How Coats contributes to the fabric of a more sustainable world

Coats is the world’s leading industrial thread company. Our pioneering history and innovative culture ensure the company leads the way around the world. Coats has committed to developing a long-term target to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, the highest level of ambition on climate under the Science Based Target Initiative.

Mr.Rajiv Sharma, Group Chief Executive, Coats

At Coats, we have always put sustainability at the heart of our business. With the launch of our new sustainable threads, we are developing products that allow our customers to design garments with a clear end-of-life strategy built into them. Our innovative global teams have developed threads that provide uncompromised quality and performance in a completely sustainable offering. 

The Coats Eco Journey is progressing. This journey started with EcoVerde in 2018, which is now one of the most comprehensive ranges of 100% recycled polyester threads, zips and trims on the market.

Since every kilo of fibre that goes into it includes plastic from 67 discarded PET plastic bottles, it has a carbon footprint significantly lower than virgin fibre. Yet EcoVerde delivers the same, superior sewing performance that has made Coats synonymous with quality for over 250 years.

The same goes for every other product in the EcoVerde range. We are adding to it all the time, with landmark launches such as Signal EcoVerde, the world’s first sustainable reflective tape. By 2024, all Coats’ premium polyester threads will be made from 100% recycled materials, avoiding the emission of thousands of tonnes of CO2.   

Pursuing a circular economy

We aim to play a key part in the complex circular supply chains of the future, by developing products that turn thread from being part of the recycling challenge to part of the solution. The launch of EcoRegen in May 2021 is part of Coats’ Eco Journey roadmap to produce innovative sustainable products which support Coats’ drive towards a circular economy. Coats EcoRegen is the latest in a range of threads made from sustainably-sourced wood pulp. Unlike cotton, cultivating lyocell requires no irrigation, pesticides or intensive labour. As its name suggests, EcoRegen is a regenerated fibre that can be recycled, is fully biodegradable and compostable.

Innovation is integral to every Coats product

Because non-sustainable thread can be a barrier to breaking down waste garments at the end of their life, we have also been exploring ways to accelerate the reprocessing of our products.

There are a further two new products which will be launched soon: EcoCycle is a range of water dissolvable thread that facilitates garment recycling and end to end circularity; and Eco-B is a recycled polyester thread incorporating an additive which reduces synthetic fibre accumulation in landfills and microfibre pollution in oceans.

Coats has more sustainable products in development which demonstrate our commitment in moving towards more circular production models that encourage sustainable business practices in our industries.  It is also why we work with our customers to develop cutting edge innovations that benefit wider society and the environment in which we all live.

Five routes to a more sustainable future

Whilst Covid has created challenging times for many companies, Coats remains committed to pursuing our sustainable strategy and our ambitious targets.

The responsibility we feel in working towards a more sustainable future is set out in the five pillars of Coats’ sustainability strategy:

• Water — We pledge to use it as efficiently as possible. But we are as committed to investing in new machines with low liquor ratio; to making our existing ones more efficient; and pursuing game-changing water-less dyeing techniques.

• Energy — We are cutting demand wherever possible and decarbonising the energy we do use. We are transitioning to renewable sources, and using better planning and higher machine utilisation to minimise consumption.

• Effluent and emissions — We ensure any effluent we create returns to the environment without damaging the water sources our communities rely on. We have long worked to our own global standards but now that Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals standards exist, we have adopted these as our standards.

• Social — At home in some 50 countries, Coats has a workforce of 17,000 people across  six continents. We work hard to ensure our employees all have a safe working environment, receive fair remuneration under Living Wage benchmarks, and enjoy good career development opportunities. • Living sustainably — If our products are sustainable then our customers’ products are more sustainable too. Since sources of raw materials are finite and synthetic products don’t biodegrade, we believe it is our duty to explore circularity of use.      

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