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Riri sustainable glossary

Biodegradable refers to a material that, under natural environmental conditions, tends to dissolve and break down into the chemical elements of which it is composed, through the action of biological agents such as bacteria, plants, animals or other components present in the nature such as water or sunlight. This process must take place over a period of six months with the material biodegrading by 90% and the resulting elements being absorbed into the soil in the form of water, carbon dioxide, mineral salts and other elements. Through this decomposition, the biodegradable substances that make up the material become soil nutrients.

The term ‘bio-based’, on the other hand, refers to all those materials or products that are wholly or partially derived from vegetable derivatives or plants.

The biodegradable materials used by Riri include organic cotton, cellulosic fabric yarn, hemp, linen, nettle and silk; all these materials are also bio-based with the exception of silk, which is a material of animal origin.

Carbon Footprint is a parameter that quantifies the greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions caused by a product, service, organization, event or individual, expressed in tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

Companies can calculate their footprint at product level through a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), or at corporate level.
According to the GHG Protocol (a global standard in measuring and managing emissions), GHG emissions are divided in three different scope / categories:

Further information about Riri Carbon Footprint are available in the Sustainable Report.

Circular economy refers to production and consumption models, which minimise waste and reduce the use of environmental resources. Applied in different sectors, it embraces the entire product life cycle from design to disposal.

Circularity in manufacturing focuses on creating a closed-loop system in which products, materials and resources are kept in use for as long as possible and waste is minimised. It implies innovative design for product longevity, reparability, renovation and recycling, thus reducing dependence on raw materials and minimising environmental impact.

A good practice implemented within the Group is the recovery of all metal waste (brass, zamak, steel) generated in the production process. In addition, to further increase the circularity of plastic materials, a project to recover acetal resin and polyester yarn has been launched within Tirano plant since 2023.

Furthermore, the polyester yarn used by RIRI for zippers comes from recycled sources (Global Recycled Standard – GRS – certified polyester 100% from post-consumer materials).

Climate Strategy means setting targets towards decarbonization and building a sustainability roadmap of interventions to reduce the carbon dioxide emitted in the atmosphere.

In 2023 Riri will define its climate strategy by setting targets of reduction based on the Science Based Target (SBT) initiative, the global reference for the leading brands committed to more sustainable production.

Global warming is not only determined by CO2 but also by other greenhouse gases, each with a different environmental impact, measured by Global Warming Potential (GWP).
CO2 equivalent is a metric that compares the potential effects of these gases on climate: the amount of each gas is converted to the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide through GWP, a measure of how much heat a given mass of greenhouse gas traps in the atmosphere, compared to the heat trapped by the same mass of CO2 over a specific time interval (usually 100 years).

For example, the GWP of methane (CH4) is 25 and that of nitrous oxide (N2O) is 298. This means that emissions of 1 million tonnes of methane and nitrous oxide are equivalent to emissions of 25 and 298 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, respectively.

Riri started measuring its footprint in 2015. In 2021 our overall corporate footprint amounts to 20.647 tonnes of CO2 eq. This data refers to the three divisions of buttons, zips and metal components (Cobrax Metal Hub). It does not include AMOM and DMC. In 2022, we plan to expand our measurement to include the newly acquired plants.
From 2021 data concerning corporate footprint are published in the annual Sustainability Report, based on some of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards.

FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council. It is an international, independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization whose members include NGOs, environmental (WWF, Greenpeace) and social groups (National Aboriginal Forestry Association of Canada) as well as the wood and paper trading and processing industries (Tetra Pak, Mondi).

In fact, the FSC label identifies products containing wood from forests that are managed properly and responsibly according to the strictest environmental, social and economic standards.

All paper and cardboard packaging used by Riri is FSC-certified.

Greenwashing refers to the set of communication strategies and marketing initiatives – implemented by companies, organizations, or political institutions – aimed at building a green image in order to divert public attention away from the negative environmental effects caused by the company’s own activities or products.

Riri is committed to avoid greenwashing at all levels of communications through a transparent reporting and communication process and precision mapping of environmental “hotspots” regarding its products and activities.

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) refers to an international standard used for the certification of natural fibers; it includes both ecological and social criteria. It consists of an independent certification system for the entire textile production chain.
GOTS certification guarantees that:

  • 100% of the yarn is made of natural textile fibers from organic farming;
  • Neither toxic or harmful nor GMOs are used;
  • There is full compliance with social criteria and with appropriate working conditions;
  • There is a control and certification system on the whole supply chain.

Riri uses GOTS certified organic cotton yarn as manufacturing standard for its cotton tape range.

Governance in sustainability concerns the way a company is managed, focusing on leadership, decision-making processes and accountability. It includes legal compliance, ethical conduct, risk management and transparent reporting. Effective governance is key to establish trust among stakeholders and ensuring long-term corporate sustainability.

Riri uses the industry leadership’s knowledge gained during its 85 years, to ensure traceability and high environmental, ethical and social standards throughout the product life cycle. In addition, the Group holds several independent global certifications to guarantee compliance with environmental and human rights standards and ensure ethical compliance throughout the supply chain.

For further details: https://www.riri.com/company/ethics-and-sustainability/enhance-traceability-and-transparency/

GRS (Global Recycled Standard) is an international and voluntary product certification, promoted by the Textile Exchange, which sets out requirements to meet the needs of companies, ensuring that the content of their products comes from recycled sources and respects the most responsible social, environmental and chemical practices during the manufacturing cycle.
All products – at least 20% of which is made with recycled materials – can be certified according to the GRS standard. Only products that contain at least 50% of recycled materials can also be labelled as GRS.

Riri introduced its first recycled polyester tape in 2013; since then, it has been consistently increasing its use of GRS-certified recycled polyester resulting from recycled materials. In March 2021 Riri became the first manufacturing company in the fashion accessory industry to introduce the use of recycled polyester as production standard for its zip range.

  • Using recycled polyester, the company has reduced emissions resulting from polyester purchase by 32%;
  • All its recycled polyester is GRS (Global Recycled Standard)-certified, highlighting Riri’s constant commitment to choosing suppliers that meet the industry’s international standards;
  • The recycled polyester used in tapes for zips is made from recycled polyester fibers, both pre- (20%) and post-consumer (80%).

International Organisation for Standardisation: it is about the most important world organization, based in Geneva, which is responsible for defining the technical standards, also known as ISO standards, that an entity must comply with in order to conform to specific evaluation parameters. These certifications deal with certifying a company’s compliance with evaluation criteria that establish the presence of specific elements within the internal company’s processes.

Some Riri plants have 3 ISO certifications, in details:

  • ISO 9001 : 2015 Certificate > international standard from which all management systems originate, being a fundamental quality management system (QMS) as regards processes, products and services;
  • ISO 14001 : 2015 Certificate > international standard aimed at developing an effective environmental management systems (EMS);
  • ISO 45001 : 2018 Certificate > international standard specifically intended for health and safety management (HSM) on the workplace.

For more details: https://www.riri.com/company/ethics-and-sustainability/enhance-traceability-and-transparency/certifications/

Internationally acknowledged methodology aimed at a quantitative evaluation of the potential impacts of any product, service or process on the environment throughout their entire life cycle: from the extraction and procurement of raw materials, through the product manufacturing, the shipment, the application and use, till its disposal. Starting from LCA study, companies can provide a complete picture of their impact, through global vision and continuous improvement, which allows them to undertake various activities in order to mitigate the impacts of the products and to define an action plan in terms of innovation and eco-design.

Riri has chosen to implement the evaluation of its products through the environmental analysis of their life cycle, considering all stages except disposal, which is not evaluated in Riri’s analysis. At the end of this study, Riri will be able to estimate the environmental impact of all its products, from zippers to buttons, up to metal components and fashion jewels. This path of continuous improvement enables both the Group’s brands and its customers to make increasingly conscious choices.

For more details: https://www.riri.com/2023/05/10/life-cycle-assessment-for-riri/

Monomaterial products facilitate the recycling process of raw materials, thus reducing their environmental impact. Products made by a single type of material, or from easily separable materials, are simpler to recycle, reducing the complexity and cost of the recycling process.

Riri is particularly careful in the choice of materials for its accessories, the use of mono-material elements ensures a high degree of recyclability and durability and facilitates the removal of the different components from the garments, simplifying their recovery and circularity.

For more information: https://www.riri.com/company/ethics-and-sustainability/innovate-for-the-future/

Oeko-Tex® is the third-party inspection body that operates internationally to certify the conformity of raw materials, semi-finished and finished products in the textile industry at every level within the supply chain, as well as to verify the conformity of materials used in the accessories realization. 
Specifically, if an article shows the OEKO-TEX STANDARD 100 label, it means that every component of the accessory has been tested for harmful substances and that the product is therefore harmless to human health.

Since 2010 zippers and buttons of Riri and Cobrax are certified Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 with annual renewal. Tests are requested by Riri and they are conducted by independent institutes, partner of  OEKO-TEX®: starting from a wide criteria catalogue, tests consider many regulated and unregulated substances, which could be harmful to human health.

A material is defined as recycled when it is composed of recovered material after having undergone a processing cycle in order to give it a new lease on life.

A material is recyclable when, at the end of its standard use, it can be recovered or reused in a variety of ways.

The recycled materials used by Riri include:

All metals used by Riri are recyclable; any scrap is sent back to raw material suppliers or specialized disposers to ensure its new use.

These are the three Rs of the waste hierarchy. “Reduce” implies the minimisation of waste generation and of resource use. “Reuse” is the action of using items several times before discarding them. ‘Recycling’ is the process of converting waste into new materials. Manufacturing companies can apply these principles through efficient design, extended product life cycles and sustainable packaging strategies.

The waste generated by the various Riri Group plants comes mainly from production operations, office waste and packaging materials from incoming goods.

Riri is committed to redirecting its waste towards recovery or recycling wherever possible. Currently, 70% of waste is disposed of through recycling or recovery methods and Riri is committed to the continuous development of products made from recycled raw materials.

In addition, Riri is constantly striving to improve its packaging, exploring ever more sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions.

RSL (Restricted Substances List) refers to a list of harmful or hazardous chemicals substances restricted in the production of clothing, textile, accessories and other products in the fashion sector. This list comes from some regulations, laws and certification protocols used by apparel suppliers, brands and retailers, who pay attention to human health and to the ecological aspects within the production and distribution of their products.

Riri has its own RSL list, approved and drawn up in collaboration with an accredited external laboratory, according to whose requirements Riri products are tested. This RSL list is shared with suppliers of raw and semi-finished materials and with Riri’s workers: its signature and approval is required to guarantee that the supply chain is compliant with chemical content limits.

SBT stands for Science Based Target. It is a partnership between the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), established with the aim to help companies align with the commitments made during the Paris Accords to limit temperature rise to within 1.5° C compared to the pre-industrial age.
Joining this initiative means publicly committing to ensure that one’s Climate Strategy is in line with scientific goals, adhering to an internationally shared framework with similar goals for companies comparable in size or sector.

Following an updated assessment of its Carbon Footprint and emissions, Riri will establish its Science Based Target for emissions reductions.

This concept focuses on well-being’s attention and improvement of individuals and communities. In a business context, this involves ensuring fair labour practices, safe working conditions and fair treatment of employees. It also includes community involvement and development initiatives, the support for local economies and the commitment to human rights and equality.

Riri, in partnership with Mercer, launched an action plan focusing on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in the workplace. This initiative involves listening to the needs of employees, emphasising Riri’s commitment to give value to every individual.

For further details: https://www.riri.com/2022/12/21/together-for-people/

ZDHC protocol, acronym of Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals, consists on a program based on principles of transparency and management of chemical substances according to an integrated approach of prevention and precaution. 
ZDHC protocol is among the most modern and refined management system currently available to companies. The main objectives are:

  • Replace/eliminate hazardous chemicals from the entire production chain;
  • Promoting safer use of chemicals in business processes;
  • Improve chemical substances management through tools, best practices and training.

Riri Group is compliant to ZDHC protocol (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals) in all plants where wet textile processes take place and where applicable.

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