Responsibly Sourced Textiles

As a retailer that offers a variety of textile products (clothing, accessories, and homeware) to customers, we recognise that we have a responsibility to ensure that these products do not cause harm to the environment or those working within the supply chain. This means that Lidl is committed to sourcing products that support decent working conditions and high environmental standards.   

 Our aim is to make it as easy as possible for our customers to buy products that are produced in a responsible and sustainable way.

Our Commitments

Cotton: By the end of 2022, 100% of our cotton will be sourced from sustainable sources including Cotton made in Africa Initiative (CmiA), Fairtrade, Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) or Organic Textile Standard (OCS). Additionally, we are aiming to source 15% of our cotton from organic sources by 2022 and 20% from organic sources by the end of 2025.

Viscose: We source 100% of the viscose in our textiles from a sustainable source, LENZING™ ECOVERO™.

Transparency

We are working closely with our suppliers to increase supply chain transparency. As part of our journey towards greater transparency, we have committed to publishing tier one information on our food and non-food supply chains on an annual basis. This includes disclosing information on the name, address and country of origin of all of our own-label textile and hardware suppliers. For further information and links to our supplier lists, click here.

Cotton made in Africa

Coton made in Africa

To support our sustainable cotton commitment, Lidl has been a proud partner of the Cotton made in Africa initiative (CmiA) since February 2020. Through this partnership, Lidl is actively advocating for socially and environmentally sustainable cotton production in Africa, right at the start of the textile supply chain. When customers purchase a Lidl product with the CmiA seal, they are supporting the CmiA initiative and African smallholder farmers.

CmiA is an initiative of the Aid by Trade Foundation and is one of the world’s leading standards for sustainably produced cotton. Since 2005, the initiative behind the label has been committed to protecting the environment as well as improving working and living conditions for smallholder farmers and for the workers in the ginneries.

The aim of the initiative is to help people help themselves through trade and training rather than donations. The locally provided training teaches smallholder farmers efficient and sustainable cultivation methods. As a result of using these more sustainable agricultural methods, smallholder farmers are less exposed to climate change and price fluctuations and are securing a source of income for future generations which helps them to improve their living conditions themselves.

Further information on the CmiA initiative is available here

Project for Environmental and Resource Efficiency (PURE)

textiles

Lidl have designed and launched the Project for Environmental and Resource Efficiency, or ‘PURE’, a training program in collaboration with GIZ (German Society for International Cooperation), a specialist organisation in sustainability; working alongside factories in Bangladesh and China that manufacture clothing and textile products.

This training program aims to educate and share practical solutions to everyday health, safety and environmental challenges in these facilities. The companies engaging in this scheme can use this training to help continually develop and enforce their own standards. By bettering the working conditions and environmental capabilities inside the factories, this can also create a greater impact on the local communities and surrounding areas.

‘PURE’ has three main goals:

1. Promote safe storage and handling of chemicals

2. Implement measures to reduce water and energy consumption

3. Improvement of waste and waste-water management

Lidl GB openly share all 650 company names and addresses of the facilities that manufacture our textile and footwear products on our website. This list is updated every six months and expresses our continued commitment and accountability to working alongside these facilities.This list can be reviewed here.

textiles

PURE Success

80

Textile companies

400

Trained factory employees

67,000

Employees benefit from the training in the long term

Action Collaboration Transformation

textiles

Lidl is committed to fair wages in the textile industry

As a major buyer of clothing, textiles and footwear, Lidl takes seriously its responsibility to promoting decent working conditions in manufacturing countries, particularly in relation to promoting living wages.

In November 2019, Lidl became the first discount food retailer to become a member of the “Action, Collaboration, Transformation” (ACT) initiative. ACT is an agreement between global brands, retailers, trade unions and governments to achieve living wages for workers through the process of collective bargaining. Through ACT, retail and brand members commit to adapting their purchasing practices to ensure higher wages for workers.

ACT focusses on global supply chains, where a company like Lidl does not have the direct ability to set wages. On average, workers in these industries earn between 42% and 55% of what is understood to be the living wage benchmark, leaving them vulnerable to further rights violations, such as forced labour or child labour. 

In order to achieve fair wages, Lidl, through its participation in ACT, ensures purchasing volumes within its textile supply chain are agreed for a fixed time-period, preventing manufacturers from moving production to countries with lower labour costs when the opportunity arises. In addition to this, Lidl commits to integrating the wage levels agreed through the collective bargaining process into its buying contracts, starting initially in the key sourcing countries of Cambodia, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Turkey.

Through its commitment to ACT, Lidl is taking concrete steps to improve conditions for workers in its global supply chains, fulfilling its promise to customers of responsible and sustainable sourcing.

"The involvement of companies like Lidl is particularly important, due to its high buying volumes and great influence on suppliers in Asia. ACT members want to work together to improve purchasing practices, thereby enforcing living wages in the clothing industry and striving for necessary change." Frank Hoffer, Executive Director ACT

Learn more about ACT here.

Lidl’s Commitment to Greenpeace’s Detox Campaign

textiles

Through every stage of the textile and shoe manufacturing process, chemicals are used to colour products, make them functional and improve their quality. These chemicals can become hazardous when they contaminate wastewater sources and come into contact with humans and the environment. At Lidl we are committed to addressing the misuse and contamination of hazardous chemicals within our textile and shoe manufacturing processes. In 2014 we became the first food retailer to join Greenpeace’s Detox campaign, and as part of this campaign we committed to removing the 11 hazardous chemicals which Greenpeace deemed as hazardous from our own-brand textile and shoe manufacturing processes.

Six years on, we are pleased to report successful progress against our goal. Through introducing a range of programmes within our supply base we have successfully removed these hazardous chemicals from our own-brand manufacturing processes. These programmes include:

  • The implementation of environmental and wastewater audits with key suppliers
  • An increase in the volume of sustainable materials used in our products, certified through third-party certification schemes
  • The launch of our first Cradle to Cradle product
  • Through training over 400 employees on environmental and resource efficiency

At Lidl we are striving to achieve systemic change and are committed to continuously promoting social and environmental improvements in our supply chain. Although we have achieved the targets of the campaign, we will continue to implement further measures to help us to work towards a more sustainable future.

For more information on our Detox journey, including an overview of the milestones achieved between 2015 – 2020, as well the ongoing actions please download the report below.

Cradle To Cradle

textiles

In 2019 Lidl launched a textile collection as a pilot project for the first time, which has been awarded the Cradle to Cradle Certified ™ (C2C) product standard in gold and silver. Together with the CHT Group, EPEA GmbH and the Beneficial Design Institute, Lidl has implemented completely biodegradable printing pastes for textiles.

The 'Cradle to Cradle’ concept describes the vision of a ‘waste-free economy’ in which raw materials are reused in closed cycles. Cradle to Cradle aims to drive intelligent product design that takes into account the full recycling of the product and its components, and selects chemicals and ingredients that are good for human health and the environment.

To be certified to C2C five considerations have to be implemented throughout production including:

  • Material health
  • Material reutilization
  • Renewable energy
  • Carbon management
  • Water stewardship
  • Social fairness

When manufacturing our Cradle to Cradle Certified ™ textile collections, all aspects are checked by independent experts for resource effectiveness and recyclability - from the effective use of raw materials to the use of chemicals to keeping water clean and the use of renewable energy.

Viscose

textiles

Due to the risks associated with illegal deforestation and high-chemical usage for the production of generic viscose, Lidl have made the commitment to switching all own-brand textile products that contain viscose to LENZING™ ECOVERO™. This ensures our products are made from a more eco-friendly form of viscose, which has improved environmental standards in comparison to generic viscose and traditional manufacturing methods. For example, 50% less water is used during the production of LENZING™ ECOVERO™, chemicals are recycled back into the fibre production and the raw material comes from sustainably-managed forests and plantations.

Lidl has been working with LENZING™ since 2013 as a supplier of TENCEL™ modal and TENCEL™ lyocell. These more sustainable fabrics are used across various ranges including underwear, outer garments, sportswear and home textiles.

To find out more about this commitment, please visit our Timber & Wood page.

Responsible and Sustainable Sourcing