Sustainable stores and operations.
Our 117 retail stores, and our head offices in Auckland and Sydney, all generate waste, consume electricity and use resources, so we’re always looking for ways to make our stores and operations more efficient and environmentally sustainable.
There are three areas we concentrate on are:
1. Packaging and plastics.
It’s time to say goodbye to single use plastics.
Single-use plastic bags in our stores have become a major concern for us and our customers in recent years, so we set ourselves the following two targets:
We have replaced plastic store carry bags that customers use to take their purchases home, with paper bags. For our online customers, the courier bags and the polybags we use to ship goods to them, will shortly all be compostable.
Not everyone has access to composting facilities, so we are making life easier for our customers by providing collections bins in our stores for the return of these bags. This way we can dispose of them effectively.
Also, we have changed our policy around the use of polybags. As a result, the quantity of polybags we use has plummeted.
Dealing with plastic in the supply chain is more complicated, as eliminating polybags completely from the supply chain is not always the best environmental solution. That may sound counter-intuitive, but polybags protect garments from soil and damage in transit from factory to store, and the environmental cost of damage to a garment can outweigh that of producing a polybag, if that garment is damaged and needs replacing.
However, we can still do better, and so we are moving to certified home compostable bags for the balance of polybags still used in the business. This means that we be removing ALL individual Plastic Polybags from our shipped goods by December 2020.
2. Reducing waste
The trend-driven fashion industry generates waste, and we are no different. We import product weekly, and this is sold either in store or online. With so much movement of product comes packaging.
We are rapidly moving toward packaging that’s disposed of properly and has less environmental impact. But we are also reducing the amount of packaging we use, and the amount of waste we generate. And where we cannot eliminate waste, we’re doing all we can to reuse or recycle. This is our reduce re-use recycle policy.
We have been pretty good at reducing waste sent to landfill, but we know we can do better and so we’ve set ourselves the following target:
We would love to include our stores in this target but collecting waste data from stores is difficult. This is because many of our stores are located in shopping malls where waste facilities are shared. We’re working on solutions to this
3. Energy efficiency
Clothing retail stores rely on good lighting for optimal display and safety. Lighting is the main consumer of energy in all our stores and contributes significantly to our carbon footprint.
We are currently installing LED store lighting and have set ourselves the following target:
We are well on track to meet this target.
A number of years ago we switched to electric forklifts, and as we no longer use LPG for these, we’ve reduced our carbon footprint significantly.
In addition, the new Glassons distribution centre in Christchurch has been designed to maximise the use of natural light, and this, coupled with the use of light sensors, has dramatically reduced our electricity consumption for lighting.
We are now looking at ways we can make the Hallenstein Brothers distribution centres more energy efficient. This will be part of the work we do next year on our carbon management plan.
4. Impacts of Product
Fashion production makes up 10 per cent of humanity's carbon emissions, dries up water sources, and pollutes rivers and streams. Washing some types of synthetic clothes sends thousands of mircofibres into the ocean. However, there are solutions and alternatives to mitigate these problems.
Conventional cotton farming involves the application of substantial fertilizers and pesticides. Pesticides threaten the quality of soil and water, as well as the health of biodiversity in and downstream from the fields.
Choose organic cotton that does not require chemicals to grow. GOTS and OCS certified organic cotton has been farmed without harmful fertilizers and pesticides, being better for the planet.
An alternative to organic is recycled cotton because it prevents additional textile waste and requires far fewer resources, including energy and water than conventional or organic cotton.
Synthetic fibres are manmade fibres using petroleum, the process is the not the best on the planet, we are aware of this and are working towards replacement options.
Reduce our reliance on synthetics and in the meantime only choose recycled fibres.
When washed, synthetic clothing sheds tiny plastic fragments known as microfibers. Microfibers are the most prevalent type of microplastic (plastic pieces less than 5 mm in diameter) found in the environment.
With every wash, tiny plastic fibres from our textiles find their way from washing machines into the wastewater, polluting rivers, lakes, oceans, and soils on an unimaginable scale.
Guppy wash bags are a great solution to reduce microplastic pollution from washing synthetic clothes.
As consumers, we can reduce our own individual carbon footprint by making changes to how we wash our clothes.
Knowing we need to take responsibility for our GHG omissions we converted our care labels to educate the consumer - Wash less, Wash cold, Line dry.
By washing less, we are saving water and energy, by washing cold, we are saving energy and by line drying we are also saving energy.
Textile waste is a well-known global issue within the apparel industry, as a business we have taken this very seriously over the last 5 years. We have reduced our textile waste by improving quality control, and internal processes.
WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?
We have partnered with The Formary in New Zealand and Worn Up in Australia to continue our journey on end-of-life solutions.
We focus n the quality of our product and ensure you can rewear and reuse. Keep your clothes for longer and use the resell market when you no longer wear an item.
30% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030.
At HGH we have started our journey calculating our carbon footprint. We are currently working with a Sustainability agency setting up systems for data collection. The carbon calculator will guide us on the data that needs to be collected and the units measured. at the end of FY21, annual data will be sourced and entered into the calculator to give us a preliminary carbon footprint measurement. We will then review the data and calculations before organizing its verification. The verification process will take up to 3 -4 months, we will not have a verified base year footprint to disclose until our 2022 Sustainability Report. We will report the boundaries of the measurement scoped, data sourced and analyzed, and the footprint verified in the 2022 year’s report.