Crystal, for years has been aware of the impact on the water resource due to our productive activities, therefore, efforts have been made in good practices and the acquisition of more efficient machinery that allows us to obtain a better use of the resource.
• We have reduced water consumption in our production processes with more efficient machinery and reuse processes.
• At our plant in Marinilla, Antioquia, Colombia, we have our own water treatment plant, where we treat the water we consume for production and the wastewater generated during these processes, returning it to the tributary in a clean and safe way.
• In our brands we have jeans made with water savings of up to 80% thanks to biodegradable dyes. Fabric washing saves up to 40% thanks to new technologies in the washing boxes.
• Some of our jeans are made with 90% rainwater and recycled fibers from production waste.
• For the dyeing process, we have a software that allows the management, planning and formulation of textile dyeing. This system manages the recipe in an integrated manner (processes and cycles), thus avoiding water and chemical product losses, as well as optimizing production times and reducing the bath ratio.
• As part of the strategy for the rational use of water, we conduct education, awareness and education campaigns for employees throughout the organization.
We constantly review our processes, looking for new and better ways to use energy resources and reduce the impact on the environment:
• We are committed to climate change mitigation: we are part of a select group of companies that operate with Green Energy, that is, with energy generated through 100% renewable sources, which is certified through International Renewable Energy Certificates (I-REC).
• Using efficient energy in our plants, with technological and infrastructure transformations.
• Take advantage of sunlight to work during the day, implementing translucent roofs.
• Make lighting more efficient and save on this expense by switching to LED lighting.
• Increase our energy savings by acquiring new machinery and equipment with more efficient technology (more than 600 electronic motors).
• Increase combustion efficiency and reduce the emission of polluting gases into the atmosphere (project developed in partnership with CNPML).
• Increase the use of bicycles, more public transportation and more carpooling... by our employees, promoting through our MES plan, sustainable mobility strategies that seek to reduce gas emissions and air pollution.
• In our dyeing process, we were able to recover thermal energy by using the heat from wastewater to heat the water entering the dyeing process and reduce fuel and electricity consumption.
• We have reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 25% through our environmental management.
• We planted trees in our reforestation plan in the Cimarrona Creek watershed. Every year we carry out a planting day of native species.
Usable waste is marketed and, through waste managers, is sent to transformation and utilization processes. Ordinary waste generated at each of the plants is delivered to the municipal sanitation services, which dispose of it in sanitary landfills.
Hazardous waste is disposed of through authorized managers for the treatment and final disposal of this type of waste; some is sent to post-consumer programs, such as batteries, and others are incinerated and disposed of in a secure landfill.
At the Armenia plant, we compost all the organic waste generated at our headquarters.
At Crystal we are committed to the circular economy through the following initiatives:
• Pallets: we use reusable and returnable pallets made of recyclable plastic. With the implementation of this strategy we avoid buying 50 new pallets every month.
• Packaging material: we return plastic spools, boxes and trays to our yarn supplier ENKA.
• Plastic bags: the bags we use are returned to the weaving mill, where they are reused up to 3 or 4 times, helping to reduce the number of bags we buy. Later, when they are in poor condition, they are sent to the collection center for proper disposal.
• Bags from rolls and tubes: once the process is completed in the cutting area, the bags and tubes are returned to the finishing process, which helps to give greater reuse to this material.
• Containers: we return to our suppliers the chemical containers: drums and cans.
• Cardboard cones: we reuse the cardboard cones from Colhilados to re-package the raw material, and the plastic cones are returned to the Colhilados plant to be reused in the production process.
• Cardboard tubes: we purchase more resistant cardboard tubes for the open weaving machines, which helps them to remain longer in the process and reduces the constant purchase of this material.
• Cardboard boxes: we recover cardboard boxes from these processes that are in good condition and send them to the distribution center, this helps to provide greater circularity in the processes and reduce the purchase of new boxes.
• Hooks: Once their useful life is over they are delivered to our supplier so that these enter again as raw material and become new hooks.
In our purchasing processes and internal innovation and development projects, we prioritize the search for sustainable raw materials and textile fibers, and as a result, today we have:
• Organic cotton: made in crops free of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and its seeds are not genetically modified. Its cultivation requires 90% less water and 60% less energy than conventional cotton, it is a soft, breathable and hypoallergenic fabric. It is biodegradable and can be recycled.
• Recycled cotton: made from recycled cotton fibers, it uses 80% less water than conventional cotton cultivation.
• Lyocell: natural fiber made from cellulose and is biodegradable. Its production cycle is closed, minimizing waste and residues.
• EcoVero® viscose: standard in ecologically responsible viscose. Natural and renewable material. Wood from sustainable forestry. Eco-responsible, biodegradable production process, and protects the earth.
• Recycled fibers: fibers recovered from other garments are used in blends, reducing the generation of virgin raw material and avoiding further waste. Water and energy savings in the process.
• Linen: one of the most notorious aspects of textile linen is its durability compared to other equally popular natural fibers and its versatility for making different pieces of clothing. It is resistant to pests and both the tree and its fiber are fungicidal. Also, while growing it requires little care, such as little water and light. It also has a high dye absorption capacity which makes it ideal for making various manufactured textile products.
We mitigate the generation of waste, with biodegradable or recycled packaging, hooks and other inputs.
We invite you to bring your own cloth bag every time you visit our brands!
In this way we seek to intervene throughout the product chain:
• Plastic bags: from 2019 all bags of our brands are 100% recycled plastic. In addition, they contain Biosphere, an additive that allows them to be biodegraded by microorganisms between 1 and 5 years in case they reach a landfill or the environment.
• Paper bags: we use paper from responsibly managed forests. We use only one water-based ink, thus avoiding energy-intensive processes and facilitating natural biodegradability and recycling. We went from having 3 sizes of paper bags in all brands, to having only 2 to better optimize this packaging. Our supplier is FSC certified, ensuring that their forests are responsibly sourced.
• We eliminated the plastic bags from the t-shirt packaging and switched to cardboard without laminates or glues so that there can be a process of recyclability or biodegradation.
• Maule labels: some of our labels are Maule, a virgin fiber from responsible crops, we eliminate the fluting and leave a layer of material without glues, we do not use laminates or finishes so that they can be recyclable or biodegradable if they fall into a landfill.
• Sugar cane labels: Sugar cane is a by-product of the country's sugar industry. This waste is used to make paper, instead of burning it. These crops regenerate quickly and capture large amounts of CO2.
The digitalization of development processes has been a great achievement since it has allowed us to reduce the manufacturing of products under development, through 3D modeling and product costing simulators, based on our historical data; allowing us flexibility and responsiveness.
To guarantee the quality of our products and reduce the amount of rejects, we have artificial vision at the exit of the fabric branches that detects the rejects in the fabrics to avoid reprocesses and make corrective actions quickly, to increase productivity.
We work to sell more with less consumption of resources, for this reason we implemented a process of technological renovation in all our production processes:
• Cutting machine: new automatic cutting machines that avoid waste, have better quality in cutting, cut more layers and consume less energy represented in a saving of 181,200 kWh.
• Dyeing machine: New machines with a 30% to 40% higher production capacity with less energy and water consumption. The energy saving is 256,320 kWh.
• Weaving machine: This machine is used to tie the fabric, helps to reduce waste in the cutting stage and consumes less energy, resulting in a saving of 233,280 kWh.
• We have a quality laboratory, which is a small-scale replica of the plant, in order to ensure that the product can be properly reproduced, minimizing waste, making corrections quickly, being more assertive in production to avoid reprocessing and increase productivity.
• We also reduce waste in the packing of fabric from 30 cm to 4 cm.
In our own stores we are committed to caring for the environment through the following initiatives:
• Energy saving: computer equipment with 89% energy efficiency.
• Water saving: water dispenser that offers 99% pure water without chemicals or residues, additionally it is low in consumption, having a 14% less consumption compared to others offered in the market.
• Lighting: high-tech LED type, we have our stores better illuminated with a lower consumption of 27% compared to the one used in 2019.
• Air conditioners: they have an energy saving control and use environmentally friendly R410A refrigerant, we implemented equipment that uses refrigerant 410, which is environmentally friendly, non-toxic and non-flammable.
We use PRO-8000 thermostats, which allow us to have a daily programming of the on and off schedule, and ensure that the system is off when the store is not in operation.
• Paints: in powder with a 99% utilization avoiding pollutant waste for our furniture.
• Sustainable wood: the boards and veneers used in our furniture come from forest plantations of pine and eucalyptus species mainly, duly registered and controlled.
• Reuse: we have a logistics and furniture storage system that allows us to constantly reuse our furniture.
• Construction materials: each of our stores is approximately 35% built in drywall construction system.
It considerably reduces water consumption and waste generated on site.
• Floors : environmentally friendly vinyl roll type, free of phthalate (chemical compounds used to soften vinyl), 100% recyclable material, and manufactured with 20% recycled products.
• Maniquíes: nuestros maniquíes son de Plex-t, una resina plástica desarrollada por EXPOR. De alta resistencia, 100% reciclable, estos maniquíes no requieren pintura, ni gastos de mantenimiento. Después de su vida útil, retornan para ser nuevamente transformados en materia prima para ingresar a un nuevo ciclo sostenible de aprovechamiento continuo.
Together with our employees and their families, we support programs that promote environmental protection through safe alternatives for the use of some final disposal resources and support different social causes.
• Green points: the Green Points Foundation seeks to encourage citizens and companies to reduce pollution by responsibly handing in waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), thus accumulating points that can be redeemed to support social causes nationwide.
• Tapitas por la vida: in Crystal we are linked to the "Tapitas por la Vida" campaign of the Fundación Medicáncer, with donations of plastic caps. The donations are delivered to patients who belong to the subsidized health system and do not have sufficient resources to adequately carry out the follow-up process of the cancer disease.
With this initiative we protect the environment and support life!
• Bottles of Love: The Fill a Bottle of Love Foundation is an integral solution for the sustainable management of plastic waste to improve the quality of life of vulnerable communities through an innovative strategy aimed at institutions, companies and communities, which consists of filling bottles with all the plastic waste generated daily. Once collected, they are transformed into plastic profiles, which are used to make playgrounds, urban furniture and housing for the benefit of the population.