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Hansae Underscores Commitment to Pushing Sustainability Forward

As sustainability finds its voice within the apparel industry, apparel and fabric manufacturer Hansae is proving to be a leading partner in the movement.

The South Korean-based company is transforming its firm under a series of top-down initiatives, including modernization of its factories, setting and executing ambitious sustainability goals, and establishing philanthropy partnerships—all intended to support its status as a positive role model for both its partners and the industry.

Hansae’s sustainability efforts extend from the creation of smart factories that reduce waste via advanced IoT technologies and production data analysis, to the elimination of more than a dozen hazardous chemicals involved with fabric knitting, dyeing, printing and garment washing.

What’s more, the company prioritizes the use of such responsibly sourced fibers as Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and organic cotton, resulting in reduced water usage, as well as recycled polyester using PET.

While pricing poses a challenge, the company is committed to building stronger partnerships with raw materials suppliers, as well as working on creative fabric combinations to keep its sustainability initiatives moving forward.

The company said it has used more than 100 million yards of fabric with sustainable fibers between 2014 to 2018, and its customers have responded favorably to its initiatives, voicing their plans to increase their use.

Gap, Inc., Hansae’s largest client, announced in June plans to derive 100 percent of its cotton from more sustainable sources by 2025.

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“We’re proud to support innovations that protect natural resources and foster cleaner, safer communities for families around the world,” Keith White, Gap, Inc.’s executive vice president of global sustainability, said in a statement. “Sourcing cotton in a way that reduces water use and damage to the climate is about creating a healthy environment for our children and future generations.”

Hansae also counts Target, Walmart, Mast/PINK and Kohl’s among its clients.

In addition to exploring the use of responsibly sourced fibers in its in-house brands, Hansae said it’s also currently exploring recycled packaging for one of its clients.

However, its sustainability push is perhaps no better reflected than within its new 10% for Good Foundation, established earlier this year to propel a sustainable fashion industry. The company, which operates in Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Haiti, donates 10 percent of net profits from all sustainable orders to future sustainability initiatives.

“Hansae Fashion Worldwide created the 10% for Good campaign to encourage our business partners to have the same level of commitment and passion about saving the environment,” Hermann Chiu, Hansae’s strategic sales vice president, told Sourcing Journal. “We are engaging with our customers and supply chain partners on ways to promote and execute this initiative more swiftly.”

Adding to that, he said, “The sustainability initiative is being implemented within our portfolio of brands that are distributed in Korea and China. Our business has tremendous opportunity to do more, and we are up for the challenge.”

In April, Hansae announced it would donate to The Ocean Cleanup, a non-profit organization developing technologies to eliminate plastic from the world’s ocean. The Ocean Cleanup intends to clean up half of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the largest accumulation of ocean plastic in the world, in a period of five years. Located between Hawaii and California, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch hosts approximately 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic weighing an estimated 80,000 metric tons. Hansae’s donation, part of an ongoing relationship, will be directed to further the group’s R&D and fund the cleanup process.