The Hugo Boss Group is developing sustainable sourcing strategies for its most important materials based on natural capital valuations, according to the global apparel company’s latest sustainability report.
This month Hugo Boss published its fifth sustainability report. For the first time, it contained the non-financial report required by CSR-RUG, the European CSR Directive Implementation Act. Headquartered in Metzingen, Germany, Hugo Boss identified 13 material topics including ones related to raw materials and finished goods.
The apparel company, which has around 4,000 employees, operates in 127 countries, runs four production facilities, and does around $3.26 billion in sales, also started recognizing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in defining its sustainability strategy.
Through products activities, the company says it’s contributing to the SDG around responsible consumption and production. Natural capital valuations published last fiscal year form the basis of Hugo Boss’ comprehensive sourcing strategy for sustainable materials, the company says. Last year, the German fashion brand joined the Cotton Leads program in support of sustainable cotton.
Cotton currently constitutes the largest percentage of total material usage at the company. In 2017, cotton was 48% of the total, followed by 16% wool, 15% synthetic fibers, and 15% leather.
“By the year 2020, 50% of the cotton will come from sustainable sources, in accordance with the criteria defined in the group’s cotton commitment,” the report says. “By 2025 this percentage will increase to 80%.” Targets for leather, wool, and synthetic fibers will be implemented over the next few years, according to the company.
Hugo Boss is also emphasizing recycling and closed material cycles: “Since the fall/winter collection 2017, the company has solely used padding made from minimum 60% recycled materials for all its clothing lines and accessories.”
In addition, Hugo Boss joined the 2020 Circular Fashion System Commitment, an industry-wide initiative aimed at promoting a closed material cycle in the textile industry. “This means extending the lifecycle of products and returning them into a material cycle at the end of their period of use,” the company says.
As part of that commitment, Hugo Boss plans to train employees in the design, development, and sourcing process on fabric cycles, recycling, and use of sustainable materials. In the future, cycle-oriented design principles will be integrated into the product development process from the outset and a digital media library will be created for materials and processes, the brand says.
The fashion brand joins a growing number of companies in the apparel space that are scrutinizing their supply chains and manufacturing processes looking for ways to boost sustainability.