Manufacture

Never

at the expense

of workers’

well-being

In a globalised world, most of the items that we own have been manufactured abroad, and the situation is no different when it comes to garment production. Back in the day, Finland had a thriving textile industry but, due to structural changes, industrial sewing machine operators are no longer trained in Finland, meaning there are less and less sewing professionals available in this country. Furthermore, the large-scale industrial manufacture of garments is simply not competitively priced, as consumers are not prepared to pay a higher price for products made entirely in Finland.

All Finnish workwear providers, including Dimex, source their materials from the international market and the clothes are sewn abroad. However, although Dimex clothes are manufactured elsewhere, it does not mean that we would not be interested in fair treatment of the people who provide the materials and labour for our products. We are acutely aware of the issues associated with the global textile industry and have taken steps to ensure our products are not made at the expense of workers’ well-being.

Selection

and treatment

of our partners

When compared to large international corporations, Dimex is a small business. We value our long-established partnerships very highly and want to ensure that they are well looked after. Our commitment to treat everyone we work with in a fair manner means that our clothes are not manufactured in sweatshops, and we have no interest in squeezing every last penny from the sewing professionals’ wages.

We are not interested in finding the cheapest deal, but instead are looking to have the most seamless operation and always strive to establish mutually beneficial, long-term collaborations with our suppliers. The selection of new suppliers is a long process that involves assessing their social and environmental accountability, in addition to standard factors such as quality, performance and supply capacity. The ground rules for the cooperation are established during the negotiations, and each party is expected to strictly adhere to them.

It’s easy to get along with us, which is probably one of the main reasons why we have such a constructive rapport with our international partners. In every cooperation we are aiming for a situation whereby each party is able to operate in a manner that is effective, yet fair.

Social

accountability

of the supply chain

The clothing business is a huge global industry with long, complex supply chains. Every now and then we receive questions about the manufacturing process of Dimex clothes and their countries of origin. We want to make sure our operations are as transparent and traceable as possible. Below, you’ll find the answers to some of the frequently asked questions sent by our customers.

Why are Dimex clothes sewn all over the world?
Feedback
The manufacture of workwear, especially certified workwear, is a complex process that only specialised garment production facilities are capable of. In addition, work clothing contains a huge amount of detail compared to regular everyday clothes. We are constantly looking for new manufacturing partners, as additional capacity is needed to meet our growing production requirements. Finding new partners is challenging because we want to ensure that the quality of the clothes manufactured and the treatment of employees meet our strict requirements, and that is why Dimex clothes are sewn in several different countries.
Action taken
Where are the Dimex clothes manufactured?
Feedback
The principal manufacturing countries for Dimex products in 2021 are China, Latvia and Estonia. 64% of Dimex clothes are sewn in the Baltic region, most of them in Estonia. We are very happy with our Estonian partnerships and will do our best to hold on to them. In Estonia, it is possible to manufacture clothes in seven weeks, compared to Asian garment factories, where it can take up to six months. However, due to structural changes, the number of garment production facilities in Estonia is on the decline as well.
Action taken
Why do you talk about ‘locally manufactured’ products, when Dimex clothes aren't actually sewn in Finland?
Feedback
From the perspective of the global textile industry, anything manufactured within Europe is considered as local production. In addition to Estonia, Dimex clothes have also been sewn in Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia and Portugal. Manufacturing our products as close to home as possible is very important to us, as it allows for more flexible production planning, for instance, in regard to predicting the demand for different items and sizes. In cooperation with our European production facilities we are able to react quickly to unexpected changes in demand, which results in less waste.
Action taken
I bet Dimex clothes are made in China?
Feedback
Yes, some Dimex clothes are indeed manufactured in China. Traditionally, Chinese garment production facilities have solid expertise in the manufacture of workwear and we have been working with our Chinese partner for more than 13 years. China is no longer considered to be one of the countries for low-cost manufacturing, because when the cost of logistics is included, the price level is very similar to that of Europe. However, because finding suitable production facilities for work clothes in Europe is very hard, 34% of Dimex clothes are currently manufactured in China. We expect the same high-quality from all of our products, no matter where they are made, and operate according to the same principles in China as we do in other countries.
Action taken

What did we achieve in 2020?

  • We went through the supply chain processes and made a game plan for the future.

What didn’t go quite so well in 2020?

  • Because of Covid-19, we were unable to visit our suppliers, and had to meet them via Teams.

Our goals for 2021

  • We review the new Code of Conduct and sign it together with all our major suppliers. 
  • We verify the environmental certificates of material manufacturers. 
  • We carry out a country risk assessment of garment-producing countries and define measures to manage and monitor the risks. 
  • We make annual plans for supplier visits and implement the plan when it is possible to travel again. 
  • We design self-assessment forms for new suppliers and devise a better method for providing feedback. 
  • We further investigate the origins of raw materials from an ethical perspective. 
  • We visit new garment production facilities before the cooperation begins. 

Our goals for the future

  • We increase the transparency of our operations.
  • We regularly visit the garment production facilities for some of the bigger suppliers and investigate the social and environmental accountability of our partners, with the help of a standard set of questions.

Supplier visits

We aim to visit our suppliers in person to ensure that the mutually agreed ground rules are complied with. Because of Covid-19, we were unable to physically visit our suppliers in 2020 and 2021, but we have held meetings with them via Teams.

Code of Conduct

Dimex’s Code of Conduct ensures honest and ethical business practices and can be found as a separate document here. We go through the Code of Conduct and sign it together with all major suppliers.