We are always curious about what’s happening in the denim world in general, and especially, about what they are doing about sustainability. Today it’s all about CLOSED – a German icon denim brand that has been around since 1978.
What have they been doing so far and where are they going – read on for a complete report about their process to become 100% sustainable:
What sustainability means to us
• Doing everything we do in the most environmentally conscious and responsible way possible, while never compromising on our high quality and aesthetic approach.
• Fair and respectful behavior towards everyone and everything we work with: employees, partners, animals and the environment.
• Underscoring longevity by making carefully thought-out designs and high-quality products made to last.
• Producing close to our main markets: 80 per cent of our products are made in Europe.
• Fostering long-term partnerships instead of hunting for cheap producers every season: we have been cooperating with most of our production partners for decades.
• Incorporating Eco-friendly (e.g. recycled and organic) fabrics and low-impact techniques to the greatest extent possible.
• Pushing forward the boundaries of Eco-friendly innovations, e.g. with our own Eco-line A BETTER BLUE.
• Staying animal-friendly: no fur, no angora, no down – and high ethical standards for cashmere, wool (mulesing-free) and mohair. Our leather and lambskin are by-products from the food industry.
• Minimizing our carbon footprint as far as possible (transport on land rather than by air; consuming green electricity).
• Restricting waste as far as possible.
• Blacklisting disposal of unsold Closed products. We have been donating unsold items to a Chilean charity organisation supporting a music school for children in need for many years.
Closed Sustainability Report
Sustainability is one of our key values. Here are some of our latest sustainable
accomplishments at a glance and a preview about the next Eco-friendly steps we have planned at Closed.
Where we produce our collections:
80% Europe, 20% Asia
• Our Eco-friendly line, A BETTER BLUE, cuts back water and electricity consumption and reduces emissions and the amount of chemicals added. The goal to produce thoroughly sustainable jeans from the initial idea involves both innovative, recycled and organic materials and low-impact washing methods, and dyeing techniques. Every season sees a rise in the volume of A BETTER BLUE products for men and women.
• Sustainable materials. We also incorporate an increasing amount of organic cotton and Eco-friendly materials (e.g. lyocell) in the rest of our collections.
• Local fabrics. To avoid air transport wherever possible and minimize our carbon footprint by keeping transport routes between suppliers short, the majority of our partners select local fabrics. Our Italian denim is being sewn and washed in Italy, while most of our shirts and blouses are made from Portuguese cotton in Portugal. Our Asian partners have the expertise to handle Japanese qualities or technical Chinese fabrics.
• Code of Conduct. Closed’s Code of Conduct adhered to by all of our production partners enables us to rely on an official document that guarantees: no child labor, fair and statutory wages, paid overtime, safe and hygienic working conditions, fixed working hours and a maximum 48-hour working week. Every partner signs the Code of Conduct twice annually.
• Green energy. We consume green energy from renewable energy sources in our offices, warehouses, and shops.
• Eco-friendly shipment. Online shop orders in 100% recyclable boxes made of 100% recycled materials, they are transported in an environmentally friendly way with DHL Green within Germany.
• Recycled paper. Most of our printed material is now produced from recycled paper, including for our HARD COPY magazine – which will be a carbon-neutral product from now on. Our new shopping bags are made of 60% FSC-certified paper and 40% recycled paper. Our online shop now offers an Eco-packaging option (made of 100% recycled material). We are pleased that many of our customers already take advantage of it.
• All of our efforts are geared towards sourcing more sustainable fabrics. For instance, the complete range of men’s jackets in our autumn/winter 2020 collection will be made of recycled materials.
• With effect of spring/summer 2020, all our footwear will be made in Italy instead of Hungary. This decision was reached as most of the leather and additional materials for our shoes come from Italy. Italian production enables us to minimize distances between suppliers and cut back on emissions, but still guarantees the highest quality and comfort of our footwear.
• Starting with our autumn/winter 2020 collection, our most popular stretch denim quality, including our bestselling Pedal Pusher, Oxford shirts and more essentials for men and women, will be produced from organic cotton.
• In addition, autumn/winter 2020 will see the introduction of recycled cashmere for men and women’s garments.
• By offsetting our carbon emissions by making donations to Eco-initiatives in 2020 we are making our headquarters and Hamburg warehouses climate-neutral.
• At present, we are in the process of determining the appropriate audits & certificates for our production sites in 2020.
- Even though we have our own Code of Conduct for our very high standards, our objective is to add substance by obtaining an independent and official document to verify our production partners as being most qualified and socially responsible.
• Currently, we are working with a foundation for fair fashion about a collaboration in 2020, to further enhance our strong focus on working conditions at our production facilities.
• We will be portraying at least three more of our production partners with images, interviews and additional information in the sustainability section at Closed.com before the end of the year.
- To give you a break from all those words – get to know us by having a look at our numbers instead!
Production countries: Italy, Portugal, Turkey, Romania, Hungary, China, India, Morocco
91.526 pairs of A BETTER BLUE jeans produced since 2018
1.200 Closed wholesale partners, 28 years longest partnership Paul S.p.A., Italy, sewing out jeans
116.4676 tons of Eco-friendly materials used in 2018 (17,8% of all materials)
240.000 Photos produced in our studio per year
1.516,235 total of Closed products made in 2018
425.574 pairs of jeans produced in 2018
22 denim pieces for our iconic Pedal Pusher jeans
31 number of steps it takes to produce every pair of Closed denims
Sustainability has formed a central role in Closed’s mis- sion since the outset. Since 1978. We now present our first sustainability report with a brief retrospective glance. In the seventies, the concept “sustainability” was by no means as omnipresent or as prevalent as nowadays and was subject to varying interpretations at that time. To us at Closed, sustainability has always embodied respect for and fair perception of not only the environment, but also for everyone and everything we work with. Our stated ob- jective was, and remains, long-term relationships with all business associates, which is why we sought out partners who share our values and in whom we could place our trust. Today, we take immense pride in looking back on decades
of mutual cooperation with the majority of our associates, most of whom are located in Europe where 80 per cent of our products are made.
This successful history of the long-established and close partnerships we nurtured paved the ground for key founda- tions for the high quality of Closed fashions – our number one priority. The secret to the quality of our garments and ac- cessories lies in how we understand the concept of sustain- ability, now more than ever. We are convinced that a crucial aspect of sustainability is lower, but better consumption. It is our goal to produce carefully made, thoughtfully designed fa- vourites for our customers to happily wear again and again, instead of constantly buying new fast fashion items.
Needless to say, sustainability is far more than just this – first and foremost, it involves making use of our planet’s resources as responsible as possible. As a fashion company with a strong focus on denim, the first logical step was for us concentrate on turning out our jeans with greater environmental awareness, by reducing water and electricity consumption and virtually eliminating chemicals.
In 2018, we launched our own Eco-friendly denim line A BETTER BLUE together with our Italian denim partners. The Everest laundry and Candiani, one of the greenest mill in the blue world, are pioneers in producing sustainable denim and constantly devising innovative Eco-friendly fabrics, new low-impact dyeing and washing processes.
Moving forwards, we will publish a sustainability report annually as well as continue to post information regularly in the new sustainability section on our homepage (closed.com/about). Documenting and comparing all the facts and numbers in this report will help us foster improvements towards sustainability at Closed and boost awareness for this significant topic within our organisation, our partners and with our customers. To show you that we care.