British outdoor brand RAB (owned by EQUIP OUTDOOR TECHNOLOGIES LTD) is taking a major step towards increasing transparency around CSR communications with the launch of MATERIAL FACTS. The programme aims to lead the way by taking into account consumers’ and retailers’ demands for accurate and honest sustainability claims about their products.
The programme has been launched to the brand’s retail partners and will be rolled out to consumers in Autumn/Winter 2023. With the launch of Material Facts, Rab calls retailers, other brands and industry stakeholders to action and supports the EUROPEAN OUTDOOR GROUP Sustainability Data Exchange Project.
This was conceived to address the need for alignment on product sustainability attribute communication between brands and retailers. It aims to explore and find approaches to address the multiple and diverse sustainability standards requests.
Material Facts will be available for every apparel product, focused on disclosing (by % weight) accurate recycled material content, fluorocarbon status and production location with more criteria to be added in the future. As Rab moves towards NET ZERO EMISSIONS BY 2030, it is making incremental improvements to products.
Not simply considering face fabric but getting into the details of sewing thread and trims. Material Facts will communicate these marginal gains in an open, honest, and easy-to-understand format. With too much info for a hangtag, access is via QR code which also enables consistent updating.
Equip Product Director Tim Fish said, “At Rab, we are technical experts, driven by performance and accuracy. We believe in trust and honesty and are frustrated with the lack of clarity and assumptions around sustainability criteria.
“For us, introducing Material Facts is the only way forward. We may not have it right (yet) but we are transparent, show our methodology and are open to an industry-wide dialogue. To create real change in the industry, we call other brands and retailers to join our path and disclose the same.”
The first full Material Facts data set will be compiled for Rab’s insulation range with more apparel and sleeping bag categories to follow. Material Facts will be available on Rab’s website and can be reached through a QR code printed on every product’s hangtag as well as provided to retailers for their own channels.