REI Co-op released its third iteration of standards geared toward sustainability, social equity, and environmental impact for the brands that sell products in its stores.
The company said in a news release that the new version of its Product Impact Standards focuses on three main areas:
- Fighting climate change.
- Advancing inclusion in the outdoors.
- Managing chemicals.
“The standards keep the co-op and over 1,000 of our brand partners accountable as we address the issues that are most important to our community,” said Chris Speyer, vice president of product for REI, in a release.
Seattle-based REI first announced the product standards in 2018 then updated them in 2020. This new version includes:
- Requiring brands to measure greenhouse gas emissions and set emissions reduction targets.
- Expecting companies to advance equity across outdoor gear and apparel, specifically regarding price equity across size ranges, inclusive sizing, and inclusive offerings for diverse hair types.
- Updated chemical management expectations, in part to ensure wide industry alignment with new state laws regarding the use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). REI would like to phase out PFAS from additional product categories.
- Updates to the animal welfare section, including sourcing of down as well as wool and mohair standards.
- Updates to the list of prohibited flame retardant chemicals.
The company says the guidelines “were developed in consultation with partner brands to ensure they are both feasible and impactful.”
The standards will take effect at various times depending on several factors, including seasonality and product releases.
Some brands will have up to 18 months to meet the expectations.
On the emissions topic, REI says it will ensure brands representing at least 55% of its annual sales volume will set a “science-aligned emissions reduction target by 2025.”