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Tommy For Life Pilot Program Tests Circularity in the Netherlands

Rivet's 2020 Denim Circularity report takes a deep dive into how the global denim industry is plotting its circular future amidst a worldwide pandemic.

Tommy Hilfiger is piloting a circular initiative that could bring it closer to achieving its aggressive 2030 targets.

The PVH Corp.-owned brand announced its latest initiative, Tommy for Life, a zero-waste circular business model that it’s currently launching in the Netherlands and expanding to other European markets next year. Split into three collections, the buy-back initiative centers on extending the lifecycle of pre-owned Tommy Hilfiger and Tommy Jeans garments, as well as damaged items from retail operations, by either repairing them or transforming the garments into new products.

The Reloved collection features previously owned products traded in by consumers. The Refreshed collection offers repaired garments from the store and e-commerce returns. In the Remixed collection, damaged items beyond repair are broken down to the fiber level and reimagined into new garments or used for insulation—a process famously used by Cotton Incorporated’s Blue Jeans Go Green program.

Prior to recycling or repairing, items are sorted and washed in partnership with The Renewal Workshop, a provider of circular solutions for apparel and textile brands.

Tommy Hilfiger announced a pilot program that introduces three new product lines and tests circularity in the Netherlands.

Tommy for Life

Leading denim brands are trying their hand at similar programs to extend the clothing lifecycle and promote circularity. Levi’s recently launched SecondHand, its first buy-back program that offers secondhand jeans and jackets on Levi.com and provides gift cards in exchange for worn jeans and jackets. Similarly, Guess debuted Guess Vintage, an online program of exclusive hand-picked certified vintage Guess goods.

Tommy for Life, like these other initiatives, has the power to transform the industry and inspire a new mindset for fashion and its consumers.

“The time to drive real, impactful change in the fashion industry is here and now, so we are committed to identifying ways to innovate our business models, practices and the way we interact with our consumers,” said Martijn Hagman, CEO of Tommy Hilfiger Global and PVH Europe. “‘Tommy for Life’ provides solutions to one of our industry’s greatest challenges: switching from a ‘take-make-waste’ approach to a model in which we keep products and materials in use as long as possible. Our investments in a business model that pioneers this at this scale and complexity will have true impact—not only on our brand, but on the future of the industry as a whole.”

To participate in the Tommy for Life program, consumers can either mail items using a shipping label provided on tommyforlife.com or bring them into a participating location in the Netherlands. Currently, it is only accepting women’s wear, men’s wear, and children’s outerwear, tops, bottoms and bags. In return, Tommy for Life will provide vouchers to use toward new purchases that vary according to type and number of items taken, ranging from 5 euros (approximately $6) for a basic top to 20 euros (approximately $24) for outerwear.

Items from the Refreshed collection are available now, with the other lines slated for early 2021.

The initiative further shines a spotlight on the Netherlands, which has recently made headlines for its circularity initiatives. In October, public and private Amsterdam organizations established the Denim Deal, in which signatories committed to using at least 5 percent recycled textile in all denim garments. Brands such as Mud Jeans, Kings of Indigo, House of Denim and Scotch & Soda are some of the names that have already committed to the three-year initiative.

Though it’s not yet a signatory of the Denim Deal, Tommy Hilfiger has been a long-time champion of circularity, and follows the motto of “waste nothing and welcome all.” The brand committed to making products that are fully circular and that can be part of a sustainable loop by 2030 as part of its Make it Possible sustainability program.

The brand also joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s  Jeans Redesign initiative last year and has already completed the first prototypes according to the guidelines. Products from the collection use 100 percent organic cotton and responsibly sourced pocketing and labels, and are created with innovative technologies for water and energy efficiency.

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