Supply Chain Management

HUGO BOSS has business relationships with its strategic partners that go back twelve years and more. Long-term partnerships are essential to finding answers to social and environmental challenges together.


The HUGO BOSS Supplier Code of Conduct forms the basis of cooperation with suppliers. Social standards are an important framework for partners, especially in countries where national legislation does not adequately protect workers.

The HUGO BOSS Supplier Code of Conduct is based on internationally recognized standards such as the Core Conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Among other things, it prohibits child and forced labor and prescribes decent working conditions and adequate wages. The Supplier Code of Conduct also guarantees the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining. In addition, it contains provisions on environmental standards to be observed. The Supplier Code of Conduct is reviewed regularly to ensure that it is up to date. In this process, feedback from various stakeholders is taken into account.

An important instrument for fulfilling our due diligence obligations along the supply chain is our Supply Chain Sustainability (SCS) program, which is based on the key elements of the Supplier Code of Conduct. With its three modules ‘Social Compliance Management’, ‘Environmental Management and "’Governance’, it combines environmental and social topics and is currently aimed at all our direct finished goods and fabric and trimming suppliers. In this way, HUGO BOSS has established a binding framework for fair working conditions and human rights in its supply chain. For example, child and forced labor are to be excluded. Guidance on processes to prevent child and forced labor, for example, is explicitly set out in our Child Labor Policy.  The Environmental Management module focuses on measures to limit climate change, protect water and soil, and prevent air pollution. The goal of the Governance module is to provide suppliers with tools that enable them to take on increasing responsibility for their own supply chain in accordance with the regulations in the Supplier Code of Conduct, while reducing their own environmental and social supply chain risks.


Collaboration with our partners


    New partners run through a standardized, multi-stage process before they are added to the HUGO BOSS supplier portfolio. Potential partners must approve contracts regarding the general purchasing and production conditions. Among other elements, this includes a self-commitment to the HUGO BOSS Supplier Code of Conduct  and the Restricted Substances List as well as the Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL) of the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC). It is also necessary to successfully complete an online training course on the topics of social responsibility and the environment – including chemical management.


    Only those suppliers who pass the three-stage selection process are included in the supplier portfolio. In addition to formal recognition of the Supplier Code of Conduct, this includes the submission of valid certificates or, if these documents are not sufficient, the submission of a self-assessment questionnaire (SAQ). Depending on the results, the supplier may also be audited before entering into an active business relationship. The company uses SAQs in particular to verify compliance with the social standards specified by HUGO BOSS for every supplier (finished goods and fabric and trimmings) before the start of the partnership. A check of whether new partners meet the standards specified by HUGO BOSS is not only carried out when they are selected. As part of our Social Compliance Check, a social compliance audit is carried out between one and twelve months after the start of the business relationship, depending on the country risk. The social compliance audits are repeated regularly over the course of the business relationship – partially announced, unannounced or in form of self-assessments. Each audit is followed by an extensive report. Detailed information about the requirements, along with training courses, help the suppliers comply with the standards. If a supplier been classified in one of the two best result categories in three consecutive audits, a Remote Risk Assessment, implemented in the form of a questionnaire, can replace the next scheduled audit. Desk or on-site assessments are based on the HUGO BOSS assessment program considering the various requirements from ILO Convention and UN Guiding Principles, as well as legal requirements such as the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act.  We acknowledge the following standards and methodologies: SMETA, Amfori BSCI, SLCP, FLA and SA8000. 


    HUGO BOSS also places value in ongoing dialog, for example, through events such as the Supplier Days, which HUGO BOSS holds in a variety of locations each year. The aim of the Supplier Days is to notify partners about important targets and measures at HUGO BOSS, promote common developments in the supply chain, and strengthen the partnership through interaction. In addition, external speakers share their expertise on relevant current topics, such as digitalization, to inspire the participants to evolve. Insights from this dialog are incorporated directly into the sustainability strategy.

    The Supplier Council also provides a platform for exchange. It is a selected group of suppliers who exchange ideas on specific topics. They meet under the leadership of the COO of HUGO BOSS and discuss opportunities and challenges together. The aim is to understand the needs of suppliers even better and to drive future developments forward together.


    If violations of the Supplier Code of Conduct are discovered, corrective action plans are developed together with the supplier to rectify the situation. Their implementation is reviewed and documented in defined audit cycles (see our supplier factsheet for more information). If no improvement has been made, HUGO BOSS will ultimately end the partnership with the supplier as a last resort.


    At HUGO BOSS, we place great value on long-term partnerships. Nevertheless, in exceptional cases and for various reasons, it may happen that a business relationship with a supplier has to be terminated. In this case, it is important for us to proceed in a responsible manner. The supplier should have sufficient time to build up a new customer base. To this end, order volumes are reduced over time so that the supplier can gradually acquire orders from other customers that will fully utilize their capacity. For a detailed overview of possible reasons for terminating a business relationship and the factors to be considered, see our factsheet on responsible exit.

HUGO BOSS social commitment in the supply chain

HUGO BOSS places great value on collaborations with businesses and organizations to achieve systematic sustainability improvements along the textile value chain through our consolidated expertise. HUGO BOSS’ commitments to collaborations for improving labor and social standards in the supply chain are summarized below.

  • Fair Labor Association (FLA)

    HUGO BOSS joined the FLA in 2014 to promote and protect employee rights and to advance improvements to working conditions. The HUGO BOSS Social Compliance Program was fully accredited for the first time in 2018 (more information here) and will now be assessed regularly. The implementation of the Social Compliance Program is continuously monitored by independent assessments conducted by the FLA at selected HUGO BOSS suppliers and the results are published on the FLA website.

  • Partnership for Sustainable Textiles

    HUGO BOSS became a member of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles in 2015. The initiative, whose members cover nearly half of the German textiles market, aims to improve the social, environmental, and economic conditions in global textiles production together. HUGO BOSS, for example, is active in working groups on the topics of living wage, purchasing practices and gender-specific violence. Members undertake to publish a due diligence plan every two years in which the most serious social, ecological and corruption risks in their own supply chain are identified, targets and measures are set, and progress in implementing the targets is reported on.

  • Tamil Nadu Initiative

    In the framework of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, HUGO BOSS has supported the partnership initiative “Tamil Nadu” since 2017. In November 2021, the partnership initiative entered the second phase. This initiative aims to improve social standards at spinning mills and textile factories in the southern India region, with a special focus on improving women’s rights. In collaboration with local NGOs, employees and managers are trained in workers’ rights and complaint mechanisms. In particular, the members seek to establish trust among the different stakeholders in the Tamil Nadu textile industry and supports the establishment of a political dialog between local governments, suppliers, and civil society.

    The initial agreement expired in May 2021. Until a final decision has been made on the long-term continuation of activities on site, we have decided to support the interim agreement, which will extend the Accord for a further three months on a transitional basis. 

  • Initiative Living Wage Lab

    From 2019 on, HUGO BOSS was involved in the Living Wages Initiative as part of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles. Over the last years, the members have worked in collaboration with Action Collaboration Transformation (ACT) to improve their purchasing practices so that suppliers have greater scope for wage increases. Based on a survey which was conducted internally and with our suppliers, we developed a target and action plan.

    Starting from September 2021, HUGO BOSS has joined the follow-up initiative Living Wage Lab of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles. Participating members are currently collaborating to develop an individual strategy for living wages and, wherever possible, to realize scalable solutions for wage increase at the supplier-level. To this end, we collect wage data from our finished goods suppliers in particular and analyze any wage gaps, among other things. Based on the recorded wage gaps, targeted pilot projects are implemented to gradually improve the wage situation. This is done in collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders, such as national and international NGOs, civil society organizations, trade unions or local legislators. The project's action plan is based on our strategy and the local situation and includes efficiency programs, training, responsible purchasing practices, social dialog and collective bargaining.

  • Strengthening factory-internal complaint mechanisms in Pakistan

    Within the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, a first module in the Partnership's complaint mechanisms initiative has been in place since April 2021: the opening of the Fair Wear complaint mechanism to partnership and AGT members in Vietnam and India. Together with partnership member Fairtrade Germany e.V., the Textile Partnership and Green Button have now developed a second module. The aim of the project is to support textile factories in Pakistan in establishing functioning factory-internal complaint mechanisms or to further develop existing mechanisms. Fairtrade Germany is coordinating implementation on the ground.

    Up to 20 textile factories are to receive training as part of the project. Similar to the Fairtrade Textile Program implemented in India, the factories in Pakistan will also receive individualized support services, implemented with the help of a team of local experts. In addition to training sessions for employees, in which they are informed about their rights and how to deal with complaint mechanisms, there are special offers for management to sensitize them to the needs of employees. In addition, the installation of functioning complaint channels is one of the main objectives. This will enable factories to resolve incidents and grievances together with employees in the future.

  • 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 working for higher health and safety standards, support for workers' rights and increased transparency in the global apparel industry. Following its initiation in Bangladesh, HUGO BOSS has also joined the Pakistan Accord. 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).

  • Women Café in Bangladesh

    In Bangladesh, gender-based violence such as discrimination or involuntary dependence on men is the reality for many women working in textile factories. It is important for us to take responsibility and empower these women in our supply chain. Therefore, HUGO BOSS founded a Women’s Café in 2022, in partnership with the organization Phulki. In the future, it will offer female workers in the factories in our supply chain as well as women from other factories a safe space to talk about their everyday problems. At the same time, the café will also be a space for education and mutual motivation. Here, the women will not only have the opportunity to exchange ideas, they will also be able to attend various training courses on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) or menstrual hygiene. They learn about topics such as health, safety and personal and employment rights —  in relation to their professional as well as their personal lives. They also have access to childcare for a small fee.

Projects and insights into our commitment

HUGO BOSS for Tamil Nadu

Initiatie dialogs, promote discussion, submit improvements: HUGO BOSS supports the Tamil Nadu Partnership initiative aimed at improving working conditions in the local textile industry.

Support for Women and their re-entry into the workforce

With its program 'Open Doors for Women', HUGO BOSS assists women at the Izmir (Turkey) location who want to re-enter the workforce. They are trained for work in the textile industry and, where possible, taken on as regular hires at HUGO BOSS.

Commitment to the environment in our supply chain