Sustainable Materials

Sourcing raw materials and producing more sustainably.

We aim to source raw materials and produce goods in ways that minimize social and environmental impacts along our supply chain. In 2015, we took important steps to better understand the impact of the materials in our products. We partnered with our sourcing divisions to conduct a global mapping of the materials used in our products, including the volumes we use. We are also exploring the environmental impacts of one of our major products – Van Heusen dress shirts – from start to finish by conducting a lifecycle assessment. These exercises provide a critical foundation for our global sustainable materials strategy, which is currently in development.

We continue to support the SAC’s efforts to develop an industry-wide system to measure suppliers’ environmental performance, using its Higg index tool. Seven factories producing Tommy Hilfiger goods have participated in the current Higg index verification pilot to create and test a methodology for checking self-assessment scores. An additional 15 factories used by us will be covered through the participation of other brand owners who use the same factories. Our engagement with the SAC informs our environmental strategy, the incorporation of environmental indicators into our factory assessment tool and our efforts to design products more sustainably.

Strengthening our commitment to animal welfare

Protecting animal welfare is integral to our commitment to source raw materials – such as wool, leather and down – more responsibly. It is also an increasingly important issue for our industry, with consumers, wholesale customers and non-profits seeking greater transparency on animal welfare topics.

In 2015, we began work on a global animal welfare policy encompassing all of PVH's branded businesses. In particular, we considered our most material animal welfare impacts, stakeholder concerns and respected guidelines such as the Five Freedoms. The policy will outline our expectations with regard to key materials and includes industry-wide certifications, such as the Textile Exchange’s Responsible Down Standard, where applicable.

We will launch the policy in the coming year, asking all relevant business partners to sign it as part of their agreements.

Tommy Hilfiger continues its Sustainable Evolution

Tommy Hilfiger is making progress on its Sustainable Evolution strategy and updates are available on its website. Sustainable materials highlights include:

  • Procuring over 4.3 million kilograms (9.5 million pounds) of Better Cotton, amounting to approximately 11% of Tommy Hilfiger’s global cotton volume and is more than eight times the amount sourced in 2014.
  • Increasing use of more sustainable materials such as organic cotton and Tencel® by more than 70% compared to 2014, for a total of 2.9 million garments in select collections.
  • Convening a multi-stakeholder summit in Amsterdam to collaborate with industry peers on improving sustainability and traceability in the leather supply and seek feedback on a leather impact calculator tool, developed with Made-By, which seeks to determine impacts related to country of origin (including animal welfare, land use, water and carbon emissions).
  • Procuring leather from certified sources: approximately 13% of tanneries used by Tommy Hilfiger are accredited by the Leather Working Group, a multi-stakeholder group that establishes and promotes sustainable business practices with the leather industry.
  • Incorporating down certified by the Responsible Down Standard in the majority of PVH Europe styles for Fall 2016.
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Speedo USA closes the loop on swimwear

Our ambition to minimize the environmental impact of our materials sourcing starts with sustainable design. In 2015, Speedo USA partnered with Italian yarn maker Aquafil and Chinese supplier Parawin to transform nylon factory remnants into new swimsuits. Through this ground-breaking project, Speedo and Parawin recapture cutting floor scraps and ship them to Aquafil’s plants in Slovenia, where it is spun into Aquafil’s 100% regenerated Econyl® nylon. Econyl® offers superior performance to virgin nylon, and the new Speedo Powerflex Eco swimwear collection (made of 78% Econyl®) is priced on par with Speedo’s existing ranges. The partnership has created one of the first take-back programs in the swimwear industry, and Speedo plans to build on its new closed loop swimwear program by exploring how to use Econyl® across the rest of its collections.

“Throughout the product development process, we aim to reduce the consumption of non-renewable resources and minimize waste. The Econyl® fabric has great compression and recovery, and is also likely to appeal to consumers seeking more sustainable fashion choices.”

Masami Shigematsu
Senior Director of Product Development, Speedo USA

Finding new use for design room scraps

As part of our Source to Store vision, we look at how materials used during the design process are discarded at the end of their useful life. In 2015, Tommy Hilfiger partnered with re-fashioNYC, a joint initiative of the City of New York and non-profit Housing Works, on a pilot to reuse, repurpose or recycle both damaged and intact clothing and footwear. Calvin Klein followed suit shortly thereafter. re-fashionNYC sorts items, donates usable goods to thrift shops and charities and sells the remaining scraps to be transformed into products like home insulation.

Preserving the Environment Articles