practices in wool production and tracks the certified material from farm to final product.
A garment with RWS certified wool can be recognized by a hang tag with the RWS logo on.
Down & feathers
Down has a very superior insulating ability compared to its weight. You will find no other fiber that regulates heat as well as down!
To ensure the well-being of the animals Varner only uses certified down and feathers in our products.
Responsible Down Standard (RDS) The Responsible Down Standard describes and independently certifies animal welfare practices in down and feather production and tracks the certified materials from farm to final product. All of our down products are certified to the Responsible Down Standard. All our garments containing new feather and down are certified to RDS and this is shown with the RDS logo on the hang tag.
Less than 1% of the materials used for products at Varner is leather. Leather is very durable and suitable to be used in products such as belts and shoes. A lot of the leather that we use is vegetable-tanned with use of vegetable tanning agents from plant sources.
Only leather that is a by-product from animals that have been bred for the food industry shall be used in our production of leather goods.
We have a ban for cow hides from India and leather originated from the Amazon region.
Due to high risk for breaches in health and safety and environmental requirement, any stage of tanning process and/or treatment/processing of leather in Bangladesh is prohibited in our supply chain.
Read more about our animal welfare policy here.
MMCF is a fiber group that includes viscose, lyocell and modal, and one common feature is that they are made of cellulose-based materials, usually from wood pulp.
The world’s ancient and endangered forests, which are an important habitat for several endangered species and biodiversity, are threatened and need to be conserved for coming generations. To manage the risks in the man-made cellulosic fiber supply chain, and protect biodiversity, Varner has teamed up with CanopyStyle.
Varner is committed to protecting the world’s forests through our approach to procurement of pulp, paper, packaging, and fabrics. The policy is publicly available on the Varner website.
For 2021 we launched an internal policy of only sourcing MMCF fibers from suppliers that are rated with a green shirt in Canopy Styles’ Hot Button report, ensuring that the fiber companies that we source from, are working with protecting the endangered forests and biodiversity.
Canopy style Hot button report 2022.
We set requirements towards the supply chain that MMCF must come from sustainable forestry and be FSC certified. That means that the fibers cannot originate from illegally harvested raw materials, protected areas or areas being processed to become protected areas, nor from areas with unresolved ownership or usage rights.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international non-profit organization established in 1993 to promote responsible management of the world's forests. The FSC labeling shows that the forest from which the material comes from come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits.
The focus on preferred MMCF fibers such as Ecovero from Lenzing and Livaeco from Birla Cellulosic continued in 2022. These two fibers are traceable and sourced from FSC certified forests in accordance with our Canopy Commitment.
Viscose is a very versatile fiber, made from cellulose, usually from wood pulp. Viscose has the same comfort as natural fibers and is easily dyed in a wide range of colors. It is soft and comfortable against the skin.
Bamboo viscose is a type of viscose that comes from pulp from fast-growing bamboo trees.
LENZING™ ECOVERO™ Viscose fibers are derived from sustainable wood and pulp, coming from certified and controlled sources. LENZING™ ECOVERO™ fibers have been certified with the EU Ecolabel for textile products (license no. AT/016/001) as meeting high environmental standards throughout their life cycle: from raw material extraction to production, distribution and disposal. LENZING™ ECOVERO™ fibers can be robustly identified in the final product, assuring you that your purchase contains genuine LENZING™ ECOVERO™ Viscose fibers.
LivaecoTM Viscose is a viscose from the fiber manufacturer Birla Cellulose. It is made from wood pulp from FSC certified forest and is fully traceable. In production, a closed-loop system is used, which results in less use of water and chemicals.
Modal is a modification of viscose, where some of the properties of viscose are improved. Modal differs from viscose in that the fiber does not lose strength when wet and it is very soft. Modal fibers are therefore preferable to viscose for use in textiles that are washed frequently, such as underwear.
TencelTM Modal fibers are mainly manufactured from the renewable raw material beech wood, sourced from sustainable forests in Austria and neighboring countries.
Numerous Lenzing innovations have been integrated in the production of TENCELTM Modal fibers, to make the process environmentally sound. Lenzing strives to safeguard resources for future generations by the use of renewable energy and by the recovery of process chemicals.
LivaecoTM Modal is a modal from the fiber manufacturer Birla Cellulose. It is made from wood pulp from FSC certified forest and is fully traceable. In production, a closed system is used, which results in less use of water and chemicals.
Lyocell is made from cellulose from wood pulp. Compared to traditional viscose production, the production of the Lyocell fiber takes place in a closed system, where chemicals are reused.
TencelTM Lyocell fibers are derived from sustainable wood sources - sustainably managed forest. Wood and pulp used by the Lenzing Group is harvested from certified and controlled sources.
TENCELTM Lyocell fibers have gained a commendable reputation for their environmentally responsible, closed loop production process, which transforms wood pulp into cellulosic fibers with high resource efficiency and low environmental impact. This solvent-spinning process recycles process water and reuse the solvent at a recover rate of more than 99%.
With the REFIBRA TM technology Lenzing contribute towards closing the loop in the textile industry by blending up to one third of pulp from recycled cotton scraps from garment manufacturing with wood pulp from sustainably managed forests to create virgin Lyocell fibers.
Varner uses a variety of recycled fibers, such as certified recycled polyester, polyamide, and cotton, and recycled branded fibers such as Repreve®
Even though most of the recycled polyester that we used comes from recycled PET bottles and industrial waste, and not from textile-to-textile recycling, we think that using resources that already exist is a step in the right direction. Once textile-to-textile recycled polyester is commercially available, it will be a goal to include that in our portfolio
Recycled polyamide comes from recycled waste such as old fishing nets, rugs and other consumer or industrial waste products.
Recycled cotton and recycled wool come from textile industrial waste or from discarded consumer products that are broken down to fiber level and then spun into new yarns for new products.
The recycled fibers we use are certified. Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) and Global Recycled Standard (GRS) are two certification schemes that we commit to.
Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) Products certified to the Recycled Claim Standard contain recycled material that has been independently verified at each stage of the supply chain, from the recycler to the final product. A garment with RCS certified content can be recognized by a hang tag with the RCS logo on.
Global Recycled Standard (GRS) Products certified to the Global Recycled Standard contain recycled material that has been independently verified at each stage of the supply chain, from the recycler to the final product. In addition, certified organizations have met social, environmental, and chemical requirements at each stage of the supply chain.A garment with GRS certified content can be recognized by a hang tag with the GRS logo on.
REPREVE® Polyester is a branded recycled polyester made from post-consumer plastic bottles and pre-consumer waste. REPREVE® incorporate a tracer technology that helps verify the REPREVE® content.
Electroplating is a surface treatment performed on metal applications to avoid rust and abrasion. This is a process that requires a lot of resources in the form of water, energy and chemicals. Choosing metal application without electroplating for some of our programs, we minimize the negative environmental impact caused by electroplating.
Varner focuses on offering safe products to our customers and works systematically to secure this. For us, a safe product fulfills both legal requirements, best practices, and voluntary standards.It covers not only the use of chemicals in products or production, but also the design of children’s products. To us safe products means all products that are placed in stores are assessed and have passed applicable chemical & safety tests.
We set both chemical and quality requirements on product that we follow up through a comprehensive testing program to ensure that the set requirements are met. The testing is done at nominated 3rd party well known certified laboratories around the world. The requirements are regularly updated and aligned with regulatory requirements. All suppliers we work with need to sign to comply with these requirements.
Varner Restricted Substances List states the substances that are restricted for use in our products.
Varner is member of the Chemical Group run by RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden. The chemical group spreads the latest knowledge in chemistry and environment-related issues to member companies in the textile and electronics industry. A membership gives access to global monitoring and networks, practical tools as well as updates on relevant legislation and news in the field of chemicals in articles and substitution. Together, we prevent the occurrence of unwanted chemicals in goods such as textiles and shoes.
We set also requirements toward the use of chemicals in production. Read more in our environment section.
Varner is certified to Textile Exchange’s standards such as Organic Content Standard, Global Recycled Standard, Recycled Content Standard, Responsible Wool Standard, and the Responsible Down Standard. We are also certified to Global Organic Textile Standard. The focus on certification and 3rd party verification is important to Varner going forward, giving credibility to our consumer claims, and helping in mitigating fiber supply chain risks.
One of Varner Sustainable pillar is ‘Circular & Climate Conscious’. To Varner this means transitioning from linearity to circularity, to contribute towards limiting global warming to 1.5 ºC, to shift from conventional to preferred fiber, to produce with less impact on the environment and to manage waste.
The transition from linearity to circularity is a complex process and requires a multifaceted approach which includes material choices, production, product design, new circular business models and product end-of-life. Circular models are an opportunity to reduce impact on climate change by reducing the dependency on raw virgin materials and by keeping products in use for longer time.
Circular products should be safe for the planet and the people and that is what we want to ensure with our products through our Preferred fiber policy and Hazardous Chemical policies. Setting quality requirements helps to keep products in the loop as long as possible by improving durability.
Varner contributes to closing the loop by increasing the quantity of recycled materials in our products. We’re also contributing to eliminating waste through our partnership with Fretex by allowing second use or recycling for our products.
POLICY FOR UNSOLD GOODS
Varner does not wish to contribute to growth of landfill or incineration of surplus goods that could be of use elsewhere. As a circular model aims to eliminate waste our policy is that no garment should be incinerated, but donated, if the product does not pose any hazard to human beings or the environment.
Any surplus and/or defective goods are donated to Fretex and their partners to be re-utilized, re-used or as feedstock for recycled materials. As a last resort, garments are used for energy production.
Whenever the situation arises where products cannot be sold due to not meeting safety requirements and potentially posing a risk to health or the environment, the goods are destroyed. Such goods cannot legally be put on the market as it causes a risk towards consumer and/or environment.
Fretex is an organization that is part of the Norwegian Salvation Army. The main purpose is to re-utilize pre-loved clothes and textiles, to be able to give clothes to those in need and also sell to consumers. 10% of the yearly proceedings goes to the Salvation Army’s work. All textiles are sorted and assessed according to the waste hierarchy where the priorities lie in reuse, repair, recycle and as a final resort go to energy production.
Varner has been in partnership with Fretex since 2012. This partnership entails excess goods are donated to Fretex in Norway and to Myrorna in Sweden. We also give the customer the possibility to give back old garments in textile collection program in stores, that again will be donated to Fretex.
Varner is doing more and more business online and a rising portion of our sales are now conducted through the brands’ websites. This sets a focus on how we handle goods that come in return.
Our main policy is that as much as possible should be put back into the web shops and resold. Some products are not suited to be resold due to several reasons. Bottoms of underwear and swimwear, wrinkled garments, sets where only one part is returned are examples of products that we do not resell through the web store. These products are resold through our outlet in Vänersborg. If the products have defects such as stains, missing button etc, or are used and then washed before returned, we donate this product through our cooperation with Fretex. As a last resort we destroy or recycle the product if it is not fitted for reuse.