Going beyond our value chain, we advocate for change across our industry. As part of this, we support the WWF’s open letter calling for businesses to ensure that sustainability remains front of mind after the pandemic, focusing on environmental impacts as a result of water consumption and pollution.
We promote the use of sustainably sourced materials across our industry. Our latest raw materials targets, designed to minimise our environmental footprint and create opportunities for our global communities, include water in addition to impacts ranging from carbon emissions to biodiversity and animal welfare.
Find out more about our raw material commitments here.
We work closely with our supply chain partners, cultivating a culture of openness and transparency to understand and monitor our water impacts at the manufacturing stage of our value chain. Through our water conservation programme, we aim to improve our water resilience profile and reduce our water footprint and impacts. We actively engage our partners to evaluate their water practices and resilience, with a particular focus on wet processors such as dyehouses, tanneries and textile mills. The requirements of the programme are weighted differently according to the type of activity performed.
Key indicators include:
- Water management (evaluated against best-in-class practices)
- Relative water usage (as a measure of efficiency)
- Absolute water usage (as a measure water saving potential and potential local impact)
- Basin water risk (as a measure of the specific physical, regulatory and cultural water situation at the site’s location).
If we identify a facility with a combination of higher-than-average water risk, and lower than average water management, we work closely with them to co-develop strategies and plans to improve their water responsibility. Our water resilience mapping currently covers partners who deliver over 75% of our product and we aim to continue to work with our supply chain to ensure that the water risk profile of our product improves over time.
We prohibit the use and release of unwanted chemicals. As a Board member of The ZDHC Foundation, we guide the Foundation’s strategy, advising luxury peers, third party suppliers and chemical suppliers to minimize the adverse impact of chemical release through effluent across the fashion industry.
We work in line with the ZDHC’s Wastewater Guidelines, ensuring that wet processors perform wastewater testing twice a year and publish the results on the ZDHC Gateway. In the event of any non-compliance, we work with wet processors to perform a root cause analysis and implement a corrective action plan. We publish our findings annually on our plc website and set annual targets related to sites that have achieved progressive or aspirational ways of working.
We partner with industry associations, peers, academic organisations and other stakeholders to drive progress in water conservation and encourage and facilitate collaboration and knowledge-sharing in our partners’ supply chains. In 2021, we launched a programme in partnership with the Apparel Impact Institute (Aii) to establish a platform for Italian manufacturers to coordinate, fund and scale environmental programmes with measurable impact. Working alongside two fellow luxury brands the initiative demonstrates our shared ambition to pursue a collective mission to make fashion’s supply chains more sustainable.
In 2021, we also co-funded three in-depth water efficiency evaluations to identify opportunities for implementing innovative efficiency and water recycling solutions.
Water governance and reporting
We ensure that our water initiatives are embedded in the objectives and strategies at the highest level of our business, setting clear responsibilities for all teams linked to water, such as in supply chain management through our water conservation and effluent testing targets and in raw materials sourcing through our 2025 raw materials commitments roadmap. We also communicate our progress on our plc website and in our Annual Report, as well as through independent reports including CDP Water.