External collaboration

The internal perspective isn’t enough
HUGO BOSS places great value in collaborating with other companies and organizations, to achieve systematic sustainability improvements along the textile value chain through consolidated expertise. For this reason, HUGO BOSS engages in initiatives and organizations where numerous stakeholders, some from widely differing contexts, work together to achieve common goals. The largest initiatives are compiled below.

HUGO BOSS is involved in these initiatives

  • Aid by Trade Foundation

    By promoting trade in sustainably produced raw materials, help is provided for people to help themselves and thus make a contribution towards environmental protection in raw materials production as well as towards poverty reduction. Through its Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) and The Good Cashmere Standard® (GCS®) initiatives, AbTF promotes sustainably produced cotton and cashmere (financed through license fees). HUGO BOSS has already launched a capsule collection bearing the CmiA label in 2020 and is among the first supporters of the GCS, already sourcing some of its cashmere wool through it.

  • Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action (UNFCCC)

    Measures are being developed and implemented through industry-wide commitment and cooperation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement. HUGO BOSS is committed to the goals of the charter to create a climate-neutral fashion industry by 2050 and, on the way there, to achieve the milestone of a 30% reduction in total CO2 emissions by 2030. In order to develop a roadmap for achieving the goals together with other supporters of the charter, the Company took part in the working groups “raw materials”, “manufacturing/energy” and “policy engagement”. This roadmap was published in 2020 with the aim of helping players to initiate climate protection measures and to introduce them to suitable decarbonization initiatives and programs.

     

  • Apparel and Footwear International RSL Management (AFIRM) Group

    The main focus of AFIRM is to achieve global improvements in the management of regulated fabrics in the apparel and shoe industry. To reach this goal, the initiative concentrates on defining a Restricted Substances List (RSL) containing hazardous chemicals that is valid throughout the industry. It is supplemented by a collection of best practices and, ultimately, the definition of a joint approach. Compliance with existing laws is, of course, part of this. HUGO BOSS is active in working groups of the organization, thus making an active contribution to improving the handling of chemicals in the textile industry and at our company.

  • Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)

    HUGO BOSS is a member of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), a non-profit organization that supports improving the standards for more sustainable cotton production worldwide. BCI aims to transform cotton production worldwide by developing Better Cotton as a sustainable mainstream commodity. To this end, they strive to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in, and better for the sector's future. Better Cotton is sourced via a system of Mass Balance and is not physically traceable to end products. However, BCI Farmers benefit from the demand for Better Cotton in equivalent volumes to those we ‘source.’

  • CottonLeads

    The CottonLeads program, initiated by American and Australian businesses, is also committed to sustainable cotton production. The program advocates for transparent, documented supply chains and the collection of best practices for sustainable production. In particular, HUGO BOSS recognizes the insights gained here as an important component of its natural capital evaluation.

  • Cotton made in Africa

    HUGO BOSS also supports Cotton made in Africa (CmiA), an initiative of the Aid by Trade Foundation. CmiA provides small cotton producers with knowledge about cultivation methods that increase the yield and quality of the cotton while protecting their health and the environment.

  • Fair Labor Association (FLA)

    International standards are an important foundation for fair labor conditions worldwide. The FLA aims to strengthen and protect the rights of employees upon this foundation. As a multi-stakeholder initiative, it links businesses with organizations from civil society and academia. The FLA conducts independent audits of selected HUGO BOSS suppliers and publishes the results on their website. In addition, through its participation in the FLA’s Fair Compensation Work Plan, HUGO BOSS supports approaches that enable better pay and new, industry-wide standards.

  • International Accord for Health and Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry

    HUGO BOSS is a member of the International Accord for Health and Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry. The International Accord represents an independent, legally binding agreement between brands and trade unions. It continues commitments to ensure a safe and healthy Ready-Made Garment industry in Bangladesh and further seeks to establish worker safety programmes in other countries producing textiles and garments. The International Accord is the expanded successor of the Bangladesh Accord, that expired in May 2021. We have been a member of the Bangladesh Accord almost since its beginning (2016).

  • Leather Working Group (LWG)

    Promoting environmentally sustainable and environmentally friendly production processes in the leather industry is no easy undertaking. The Leather Working Group (LWG), which is comprised of leather manufacturers, brands, and retailers, takes on this issue. It assesses the operations at tanneries and awards certificates accordingly. Through these efforts, they increase transparency and enable continuous improvement.

  • Natural Capital Coalition (NCC)

    The natural capital evaluation is an important tool for HUGO BOSS to precisely assess the environmental impacts of its products and the individual production steps and compare them with one another. That’s why we entered a partnership with the Natural Capital Coalition (NCC) in 2015. Different parties work together in the NCC, making it possible to develop a standardized approach for valuating natural capital. In particular, HUGO BOSS uses the procedure to make it easier to identify important topics and effective environmental protection measures and implement them with the proper priority.

  • Partnership for Sustainable Textiles

    Creating sustainable supply chains in the textile industry is the goal of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, which was established by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. HUGO BOSS joined the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles in 2015 to work toward long-term improvements of labor conditions in the sourcing countries, together with other members. As part of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, HUGO BOSS is involved in the working groups "Living Wages" and "Gender-based Violence", among others, and since 2017 has also been involved in the "Tamil Nadu" initiative, which entered its second phase "Tamil Nadu 2.0" in 2021. The initiative aims to promote social standards in spinning mills and textile factories in the southern Indian region and places a particular focus on strengthening women's rights. Since 2021, the company is also involved in the initiative "strengthening factory-internal grievance handling in Pakistan".

  • United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

    The Egyptian Cotton Project is aiming at enhancing the sustainability, inclusiveness and value addition of the Egyptian cotton value chain. Together with the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) cotton farmers are trained on the BCI approach to sustainable cotton production. By adhering to these principles, farmers produce cotton in a way that is measurably better for the environment and farming communities. By supporting the project HUGO BOSS is able to enhance the availability of high quality and sustainable cotton which facilitates the Company’s strategy regarding the use of more responsible materials.

  • The Consumer Goods Forum (formerly GSCP)

    HUGO BOSS is a partner in the Social Compliance Program (GSCP) of the Consumer Goods Forums, a non-profit organization. Experts from a variety of sectors work together within the GSCP – retail companies, brands, international organizations, research institutes, and governments – to improve both the social and ecological aspects involved in the production of consumer goods. In particular, HUGO BOSS supports the further development of the GSCP Open Source Environmental Module, which aims to document and improve environmental conditions and is used to review minimum ecological requirements by partners and suppliers worldwide.

  • The Good Cashmere Standard

    In 2019, HUGO BOSS also began a collaboration with the Aid by Trade Foundation to develop The Good Cashmere Standard for the sourcing of responsibly produced cashmere fibers. The standard is based on the Five Freedoms concept developed by the Farm Animal Welfare Council to assess the welfare of livestock. It defines animal welfare requirements for goats bred and kept for cashmere production. It also includes social and environmental criteria for responsibly produced cashmere products.

  • Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC)

    As a contributor of the ZDHC Roadmap to Zero Programme, HUGO BOSS strives to use more sustainable chemicals along the global value chain, to reduce environmental pollution. The aim of the ZDHC, a non-profit organization, is to develop exemplary approaches for the use and avoidance of chemicals in the global textile and shoe value chain, to protect employees, consumers, and the environment even better.

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