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Design


In the design phase, the use of high-quality renewable materials and long-life fabrics is playing an increasingly important role, as is optimized use of material, the recycling capability of individual components, and the avoidance of waste.

The organizational structure of HUGO BOSS closely coordinates product design, product development, and procurement processes in order to integrate sustainability into all phases of product development. 

The Company is increasingly also deploying new technologies in product development. This means that design teams can access a database to research environmental aspects of materials and processes. HUGO BOSS also makes use of computer-based virtualization methods in specific categories. The number of physical patterns and the resources necessary for them are reduced by using these technologies.

Animal welfare

Animal welfare and species protection are key principles of product responsibility at HUGO BOSS. The Company is concentrating on furs that are generated as by-products of the food industry. Since the Fall/Winter collection 2016, HUGO BOSS has refrained from using farmed fur or exotic leathers. The company already waives usage of angora wool and down feathers from live-plucked birds. HUGO BOSS intends to continue fulfilling the premium quality expectations of its customers with innovative alternative materials.


When sourcing merino wool, HUGO BOSS will give preference to suppliers of knitwear who use wool from sheep not subject to the mulesing procedure. The Group wants to increase the ratio of mulesing-free wool in all purely knitted products to 90% by 2020. In future, suppliers will need to make transparent their operational procedures for animal husbandry and care. 

HUGO BOSS also works together with manufacturers on applying procedures for harvesting quality fibers from renewable plant raw materials.

Product life cycle

In order to make product design sustainable, HUGO BOSS assesses the products over their entire life cycle for health and safety impacts, and their potential opportunities for making environmental savings. Since 2009, the Company has regularly carried out Life Cycle Assessments (LCA).

HUGO BOSS and its joint-venture partners created an information platform with the LCA project “ecologtex” based on research methodology for sustainable product design geared to sustainability.

The “ecoshoe” project carried out by HUGO BOSS in cooperation with Ancona Polytechnic (Italy) was successfully completed in 2014. It took account of all environmental factors along the supply chain and developed three innovative leather soles.

HUGO BOSS is involved in the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) initiative of the European Union as part of the reference group for the “T-Shirt” pilot project. The focus is on analyzing two supply chains for the production of a T-shirt.

Product safety

The collections of HUGO BOSS meet the highest quality and safety standards. The company aims to ensure that all products are free from health and safety risks for employees and customers. Product tests enable materials and chemicals to be tested for compliance with standards in order to exclude harmful effects. 

HUGO BOSS has summarized these standards in a Restricted Substances List (RSL). Suppliers and business partners must sign a warranty declaration on compliance with the RSL (see Partners). HUGO BOSS is also engaged in a working group of companies in the luxury and premium segment which is working on developing a uniform and comprehensive RSL.

Product innovation

Since spring 2017, interdisciplinary teams develop ideas for unusual products, materials and techniques. The goal is to bring these developments to market as quickly as possible, in order to meet the expectations of future HUGO BOSS customers. Here, sustainability plays a major role. Real innovation is future-oriented. In consideration that often the best ideas are a result from collaboration, the HUGO BOSS Product Innovation Lab is also open to partners, creative minds and startups.

Since 2009, the “Copenhagen Fashion Summit“ offers a platform for exchange on current sustainability issues in the fashion industry. Amidst the increasing scarcity of natural resources, this year's summit focused on circularity. The outcome of the summit was an industry-wide commitment to promote the collection, reuse and recycling of garments and footwear. Along 63 other fashion companies and corporations, HUGO BOSS has signed the Global Fashion Agenda’s “2020 Circular Fashion System Commitment” and hence committed itself to take steps towards a circular fashion industry. As part of the Call to Action, HUGO BOSS sets itself targets for 2020 in at least one of the following categories:

  • Action Point 1: Implementing design strategies for cyclability
  • Action Point 2: Increasing the volume of used garments collected
  • Action Point 3: Increasing the volume of used garments resold
  • Action Point 4: Increasing the share of garments made from recycled textile fibres

Signatories have to report progress on an annual basis.

The commitment to promote the principle of recycling in the textile industry is a long-term concern for us. In order to achieve this goal, a large number of innovations (e.g. in the design phase or the refinement of raw materials) are necessary in the individual steps of the textile value chain. Companies are also encouraged to increase their customers' awareness of this issue.

In a first step, HUGO BOSS has defined the following four targets within the Action Point 1 in order to have a design strategy for cyclability in place, enabling re-use, upcycling and recycling:

Target
1By 2020, HUGO BOSS will apply circular design principles based on industry guidance in every HUGO BOSS design brief starting with the Spring/Summer 2020 collection.  
2

By 2020, HUGO BOSS will run regular training sessions on circularity, recyclability and the use of sustainable materials, for everyone involved in the design, development and sourcing process.

3

By 2020, HUGO BOSS will establish a comprehensive digital library, available to all employees, providing information on:

- Materials and fibres that enable recyclability and circularity.

- Dyeing, treatment and finishing processes that enable recyclability and circularity.

4By 2020, HUGO BOSS customers will have access to more detailed information that will help them care for their products correctly, and in doing so prolong the garments’ lifespan.

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