Circular Design Strategy

Since 2009, the “Copenhagen Fashion Summit“ offers a platform for exchange on current sustainability issues in the fashion industry. Amidst the increasing scarcity of natural resources, this year's summit focused on circularity. The outcome of the summit was an industry-wide commitment to promote the collection, reuse and recycling of garments and footwear. Along 63 other fashion companies and corporations, HUGO BOSS has signed the Global Fashion Agenda’s “2020 Circular Fashion System Commitment” and hence committed itself to take steps towards a circular fashion industry. As part of the Call to Action, HUGO BOSS sets itself targets for 2020 in at least one of the following categories:

  • Action Point 1: Implementing design strategies for cyclability
  • Action Point 2: Increasing the volume of used garments collected
  • Action Point 3: Increasing the volume of used garments resold
  • Action Point 4: Increasing the share of garments made from recycled textile fibres

Signatories have to report progress on an annual basis.

The commitment to promote the principle of recycling in the textile industry is a long-term concern for us. In order to achieve this goal, a large number of innovations (e.g. in the design phase or the refinement of raw materials) are necessary in the individual steps of the textile value chain. Companies are also encouraged to increase their customers' awareness of this issue.

In a first step, HUGO BOSS has defined the following four targets within Action Point 1 in order to have a design strategy for cyclability in place, enabling re-use, upcycling and recycling:

Targets
1By 2020, HUGO BOSS will apply circular design principles based on industry guidance in every HUGO BOSS design brief starting with the Spring/Summer 2020 collection.
2By 2020, HUGO BOSS will run regular training sessions on circularity, recyclability and the use of sustainable materials, for everyone involved in the design, development and sourcing process.
3By 2020, HUGO BOSS will establish a comprehensive digital library, available to all employees, providing information on:

- Materials and fibers that enable recyclability and circularity.

- Dyeing, treatment and finsihing processes that enable recyclability and circularity.

 

4By 2020, HUGO BOSS customers will have access to more detailed information that will help them care for their products correctly, and in doing so prolong the garments' lifespan.

Upcycling project in fashion tailoring apprenticeship

In order to raise awareness of sustainability among the next generation of employees, the topic of circularity was integrated as a project into the apprenticeship of fashion tailors in 2017. According to the motto "same but different", the apprentices took up the challenge of transforming styles of previous collections into new products. Thus, a new denim jacket, trousers and a pocket bag were created from two existing jeans and a jacket.

This new approach of designing and manufacturing products encourages the creativity of the apprentices and gives them a concrete example of how the reuse of products from past collections can create new, wearable and unique pieces.

“HUGO BOSS - Circular Systems and Strategy” course at the New School’s Parsons School of Design in New York

In May 2018, HUGO BOSS has conducted a sixteen-week course on sustainable fashion design and innovation in cooperation with the renowned New School’s Parsons School of Design in New York. It is the second time for the two partners to collaborate after the initiation of a first workshop in 2017.

As a signatory of the 2020 circular fashion system commitment with the aim to accelerate the transition to a circular fashion system, HUGO BOSS dedicated the workshop to this holistic approach. The task for the students was to develop a premium circularity approach for the BOSS Menswear, including the creation of an outfit and a prototype per team together with a marketing and distribution concept. To promote the exchange between different disciplines, the project was open to students of various subject areas within the school, from fashion design to business.

The winning teams have been awarded with stipends connected to the course and their concepts will be displayed in one of the BOSS stores in New York. In addition, all participants will have the opportunity to extend their work experience with HUGO BOSS, enabling them to gain further insights into the strategic and practical implementation of innovation and sustainability at the Company.

The course is a feature of HUGO BOSS’ partnership with Parsons, which began in 2014. Since then the Group has been awarding the HUGO BOSS Fashion Collection Prize, a wide-ranging program of bursaries for junior and senior students enrolled in the school's BFA Fashion Design program. For further information see Society.

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