In 2022, we had one special incident to report.
During a routine inspection, an increased pollutant content was detected in a material used in several products.
The models in question were as follows:
Example image of the children's backpack article 14313 Wusel
Example image of the articles 160001 Toona, 16002 Itea, 16004 Taxus, 14007 Hazel II, 14008 Aspe II, 16034 Tecomove II Lignum (from left to right)
We discovered that certain products sold between August 2020 and spring 2022 were processed using a material that contains plasticizers known as phthalates. Phthalates are classified as Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs) and, according to REACH regulations, must be declared if their concentration exceeds 0.1% by weight. Due to our internal, stringent limits, we decided to issue a voluntary product recall.
For humans and environmental organisms, phthalates are a group of substances of concern.
The various phthalates have different effects on the body. Some representatives of this group of substances are known as endocrine disruptors, which can harm health by altering the hormone system. For example, some phthalates can impair male reproductive capacity. Member states of the European Union (EU), for instance, have classified phthalates such as DEHP, DBP, and BBP as reproductive hazards, making these substances a risk in consumer products.
The material concerned was the primary material used in bags and backpacks. Direct skin contact is only expected occasionally during intended and anticipated use. The wearer comes into occasional and brief contact with this material, for example, when removing, filling, and emptying the item. However, we decided to voluntarily recall this product, and the procedure was approved by the authorities.
Simultaneously, intensive efforts were made in collaboration with the material manufacturer to identify the cause of the contamination and prevent it from occurring in future deliveries. It was discovered that an incorrect labeling of a process chemical occurred in the upstream supply chain, allowing phthalate-containing components to enter the production process.
Mitigating measures were defined and implemented with the material supplier to prevent a recurrence of this issue.
Unfortunately, we had to dispose of the affected products contaminated with harmful substances as there was no possibility for reprocessing. The disposal was carried out through a certified waste management company.