RECOVER – Because a circle is the perfect shape

Unfortunately, the textile industry is known for generating large quantities of waste along its value chain and thereby putting a strain on the environment. However, waste is not only generated along the value chain, it is also generated in our offices and sales locations.

That’s why it’s time to turn away from the linear model of waste disposal and destruction and close the loop on a circular economy. In a circular economy, materials that are no longer used are not simply thrown away, they are fed back into the circle and reused – ideally even within a company’s own manufacturing process

Recycling waste

Our general rule is this: Before we even allow waste in the first place, we first aim to pursue an approach of resource efficiency, avoiding waste altogether and reducing it as much as possible. For instance, we also use fabric leftovers in our collections.

Where waste is still generated, we aim to provide and make use of working separation and recycling systems. This concerns packaging waste from logistics locations including boxes and films, for instance. This also goes for the daily disposal of our office waste which is collected in central separation stations.

Recyclability and the use of recycled fibers

An important step on the way towards a circular economy is producing products that are capable of being recycled. This goes for both textiles and packaging. For our textiles, we are on the right track in developing circular concepts and ensuring recyclability. For our packaging, we have already successfully ensured that all delivery packages are able to be recycled.

At the same time, we use recycled materials for our packaging and textiles which verifiably come from the waste and old clothing of end consumers or commercial waste.

What happens with leftover clothing?

Demand-oriented planning and product range organization play an important role in avoiding leftover products, known as unsold deadstock, as much as possible. To cover the demands of end consumers, pre-orders have to be placed in the stores and in the warehouse for stocking purposes. We produce 80% of products based on concrete customer orders. The development of collections required in advance is carried out on the basis of experience, trends and forecasts. These forecasts are issued as short-notice as possible. The aim is to use strategies such as artificial intelligence and a shorter time to market to make our product range even more demand-oriented in future and thereby reduce unsold deadstock even further.

If there are any leftover products from our retail stores and online shop, they are usually reused. Undamaged products are sorted into categories based on the reason for return and then sold on via various sales channels (e.g., in outlets). In addition, we also donate unsold clothing to charitable organizations. In connection with the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, for instance, we donated 10,000 pieces of clothing to Malteser in Würzburg for them to distribute the clothing as required. In 2021, more than 5,000 pieces of clothing went to the Bavarian Red Cross in Würzburg alone, which then passed the clothing on the refugees in Bosnia. In addition, we also provide lots of jackets to travelers’ aid societies in the scope of the “Donating warmth” campaign in autumn. Only in rare exceptional cases are products that are clearly unsellable due to significant quality issues destroyed following prior inspection.