Environmentally friendly processes & chemicals

Environmental protection at suppliers
Protecting the environment in all steps of the production and supply chain is paramount to HUGO BOSS. That’s why we work together with our suppliers to establish and enhance environmentally-friendly processes. In addition to general environmental requirements, the focus here is primarily on the topics of chemicals and wastewater management as well as the reduction of climate impacts for example caused by dyeing or tanning.

Our Environmental Standards for Suppliers

Clearly defined standards apply to our suppliers with regard to environmental protection which, among other things, we have laid down as mandatory in the Supplier Code of Conduct.  The principles of environmental protection set out in the HUGO BOSS Environmental Policy, which is publicly available, also apply to all of the Company's suppliers. In addition to climate protection, the policy also includes chemical and wastewater management and other environmental aspects. The most far-reaching requirements apply to suppliers whose production processes have the highest environmental and climate impact.

We check our environmental requirements regularly. Audits are necessary for facilities which use chemicals and discharge industrial wastewater. In this context, particular attention is paid to the prevention of hazardous substances and compliance with wastewater guidelines in accordance with the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) initiative.

If a partner fails to satisfy the demands of HUGO BOSS, the company draws up corrective action plans, aimed at rectifying the insufficiencies.

Eliminating hazardous substances

Producing leather and textile products requires the use of chemicals in several steps along the supply chain. Together with its suppliers, HUGO BOSS works toward ensuring that these chemicals are used responsibly. HUGO BOSS requires its suppliers and employees to comply with and implement the requirements outlined in the HUGO BOSS Chemical Management Policy. The aim is to ensure that product development and production happen in a way that’s aligned with the environment. This is not only to improve safety for customers and industrial workers, but also as a key factor in minimizing the supply chain’s environmental impacts. That’s why HUGO BOSS also works together with industry-wide initiatives like the ZDHC and continually optimizes the use of materials and its production processes in regards to the use of chemicals and wastewater management together with its suppliers.

  • Raw materials

    Different chemicals are used in the production of fabric and trimmings – whether for pesticides in cotton cultivation, in the production of synthetic fibers or in the finishing of fabrics.

    To reduce the use of chemicals, HUGO BOSS works toward using materials from more sustainable production in larger amounts. 

  • Manufacturing

    Our natural capital evaluation showed that, in particular, processes using water or chemicals in production – such as dyeing or tanning – have major environmental impacts. If hazardous substances are released with wastewater, for example, this can affect water quality and thus also the water supply for local people. HUGO BOSS is working intensively with its partners to reduce hazardous chemical usuage or switch to environmentally friendlier alternatives and operate a functioning wastewater treatment. An important tool for this is the introduction of effective chemical management in the supply chain.

    In order to minimize health and environmental risks, we demand responsible handling of chemicals from our suppliers in our environmental program. To support them in this, we have been a member of the ZDHC Roadmap to Zero Program since 2017. The program is based on the ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (ZDHC MRSL), which lists hazardous chemicals which cannot be present in chemical formulations above a defined threshold value. This, in combination with educational material and training, helps our partners to reduce the use of chemicals and replace hazardous substances. In addition, water pollution prevention is also an important goal of the ZDHC Program. For facilities with wet processes that generate industrial wastewater, chemical management therefore includes a functioning wastewater management system, and provides guidance on testing this wastewater for hazardous substances. The ZDHC Program also enables a standardized assessment of a supplier's chemical management.

  • Final product

    To guarantee the health and safety of the people who come into contact with HUGO BOSS products, the company observes the highest safety standards. For this reason, in particular, compliance with the HUGO BOSS Restricted Substance List (RSL) is mandatory for partners and suppliers at every stage in the supply chain.

    With the HUGO BOSS RSL, the company defines strict maximum amounts of chemicals contained in products. Compliance is verified by regular product tests that HUGO BOSS commissions in external laboratories. The RSL is regularly updated, based on the RSL of the industry-wide Apparel & Footwear International RSL Management Group initiative (AFIRM), which HUGO BOSS is member of.


Most of our products have been dyed and treated to give them their unique appearance. When using dyes and treatments with less impact on the environment, we speak about RESPONSIBLE dyes. Their impact on the environment is reduced by using no harmful chemicals and a controlled use of water. Besides our regular RESPONSIBLE dyes, we include our LESS WATER and natural dyes in our product portfolio.

Cellulosic fibers

For our cellulosic fibers we can save up to 30% of water when using high performance reactive dyes and optimized processes.


By working with tanneries which fulfill the Leather Working Group requirements, we can save up at least 30% of water. 

Synthetic fibers

Dope dyeing has a lower environmental impact compared to traditional dyeing methods such as fabric dyeing or yarn dyeing. The dyes are applied as pellet pigments to the pellet raw materials before being spun into yarn. With this method, there is a great reduction in water, energy and chemicals used, without limiting the quality of the product. 



Our natural dyes are derived from plants or minerals and we continue to experiment with natural dyes to reduce our chemical footprint, while maintaining our high quality standards.


Targets on more sustainable production processes at suppliers