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.
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
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.
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.