For us at Sandqvist responsible growth is at the core of everything we do and form an integral part of our main focus areas. This means taking responsibility for the impact of our products throughout their life cycle, both on people and the planet. In addition, we envision our bags to be part of a sustainable lifestyle and wish to inspire everyone around us to enjoy the nature in the same way as we do, creating advocacy for its survival as we know it.
We have many stakeholders, from the people picking the cotton and extracting other raw materials, the people sewing our bags, the people transporting our products, our employees and our customers, to the legislator and broader society. We also have responsibilities towards the environment, both the local environment where our suppliers are present as well as the effects on the planet and ecosystems that our business and products have, in a broader sense. These responsibilities are of course interconnected with our social impact as the current climate crisis in very concrete ways affects the opportunities for humans to thrive, all across the globe.
Our business development and operations are governed by our sustainability strategy in combination with a number of policies and objectives. Our sustainability strategy, based on risks and opportunities throughout our value chain, is aligned with, among other things, the world's roadmap for sustainable development - Agenda 2030 and the Global Goals. In our sustainability strategy, we have defined three focus areas where we know that our operations have an impact on people and the planet:
Based on our sustainability strategy, Sandqvist has set ambitious sustainability goals for 2025 and
2030. These include the people who make our products, the materials we use, our impact on the
climate and how we impact our customers, employees and the wider community.
We have also set up plans for how we will achieve these goals. Some goals are easier to achieve because we have a greater degree of influence, such as minimizing the use of virgin fibers and materials, and others significantly more difficult, such as reducing our total climate footprint by 50%and achieving a fully circular business. The latter require a high degree of cooperation with customers and suppliers throughout the value chain, which we constantly strive to achieve.
We are proud of what we have achieved so far, but we are far from satisfied. In our published
sustainability reports we disclose in more detail what we do and how far we have come to
meet our targets.
Read our 2022 sustainability report here
Read our 2021 sustainability report here
Read our 2020 sustainability report here
Read our 2019 sustainability report here
Read our 2018 sustainability report here
Sandqvist is committed to being a responsible business. We want to create durable products that our customers can enjoy using for many years, and we want to do it while making sure it's done right. Neither people nor the planet should be harmed in the process. We are aware that there are risks to the environment within our supply chain and business operations and we are determined to minimize our negative impact as much as we can. Our Responsible Business Conduct policy, that was developed with and approved by senior management, guides us as a business in who we want to be and how we want to do business. You can read more about our RBC policy here.
We also expect this policy to hold us accountable from our stakeholders (such as suppliers, workers, communities, customers, employees) and expect our suppliers and business partners to uphold the principles herein.
Our sustainable materials policy outlines our ambition to decrease the environmental impact of our products. This includes our commitment to only using organic cotton and synthetic materials containing recycled fibres. For leather, only hides treated in tanneries rated Gold or Silver by the Leather Working Group (LWG) for their environmental status can be used. Furthermore, the policy specifies that only leather that is a by-product from the meat and dairy industry can be used. Hides should be sourced from countries with high standards for animal welfare.
The Chemicals Policy set strict requirements on both chemicals that can remain in the end product (product related chemicals), but also on chemicals used in the production (process chemicals). This policy has been signed by all our suppliers. Restrictions on product related chemicals for all products delivered to Sandqvist are outlined in our restricted substance list (RSL), which is based on the list developed by AFIRM Working Group. These requirements are stricter than those set up by the European Union (REACH). All process chemicals used in the production of Sandqvist’s products should follow the Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL) developed by the initiative Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC). Read our chemical policy here.
We are acutely aware of how people are being exploited in global supply chains, particularly women who make up the majority of the textile industry’s workforce, and we know too well how the textile industry is affecting the environment. It is in our own business interest to acknowledge that everyone, independent of gender identity, is entitled to a safe workplace. We respect all national legislations in the countries in which we operate. We respect the responsibility we have as a company according to the United Nations Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights. We are held accountable by our membership organisation Fair Wear Foundation whereby they evaluate how well we are working to uphold the FW Code of Labour Practices. Read more about FWF – here.
All suppliers working on Sandqvist products must follow Sandqvist’s Code of Conduct for suppliers. The code stipulates minimum requirements for working conditions based on International Labour Organization (ILO) and UN principles. This includes the right of all workers to join trade unions, the right to a living wage, reasonable hours of work, safe working conditions and a legally binding employment relationship. Child labour and all forms of discrimination are strictly banned. Our code is based on Fair Wear Foundation Code of Labor Practices and is included as an appendix to all our supplier contracts. Read our Code of Conduct for suppliers here.
At Sandqvist, we work to create an environment where everyone can grow as individuals and
contribute to making Sandqvist a world-leading bag brand. The basis for this is our internal work
environment policy, where guidelines for the work environment are clearly formulated.
Sandqvist works hard to be an inclusive company that values respect and diversity. Everyone, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, socio-economic background, religion, political beliefs or trade union membership, has the right to a prosperous and safe workplace.
Since 2023, our employees work on the basis of a four-day work week of 30 hours, with a maintained salary. The ambition of this solution is to maintain the same productivity and service but improve the work-life balance for our employees. We believe that this improves the quality of life and contributes to personal development, both for us as a company and on an individual level. Through this, we also want to challenge business norms and be a frontrunner when it comes to building a successful, sustainable and responsible company.
Sandqvist has signed and committed to comply to the Swedish Fashion Ethical Charter, which sets out guidelines on body ideals, diversity and issues on corporate social responsibility. The policy addresses all roles and disciplines within the industry, from designers and brands, to modelling agencies, casting agents, commercial buyers, stylists, as well as marketing departments, advertising agencies, photographers and media.