At fashion retailer bonprix, almost 100% of the cotton used now comes from sustainable sources, CO? emissions have been reduced by more than 50% since 2006, and all strategic suppliers have begun to transparently disclose their supplier network right down to yarn production. With its new sustainability strategy, the Otto Group's international fashion company is now formulating new and far-reaching goals: By 2030, all bonprix products including packaging are to be sustainable, the company wants to achieve climate neutrality in all areas and make its supply chain completely transparent.
“positive choice”: This is the credo bonprix has chosen for its new sustainability strategy. "We are convinced that the apparel industry can only develop in a sustainable way if it helps to shape positive change. Sustainability, circularity and transparency will be the 'new normal' of the fashion industry", explains Stefanie Sumfleth, Head of Corporate Responsibility & Technical Product at bonprix. "With our three 100% core targets, which we have defined in our new strategy, we want to significantly drive this change."
In 2021, customers will be able to experience sustainability even more: bonprix will launch the first recyclable fashion items with Cradle to Cradle Certified™ denim this year. In addition, climate-neutral delivery will be introduced in Germany at no extra cost to customers.
Milestones in four areas of action by 2025
The new CR strategy sets measurable milestones in four areas of action up to 2025: “positive product”, “positive making”, “positive view” and “positive partners”. The measures will be implemented across all business units and managed by the newly created Corporate Responsibility & Technical Product unit.
1. “positive product”:
- Milestone target by 2025: 70% sustainable fibers and 100% sustainable packaging
- Core target by 2030: 100% sustainable products and packaging
After four successful sustainable collections in 2019 and 2020, bonprix will establish permanently sustainable products in all assortments instead of capsule collections and continuously expand the range. The basis for this is a clear focus on fibers and materials: in the case of cotton, bonprix already relies almost entirely on sustainable sources, and the next step will be to convert other substantial fibers in the range: polyester, viscose and polyamide. Overall, sustainable fibers now account for 50% of the total, and this will rise to 60% next year. In addition, from late summer bonprix will offer styles with the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ certificate in its range for the first time. This is one of the most demanding certifications in terms of chemical use, and it distinguishes biodegradable and fully recyclable fashion.
bonprix is also building on its previous successes in the area of packaging: shipping packaging already consists of 100% FSC® certified cardboard or 80% recycled plastic from consumer waste. Now the company is focusing on product packaging: by 2025 at the latest, polybags will also be made entirely from certified post-consumer recyclates. Virgin plastic will then be completely dispensed with in packaging.
2. “positive making”:
- Milestone targets by 2025: 40% reduction in CO? emissions, exclusion of harmful chemicals from production, 0% physical sampling in product development
- Core target by 2030: 100% climate neutrality
Climate, water, chemicals – the field of action “positive making” bundles all of bonprix's measures to conserve ecological resources in production.
In the period from 2006 to 2020, bonprix was already able to reduce its CO? emissions by 55% by 2025, a further reduction of 40% is to be achieved compared to 2018 as the base year. Complete climate neutrality – from procurement to all sites and data centers to distribution – is targeted by 2030. Over the same period, all harmful chemicals are to be excluded from production, and water risks are to be identified and specifically mitigated.
The fashion company has already successfully set a milestone in reducing water consumption: bonprix founded the CleanDye joint venture, a state-of-the-art factory in Vietnam that has enabled waterless dyeing since 2019. The innovative dyeing technology DyeCoo does not require water or process chemicals. Instead, the dye is introduced into the textiles by liquid CO2, 95% of which subsequently remains in the cycle.
In addition, bonprix is increasingly relying on digital design in product development, so that physical product samples will no longer be necessary in 2025.
3. “positive view”:
- Milestone by 2025: supply chain transparency for all strategic suppliers
- Core target by 2030: 100% supply chain transparency
What is already possible today for some certified products, for example items made from GOTS-certified organic cotton, is to apply to all products at bonprix in the future: complete traceability back to fiber production. The company sees transparency as the basis for initiating effective and long-term changes in the supply chain – and for a trusting, open dialogue with customers and stakeholders.
4. “positive partners”:
- Milestones by 2025: Comprehensive “future fit” training programme for suppliers and their partners
- Core target by 2030: 50,000 people reached through “future fit”
Suppliers are the most important partners on the path to sustainability, circularity and transparency. Investing in their education and training competencies is therefore a key lever for change. Under the motto “future fit”, bonprix will continue to expand its free training offers on ecological, social and digital topics in the future. The aim is to reach a total of 50,000 people in the supply chain by 2030 – which will also benefit other companies in the industry.
Sustainability as a brand promise
With its CR strategy “positive choice”, bonprix wants to address its customers even more strongly. “Sustainability is a top priority for bonprix and is part of our brand promise. Our customers should always be able to trust that they are making a good choice with bonprix – in terms of fashion, quality and price as well as in ecological and social terms”, says Rien Jansen, Managing Director of Purchasing, Marketing and Retail at bonprix and responsible for the CR strategy, summarizing the new objective.