In order to make a real impact, circularity must be adopted by the major players in fashion—and PVH Europe, the Amsterdam-based global headquarters of Tommy Hilfiger and home to Calvin Klein’s European offices, is doing its part.
The company is the latest to sign the Denim Deal, a multi-stakeholder initiative to increase the use of recycled fibers in fashion. Under the agreement, participating brands will produce a combined 3 million pairs of jeans made with a minimum of 20 percent post-consumer recycled cotton by 2023. Individually, each brand is required to feature a minimum of 5 percent post-consumer recycled cotton in its denim collections.
The Denim Deal was established last fall. Businesses across all areas of the jeanswear supply chain, including brands, manufacturers, recycling companies and local governments, are represented in the agreement. Scotch & Soda, Mud Jeans, Kuyichi and Calik Denim were some of the first companies to sign on.
Though it spans just three years, the deal is part of the Netherlands’ larger vision of attaining a circular economy by 2050—and it plans to achieve that goal through extensive work with leaders throughout the textile industry and beyond.
The sentiment closely aligns with PVH Corp.’s own commitments to circularity. In November 2020, it launched its first circular business model through Tommy Hilfiger’s Tommy for Life program, a zero-waste operation divided into three collections: The Reloved collection, featuring previously owned products traded in by consumers; the Refreshed collection, featuring repaired garments from the store and e-commerce returns; and the Remixed collection, in which items damaged beyond repair are broken down to the fiber level and reimagined into new garments or used for insulation. As of June, the program diverted 36,429 kg (80,312 pounds) of textile waste from landfills.
The brand also launched its collection made according to requirements set by the Ellen McArthur Foundation’s Jeans Redesign program, another industry-wide effort to make denim circular. According to the guidelines, jeans should be made with a minimum of 98 percent cellulose fibers by weight, metal rivets should be designed out or reduced to a minimum, and any additional material added to the jeans should be easy to disassemble. Jeans should be able to withstand a minimum of 30 home launderings, and include labels with clear information on product care.
Tommy Hilfiger isn’t the only brand in the PVH family shifting to circular processes. PVH Corp.’s latest corporate responsibility report detailed its sustainability and circularity initiatives across all of its brands including Calvin Klein Europe, which committed to doubling the use of its sustainable materials from the previous year.
Calvin Klein also introduced the CK One Recycle program centered on the use of recycled PET fibers like Repreve in underwear and swimwear. The brand said that last year, 55 percent of swimwear was made from recycled materials, and this year, many of the swim programs will feature 100 percent recycled materials.
The company is also partnering with Fashion For Good to eliminate single-use plastics and feature 80 percent post-consumer recycled content in polybag packing.