Juniper’s principles for responsible production
The textile industry is traditionally challenging to understand, and driving sustainable production is complex. To guide our work to reduce our negative impact on the world and create transparency for you, we have 17 principles we adhere to. Furthermore, we use these principles to assess how far we have gotten with each product and prioritize our efforts going forward.
The foundation for our work to reduce our footprint is centered on three core beliefs that span across our principles
Design products and processes for reduced negative footprint
We believe that design is at the very core of creating the products of the future. In fact, durability might be one of the most important levers we have to fight consumption. If products last longer, we consume less.
Seek out innovation and technology across the supply chain
We are a small company and are, for the foreseeable future, unlikely to drive major innovations ourselves. However, we can piggy back on others work and be faster to execute.
Provide full transparency, always
Traceability is the foundation of sustainable production. Without having a transparent view of the value chain, sustainability should not be claimed and actually can’t be verified. We will share, during good times and during bad times, what is going on in our value chain.
Our 17 principles for responsible production
1. Juniper commits to a strictly vegan choice of raw materials
2. Juniper will strive to prevent and reduce the overall negative impact on biodiversity
3. Juniper will make selected financial contributions to promote biodiversity
4. Juniper will only contract tier-1 factories within the EU
5. Juniper will account for all tier 2 and 3 factories in its value chain
6. Juniper will strive to champion fair pay, inclusion, and diversity in its value chain
7. Juniper will never use air freight as part of its supply chain
8. Juniper will strive to minimize logistical distance in its value chain
9. Juniper will strive to cut out middlemen in its value chain
10. Juniper will not use conventional oil-based virgin plastics in its packaging
11. Juniper will not overdo packaging just for the sake of luxury
12. Juniper will strive to create the most durable product possible
13. Juniper will provide care and revamping instructions to extend product life
14. Juniper will strive to minimize carbon dioxide emissions as part of its supply chain
15. Juniper will make selected financial contributions to promote climate positive action
Reusing & Recycling
16. Juniper will strive to provide returned products with a new life
17. Juniper will provide customers with end of product life guidance for reusing & recycling
How you can get an overview for each product
All of our 17 principles belong to an overarching theme and on each product page you are able to read the aggregated score across the themes (1) Raw materials, (2) Production, and (3) Lifecycle management.
Examples of how our principles impact our product development and our continuous improvements
Juniper is a lifestyle brand and we always have our eyes on the next product in the pipeline to strengthen the boutique hotel experience at home. Without using too much imagination, leather, down, and eggs are three raw materials that would normally be used for various products that we are likely to introduce. However, we have decided against this and will never use raw materials from the animal kingdom. Instead, we allow the product development process to take longer, we evaluate various alternative materials through desktop research, speaking with experts, and creating prototypes.
Protecting and restoring the incredibly intricate and sophisticated ecosystems of the earth is crucial to maintaining a healthy planet. Producing any goods will almost inevitably have some negative impact on nature along the value chain. At Juniper, we continuously strive to minimize our negative impact. As an example, the global cotton industry accounts for about 2.4% of cropland but accounts for 22.5% of all the insecticide use, therefore it is of vital importance to only buy cotton products with a known and traceable source of origin, not just the country but the actual farms. We do just and buy Supima cotton, it is the most expensive cotton in the world but we believe it is the only way to ensure sustainable cotton production and farmer accountability.
Working with the right factory partners across our product range is absolutely crucial to maintain the absolute highest quality and to ensure a sustainable value chain. At the same time, Juniper is a small company, our ability to regularly check the working conditions in our factories is limited so in 2020 we made a decision to have all our Tier-1 factories within the EU where worker protection is a lot stronger. We ended up having to find a new factory for our bed linens and now produce in Porto, Portugal. In addition, we demand from any factory partner we work with to be transparent on which Tier-2 and Tier-3 factories are involved earlier on in the value chain and do our utmost to verify these are suitable partners as well.
Global supply chains are exceptionally difficult to change or circumvent. However, we can affect which partners we work with and make business decisions that make our supply chain more sustainable. E.g. we are committed to never using air freight, even if we are out of inventory and quickly need new products we will simply state on our website when the inventory is back in and allow our customers to shop as normal (except for the longer shipping time of course). This might not be optimal from a commercial perspective, but we think it is an important step to jointly bear the burden to reduce carbon emissions.
Packaging is a necessity for a few reasons, one is to protect the goods from the factory to our warehouse in Värnamo, Sweden. The other is to protect goods in smaller batches when we send them out to our customers and to bring the products to light in the best way possible once they reach our customers. Conventional plastics are a common and efficient way of packaging goods today, but at Juniper, we have decided to never use conventional oil-based virgin plastics. This led us to change all of our inner packagings during 2021 to a 100% biodegradable material. It costs a little more, but you can be sure that if you ever, god forbid, see a Juniper bag in nature, it will biodegrade over about 1-3 years.
While rarely something anyone talks about, durability is actually one of the most important sustainability levers there is. If a product lasts for years rather than weeks or months (think of bedding vs. clothing in terms of hours of use) that makes a huge impact. So when we design (or alter) our products we always strive to make them last as long as possible. Throughout the years we have made plenty of changes to make our products last longer e.g. in the first edition of our towels, we had a single seam on the outer border which is standard in the consumer space, but for our second edition of towels, we have used a double-seam which is common in the hospitality industry. Our factory thought this was nuts, we felt it was necessary to extend the product life cycle.
Reducing carbon emissions is of course one of the most common concerns when it comes to the production of goods and the accompanying logistics and is something we, the team at Juniper, feel strongly about. And to some extent, carbon emissions are intertwined in many of the other areas of our production principles. E.g. we are committed to never using virgin plastics or air freight, both industries are heavy emitters of carbon emissions. We also strive to find production partners that get their electricity from clean sources (or at least partly), one of our factories in Portugal uses solar panels to generate part of its electricity, and probably more importantly Portugal was the 4th country (in addition to Austria, Belgium, and Sweden) in the EU to completely close down coal power plants. Our work to improve will never stop.
Reusing & Recycling
Reusing and recycling are in all honesty the areas we probably have done the least work in so far. Not because it is not important, it really is, but Juniper has not been around for that long so the need has been limited. But we are just entering that phase where it is getting more and more important and are currently in the process of setting up a partnership to repurpose any and all returned goods by making new products out of them.