Danish clothing firm IC Companys A/S is moving its textile testing to the countries where its production is carried out as one of a number of steps to guarantee the safety of its garments after some were found to contain high levels of chemical residues.

The measures are being introduced so that “consumers feel safe when wearing our products,” the fashion firm said.

Last month it was revealed that garments sold under its Cottonfield, InWear and Part Two brands contained excessive "chemical residues" and that although it recalled the products from stores it failed to inform authorities and customers. The items were sold between November 2009 and January 2011.

The chemical residues included 36mg/kg of Azo dye (0.06mg/kg above the permitted value) in a badge on a Cottonfield long-sleeve T-shirt; "too high amounts" of the 'Disperse red 11' dye in two InWear dresses; nickel in the metal parts of a Part Two leather bracelet; and "a too high concentration" of Chromium 6 in a Part Two leather shirt.

“IC Companys has zero tolerance when it comes to products that are not environmentally safe,” says CEO Niels Mikkelsen. “We will therefore eliminate or reduce the risk of consumers wearing products which may contain too many chemicals or dye substances.”

New measures to shore up product safety include increasing the number of tests, and enforcing strict new requirements on its suppliers. The company is also reducing the number of suppliers it uses, and says closer partnerships with the rest "will result in a far better control of our products and will ensure that the suppliers comply with our requirements."

Another change will see it transfer tests to production countries such as India or China, “meaning that  products will never reach  consumers should findings indicate chemical residues above the permitted values. 

“Until the new procedures have been implemented, the test products will be transported to Denmark by plane in order to have the tests performed before the product lines leave the production countries.”