Skip to main content

Hanesbrands Outlines Sustainability Progress and Product Innovation

Hanesbrands is ramping up innovation in product development to improve market share and in sustainability to reach 2020 goals.


As part of achieving its 2020 goals in improving operations and raising environmental standard to reach 2020 goals, Hanesbrands said in releasing its Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) 2019 Climate Change Report on Thursday that it has made substantial progress in use of renewable energy, total energy use and carbon emissions.

The company said the disclosure for 2018 performance, including updated data to reflect the integration of recent acquisitions, continues to demonstrate that it is making significant progress against its goals. These include that renewable energy sources accounted for 40 percent of the company’s energy use, up 7 percent compared with 2017. The company’s level of renewable energy reliance met the 2020 goal of 40 percent two years early.

In addition, Hanesbrands achieved a 22 percent reduction in energy use per pound of production versus its 2007 baseline and against a goal of 40 percent for 2020. To date, the company said its energy reduction efforts have delivered a cumulative total cost avoidance of more than $220 million.

Hanesbrands, with headquarters in Winston-Salem, N.C., saw a 34 percent decrease in carbon dioxide emissions from its 2007 baseline, nearing its 2020 goal of a 40 percent reduction. Bolstered by the significant jump in use of renewable energy, the company posted a nearly double-digit decrease versus 2017.

The company, a global marketer of innerwear and activewear apparel, also accomplished a 31 percent cut in water use against the company’s 2020 goal of 50 percent compared to its 2007 baseline, with water use down 2 percent from 2017. While producing such brands as Hanes, Champion, Maidenform, Bali, Playtex and Wonderbra, the company achieved an 86 percent diversion of supply chain waste, or 107 million pounds, from landfills, while working toward a 2020 goal of 100 percent.

Related Stories

“Our company is intensely focused on making significant strides each year to protect the environment we share and enhance our business competitiveness,” Mike Faircloth, group president of global supply chain, information technology and e-commerce, said. “Transparently reporting progress against our goals is an important part of our efforts and culture. We have made significant progress in reducing our environmental footprint since 2007 and we remain committed to being an international business leader in energy management and eco-friendly business operations.”

Also in 2018, the company developed the capability to convert wastewater sludge to energy, installed waste heat recovery equipment to preheat process water, retrofitted facilities with LED lighting and improved water efficiency in boiler operations with reverse osmosis technology.

Product development

“We’ve ramped our innovate to elevate strategy with a number of innovation launches scheduled in the second half,” CEO Gerald Evans said. “In bras, our new innovation called green wire eliminates the discomfort of an underwire without sacrificing support. We’ve seen positive consumer response to the recent launch in our Hanes and Maidenform brands.”

The company also recently launched what it calls “easy light innovation,” which is a lighter weight bra designed to act and feel like a second skin. Evans said, “Easy light is exceeding our initial expectations, And we will continue to expand distribution in our Bali Brown this quarter, with planned launches in fall 2019 and spring 2020 under our Hanes and Maidenform brands, respectively.”

In addition, the company is expanding its successful cool comfort innovation to all Maidenform shapewear products this year. It is also extending the successful comfort flex fit innovation in women’s panties, while in men’s underwear and socks, Hanesbrands is launching enhanced X-TEMP that provides improved cooling and working performance.

“In Europe, we’re introducing a compression innovation in hosiery, and in Australia, we’re launching X temp and Bonds underwear, as well as expanding our rapidly growing Bras ‘N Things consumer direct business, including store openings in new countries,” said Evans, adding that “we have an exciting global pipeline of innovation that we believe will further strengthen our global innerwear business.”

In reporting a 3 percent increase in net sales for the second quarter to $1.76 billion and a 9.5 percent rise in net income to $153.97 million on Thursday, the company noted that Champion is taking advantage of the latest graphic embellishment techniques and heritage reverse-weave fabric innovation for new products, including the introduction of sports bras made with comfortable sweatshirt fabric. The Hanes, Alternative, Champion, Bonds and DIM brands have introduced innerwear and activewear products utilizing recycled yarns, recycled polyester, organic cotton or cellulose-based fabrics.