Synthetic Materials

Resource-friendly production, longer product life
Synthetic materials and blended fabrics are used in nearly all product ranges. Instead of natural production, they are made through petrochemical processes. We aim to make these processes environmentally-friendly, for example by using recycled materials or alternatives to conserve non-renewable resources.
Use at HUGO BOSS

Because synthetic materials are often breathable and water-resistant, they are primarily used in the performance product area. In addition, synthetic imitation leather is used as an alternative to leather in shoes, accessories, and bags. In 2021, synthetic fibers comprised around 21% of all our materials used.

Impacts*

Synthetic materials are produced from petroleum – a finite, non-renewable raw material. Oil extraction can endanger ecosystems and pollute water reservoirs. In addition, energy and chemicals are required to produce the material. Various studies have also shown that small fiber particles are released when synthetic products are washed. These are known as microplastics. They are virtually completely non-biodegradable, bind to environmental toxins and dangerous microorganisms, and contribute significantly to water pollution.

* Summary of data from the “Ecoinvent” environmental database and internal research

Targets

HUGO BOSS is already increasingly focusing on product longevity, reusability of materials and recycling. We also take this into account in our Circularity Strategy. By 2030, 80% of our products will be part of the circular economy. When possible, we avoid synthetic fibers, as demonstrated by our first plastic-free capsule collection from 2019.

Measures

HUGO BOSS wants to reduce the use of non-renewable resources and limit the environmental impacts of synthetic fibers. Accordingly, the Company has set itself the goal of increasing the proportion of recycled synthetic fibers in its products to at least 50% of the total volume of synthetic fibers used by 2025. Currently only few substitutes are available for synthetic fibers that meet our high demands for quality and functionality. Nonetheless, we are always on the lookout for sustainable materials, ideally bio-based, to replace synthetics. To this end, we examine businesses and their processes, analyze their environmental impacts, and compare them with the environmental impacts of the material targeted for replacement (such as polyester). Our strategic partnership with HeiQ AeoniQ LLC contributes to this goal. The innovative filament yarn resembles polyester and nylon fibers in its properties, but is based on cellulose. This makes it a sustainable, recyclable alternative to synthetic fibers.

HeiQ AeoniQ: A sustainable alternative to polyester

As part of a long-term, strategic partnership with HeiQ (LSE: HEIQ), we are investing in a game-changing new sustainable apparel technology for the production of a bio-based cellulosic yarn. The HeiQ AeoniQ yarn offers a true alternative to polyester and nylon fibers, still currently the most widely used materials in the textile industry. The performance parameters of HeiQ’s sustainable, circular, and closed-loop recyclable cellulosic yarn is on par with conventional fabrics like polyester and nylon thanks to its tensile strength and elasticity. The yarn, however, has a far better ecological footprint: While polyester and nylon fibers are made from non-renewable oil-based raw materials, the HeiQ AeoniQ yarn comprises renewable raw materials that capture carbon from the atmosphere. This technology helps prevent water pollution from microplastic fibers, preserves agricultural land and contributes to the decarbonization of the fashion industry, when replacing oil-based materials.
S.Café: material made of recycled polyester and coffee grounds
In selected BOSS Menswear Athleisure styles, we use S.Café®, an innovative material made of recycled polyester and coffee grounds. Through this additive, the material dries much more quickly and has low odor development – making it perfect for use in functional clothing.

More information

Sustainable materials

HUGO BOSS strives to increasingly use cotton from more sustainable cultivation, employ environmentally-friendly production processes for synthetic fibers, and develop innovative, more sustainable materials.

Animal welfare

Leather, wool, and down are materials with animal origins, which results in a special responsibility for animal welfare. HUGO BOSS has set ambitious targets to live up to this responsibility.

Current topics

For news on all aspects of sustainability at HUGO BOSS – including product development and innovative materials – see the current topics.