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 and use recycled materials 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 2020, synthetic fibers comprised around 20 % 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.

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

Targets

The company is already increasing its use of recycling. We also take this into account in our Circular Design Strategy. In addition, at least 50% of the synthetic fibers used are to be recycled fibers by 2025. As a participant in the Recycled Polyester Challenge of Textile Exchange and the Fashion Industry Charter, we are working together with other fashion companies to increase the overall share of recycled polyester to 45% across the industry by 2025. When possible, we avoid synthetic fibers, as demonstrated by our first plastic-free capsule collection from 2019.

Measures

Currently only few substitutes are available for synthetic fibers that meet our high demands for quality and functionality. Starting in our fall/winter collection 2016, however, all padding used in HUGO BOSS apparel and accessories consists of at least 60% recycled materials such as PET bottles. Further selected styles also use high-quality recycled fibers to reduce the consumption of non-renewable resources..

In addition, we are always on the lookout for sustainable materials 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). In addition to the environmental impacts, a variety of quality tests is performed on samples, for example, to test durability. Only materials that meet our high quality and environmental standards are considered for use.

"Social Plastic®": Recycled Polyester from the Plastic Bank
By using Social Plastic from the Plastic Bank, we are not only promoting the recycling of polyester, but also supporting inhabitants of coastal regions at the same time. The idea behind Social Plastic: Plastic Bank® builds ethical recycling ecosystems in coastal communities. Local people can collect plastic near the coast, which is reprocessed for reintroduction into the global supply chain. Collectors receive a premium for the materials they collect which helps them provide basic family necessities such as groceries, cooking fuel, school tuition, and health insurance. The collected material is reborn as Social Plastic®, which is also integrated into our fabrics selectively. Thanks to our partnership with Plastic Bank, we are helping to stop ocean bound plastic while improving the lives of those who help collect it. We have used Social Plastic® in our BOSS Responsible Sailing Capsule, for example.
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 sustainable cultivation, employ environmentally-friendly production processes for synthetic fibers, and develop innovative, 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.