REDUCING OUR IMPACT
One of our wider sustainability goals is to reduce our overall impact on the environment. This includes adopting new processes across our business, from our global supply chains to our warehouses, stores and headquarters to cut down on waste and emissions. We have begun introducing new policies, such as working towards becoming a zero-waste company and trialling novel programmes to ensure we create a solid foundation for the future.
One of the biggest problems in the industry at this moment revolves around packaging. Most of the packaging that products come in is made from plastic, which then ends up in landfills.
One way DENHAM is working on cutting down on our plastic waste is by using sustainable alternatives. We are currently trialling several eco-conscious options in the Netherlands, from using poly bags made from recycled polymers to fully compostable packaging made from cornstarch to reduce waste in all areas of our business.
Once we have found the best solutions, we will implement them across the board.
In addition, we have banned all single-use plastic, including straws, cutlery and plastic bottles at our headquarters in Amsterdam and Tokyo. We have separate recycling bins for plastic, paper and general waste in our kitchens and bar. In the past several of our community efforts revolved around tackling plastic waste, such as cleaning the canals in Amsterdam with Plastic Whale. A social enterprise, Plastic Whale collects plastic waste and uses it to create amazing new products, such as boats and office furniture.
As we continue to invest in sustainable materials, we also seek out new ways to 'close the loop' in our supply chain. We began trialling our 'Bring Back Your Jeans' denim recycling programme at our stores in the Netherlands towards the end of 2019. Customers were invited to donate worn and used DENHAM jeans to be recycled and made into new fabrics. After collecting more than 500 pairs of jeans, we gave our post-consumer denim to our partner CANDIANI, one of the most sustainable denim mills in the world, who used the post-consumer jeans to make new textiles.
In turn, we will use these recycled textiles to make new garments for our future collections, thereby extending the life of our jeans. The collected DENHAM denim that was not able to be repurposed will be used for industrial purposes, like wall insulation, ensuring nothing goes to waste.
In the future, we aim to extend our recycling programme to all our DENHAM stores around the globe, so all our customers can participate and help us close the loop in fashion.
CLEAN, GREEN ENERGY
We use green energy when and where we can and look for innovative ways to cut down on our overall energy consumption.
For example, our Amsterdam HQ is looking to install solar panels on the roof so that we can use solar power next to our current primary energy source.
REDUCING CO2 EMISSIONS
Cutting down on our CO2 emissions is one of our main goals. One way we are working to keep emissions as low as possible through our logistical production chain. Our vendors in the Europe Union make nearly half of all our products. As the majority of our business is based in Europe, this means our products do not have to be shipped across the globe and equals less energy usage and less carbon emissions. In addition, any products we do ship from the Far East to our warehouse in the Netherlands is done via shipping containers. Airfreight only accounts for 2.8% of our total shipping. We have also begun to test shipping products from China to the Netherlands via railway, which produces less carbon emissions compared to ships.
At DENHAM we also encourage our employees to bike and use public transport as much as possible. We offer flexi-bikes at our HQ for employees to borrow and promote them over company cars. This is so we can help reduce our overall CO2 emissions while promoting a healthy lifestyle.
REDUCING WATER USAGE
We strive to work with laundry facilities who share our vision on sustainability. For example, our main laundry since 2008 Elleti Group has invested in wastewater treatment stations at all of its locations across three countries to safeguard the environment and minimise its impact. All potentially harmful wastewater from its laundry facilities in Italy, Tunisia and Romania is treated and purified so that all pollutants are removed. The company works with a dedicated team who records and manages reports on the water quality.
Following the treatment, all wastewater can be safely used for agriculture purposes or is reused in the laundry facilities water cycle. This significantly reduces the overall amount of water used.
Another of our laundry facilities, Desert Studio, has implemented a unique chemical treatment on-site to treat all wastewater before it drains into the sewage system. Through this patent recycling system, the company has been able to recover and reuse 70% of all wastewater.