The Long Haul

The Long Haul

REACH is the name of the EU regulation on chemicals. It was adopted to improve the protection of human health and the climate from harmful chemicals in the industry. While the use of chemicals is increasing globally – especially in developing countries/production countries where environmental requirements are not met or exceeded – it became necessary to protect the consumer. She doesn’t know how her clothes are made. Nevertheless, she puts them on every day and wears them directly on her skin, the body’s largest open organ.

Lena says: Now we were all at once in a totally new situation. We didn’t know how our materials were made because we never asked that question. However, it was our responsibility – we understood that completely. Searching for information, we started to ask everyone we met, even at fabrics fairs. Most of them were just as unaware of the regulation as we were. A few had heard of it, and some of them had even achieved an Oeko-Tex certification which was REACH compliant, meaning that they met the EU regulation on chemicals. We looked deeper into that.

Oeko-Tex is a global standard with the aim to protect textile consumers from harmful chemicals used in the fashion industry. It is also a third-party certification, i.e. an independent test of all materials we use. As a certification, it’s a formal document that applies to all involved parties, including us and our suppliers. It’s our documentation that what we say is also what we do – and a guarantee to our consumers/customers that we take their health seriously.


In 2008 we started to search for Oeko-Tex-certified suppliers. They were not easy to find as there were not many of them at that time; but today, they are more of a rule than exception among most European suppliers. We decided to find more Oeko-Tex-certified suppliers every year, and in 2016 LAURIE achieved its own Oeko-Tex certification as the first adult brand in Scandinavia. The certification was added to all our items, so it was visible to the consumers, and today it is our baseline. It applies to every detail, i.e. the smallest stud, zip, thread, wash, print, pocket lining, etc. In brief: every part of a garment that comes in contact with your skin.

The big, unpredicted bonus

The Oeko-Tex certification process has been very long and time-consuming, but with the outcomes and insights gained in our entire value chain, it’s worth the effort. We learnt what a formal document means (contrary to weak statements of intent), what a third-party certification can do, and – not least – the transparency we experience. Today we know all our garment suppliers, down to the smallest stud. A bonus we hadn’t predicted and an insight full of new options we didn’t know (such as total purchases and fast knowledge of new technologies). From a bird’s eye view: to experience that more material suppliers now follow REACH because it’s requested by us and others, for the benefit of people and climate. It all made sense …

Lena says: In the meantime, we went through a financial crisis that would change our entire business model – because one day, we got another phone call…


To be continued…