End of life

End of life

An important task, and a challenge, for the clothing industry and society as a whole is to try to create a cyclical flow of the earth’s natural resources. Expressions such as “closing the loop” and “circular product lifecycle” are often used.

The goal is to take material at the end of one lifecycle and begin a new lifecycle instead of throwing it in a landfill. A product can extend its life, e.g., by being sold secondhand or recycling the textile in some other form.

Our target

We want to improve our environmental footprint in the final stage of the product lifecycle too, with the overall objective of creating or contributing to a circular process where products and/or materials in the products get a new life in some form, by being recycled or upcycled, or reused. Our target is that by 2019 we will have a product take-back system, or similar initiative, enabling us to close the loop for our products.

What we are doing to achieve our target

An important task, and a challenge, for the clothing industry and society as a whole is to try to create a cyclical flow of the earth’s natural resources. Expressions such as “closing the loop” and “circular product lifecycle” are often used. The goal is to take material at the end of one lifecycle and begin a new lifecycle instead of throwing it in a landfill or burning it. A product can extend its life by being sold second hand or recycling the textile in some other form.

We have product categories, underwear and sports apparel, that pose challenges for second hand selling. Many people do not donate those kinds of products because they doubt any one wants to buy or receive such products. Here is a gap that we as a brand could address, if we can find an efficient way to pick up and make something useful out of worn out underwear and sports apparel products. In 2017 we will explore options around this further.

We donate confiscated counterfeit products, and sometimes unsold past season items, to an organization called His Church Charity in the UK. They remove our branding, affixes their own branding “HIS” and donates the products to charity, such as to homeless and other people in need. This is a good example of how we can extend the lifetime of functional garments.

In the past we have launched initiatives such as using production waste to make upcycled products. By sewing together material from scrap from two different prints, a new, unique pair of underwear was created. Another initiative we have done earlier is take back products in our stores and donate them to charity purposes.

Production waste from our factories is also in some cases channelled to industrial recycling, including for use as stuffing in car seats.