MAKE – From the Cotton Field to the Coat Hanger


Making a sustainable product starts with the design and the choice of materials. In order to identify and minimize the risks to human rights and the environment, we carry out comprehensive risk and background analyses. The most recent analysis was performed at the end of 2021 to identify and prioritize significant social, environmental, and economic risks. On the basis of this analysis, we formulated specific aims and measures for the S.OLIVER GROUP and its individual brands. In order to ensure that our products also meet the defined sustainability criteria, we implement recognized standards and certifications.

We monitor our progress in achieving these goals as well as the effectiveness of our measures at regular intervals and make changes where required. For example, in the mid-term we aim to source 100% of our cotton for outer fabric from more sustainable sources and increase the share of recycled polyester fibers to 75%.

Product Requirements
Definition of “More Sustainable Products”
Setting Goals
Current Use of Materials and Fibers
Product Requirements

All of our products fulfill our minimum ecological and social requirements for materials and production: from social and safety standards to chemical management and animal welfare.

A sustainable product must fulfill many different requirements – which is really not that easy.

That`s why we have defined requirements that our “more sustainable” products must fulfill. The relevance and validity of these categories are reviewed twice a year.



Cotton makes up almost half of our product portfolio, making it one of our most important fibers. However, there are social and ecological risks linked to the cultivation and processing of cotton. These include, among others, child labor, forced labor, health risks through the use of pesticides and chemicals, low wages, and a high use of water.

For these reasons, we pay all the more attention to sustainability criteria in our procurement. In the mid-term, we aim to source cotton from 100% more responsible sources for the outer fabric of our products.


In Mass Balance, Raw Material and End Product Keep Each Other in Balance

Our suppliers purchase a certain amount of cotton needed for the production of our goods via the initiatives CmiA and BCI. During further processing, this cotton may then be mixed with ordinary cotton. This means that the final product does not necessarily consist entirely of cotton from the initiatives. However, it is important that the amount of cotton corresponding to the product comes from more responsible sources and reaches our supply chain. This is excluded in the Hard Identity Preserved, Organic and for recycled cotton, which is physically present and secured in the final product.

We Use This Cotton

A key partner of ours in the area of cotton is Better Cotton. Growers licensed to sell Better Cotton in the supply chain must meet minimum social and environmental criteria and demonstrate continuous improvement in this regard. In terms of the environment, Better Cotton is characterized, for example, by reduced pesticide use, better water efficiency, and a cultivation method that prioritizes preserving soil fertility and biodiversity. You can find an overview of the Better Cotton Criteria here. The cotton is fed into our supply chain on the basis of the mass balance system.

Within the framework of Cotton made in Africa (CmiA), an initiative from the Aid by Trade Foundation, we have sourced more responsible cotton from Africa since 2009. They have defined clear environmental and social criteria for the cultivation of cotton. For example, the use of genetically mutated seeds is prohibited and the use of pesticides and herbicides is highly regulated. The cotton can be sourced via the model of mass balancing, Hard Identity Preserved or as organic cotton. The S.OLIVER GROUP uses Cotton made in Africa according to the mass balance system.

Furthermore, the initiative is involved in social projects – including in the areas of women’s advancement, education, and health – and invests its income into license fees in the regions where the cotton is cultivated.

We use recycled cotton so we can rely on materials that have already been used in order to produce fewer new materials. For example, the recycled cotton may come from used clothing or household textiles. In doing so, we rely on established certification systems, such as Textile Exchange, to ensure that our products actually contain recycled cotton.

In comparison to conventional cotton, organic cotton has both a positive impact on the environment and biodiversity as well as on the health of the farmers. In the cultivation of organic cotton, the use of artificial fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides is prohibited. At the same time, crop rotation must be carried out so that different crops being grown on the agricultural land are alternated. This improves soil fertility and increases the humus content so that the soil can absorb more CO2. Furthermore, no chemical defoliants may be used which facilitate the mechanical harvesting of cotton but are also potentially hazardous to health.

In order to ensure that our products also contain organic cotton, we use established standards such as Textile Exchange for internal assurance in our supply chain. This ensures reliability of the raw material from the yarn all the way to the end product.

By working together with our partner organizations to establish a direct supply chain for organic cotton, we want to improve the way we manage our sourcing of organic cotton, improve transparency regarding its origin, and actively support farmers in switching to organic farming methods.

From Wool to Leather

Animal fibers and materials make up only a small part of our product portfolio. However, it is important to define specific requirements here because this area poses risks to animal welfare in particular. In our product portfolio, we have banned animal fibers and materials for which we cannot ensure that animal welfare standards have been upheld.

These include real fur, mohair, and angora.

Wool is one of our most important animal-based materials. Our Animal Welfare Policy prohibits the use of wool sourced from sheep on which mulesing has been practiced. Mulesing is the process of removing strips of skin to prevent fly infestations. This is often performed without pain relief.

Furthermore, we take animal welfare into consideration in our use of wool, as well as organic and recycled wool. This is safeguarded through internationally recognized standards, such as Textile Exchange.

In the medium term, we want to achieve 100% of our sheep's wool coming from more responsible sources. 

In 2021, we joined The Good Cashmere Standard® (GCS) initiative, which also belongs to the Aid by Trade Foundation, along with Cotton made in Africa. The main focus of the GCS is animal welfare to improve the farming of cashmere goats. Furthermore, the standard deals with social, economic, and ecological criteria to change the lives of farmers for the better and reduce negative effects on the environment. 

Our Animal Welfare Policy prohibits the use of feathers and down from live plucking and from geese raised for force-fattening. In addition to this, we also use recycled down. We are increasingly sourcing new down from certified supply chains to ensure greater responsibility in procurement. This includes the parent livestock farms.

In accordance with our Animal Welfare Policy, we only use leather sourced as a by-product of meat production. At the same time, we also prohibit the use of exotic leathers and leather from endangered species.

In 2021 LIEBESKIND BERLIN joined the Leather Working Group (LWG). This provides us with more transparency in our leather supply chain.

From now on, LIEBESKIND BERLIN will only use leather from LWG-certified tanneries. This conserves resources and reduces the environmental impact of the tanning process, which is known for its high use of chemicals, water, and energy.

Today, we already offer a wide range of products made from non-animal materials. Our aim is to expand this offering even further in the future. In order to consider sustainable and environmentally friendly factors in addition to quality, our Product Development team is continually looking at innovative alternative materials.

Cellulose-Based Fibers and Materials
Cellulose Fibers

Cellulose fibers, such as viscose, modal, and Lyocell, are produced from renewable raw materials, including wood in particular. Unlike other synthetic fibers, such as polyester, they are distinguished by the fact that they are biodegradable thanks to their cellulose base.

However, there are risks involved in the supply chain: in sourcing cellulose, clearing trees, and preparing the material. The process is particularly resource-intensive due to the use of chemicals and the use of water and energy.

In the medium term, we aim to source 100% of the cellulose fibers we use from more responsible sources. In order to achieve this, we work with the brand fibers from Lenzing and BIRLA CELLULOSE™ in particular.

The viscose fiber LENZING™ECOVERO™ from the brand Lenzing originates from certified, controlled forestry and bears the EU Ecolabel thanks to its environmental sustainability. Thanks to its closed manufacturing cycle, the production of LENZING™ECOVERO™ causes about 50% less emissions and less water pollution than conventional viscose. And it’s a similar story for the production of modal and Lyocell fibers from the brand TENCEL™.

For the production of Lyocell, Lenzing not only uses certified wood, but also fabric remnants leftover from cutting cotton clothing from the textile industry. Raw materials are processed into new TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers using REFIBRA™ technology, significantly reducing the use of raw materials and energy.

TENCEL™, REFIBRA™, LENZING™, and ECOVERO™ are the brands of Lenzing AG.

Similarly, our partner Birla Cellulose™ specializes in obtaining fibers from wood. Only wood from certified forestry is used for the production of the cellulose fibers from LIVAECO™. This makes it possible to trace fabrics back to their origin. Both water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions are significantly reduced in the manufacturing process compared to other non-certified natural fibers.

Synthetic Fibers and Materials


Polyester makes up the biggest percentage of our synthetic fibers and materials. Environmental and social risks may arise here in the extraction of raw materials, which include crude oil. The raw materials used are not renewable. This means it is all the more important that we rely less on new polyester and reduce our use of synthetic materials in general.

In the medium term, we aim for 75% of the polyester we use to be certified recycled. By using recycled polyester instead of producing new polyester fibers, we retain the fibers in our material cycle for longer. What’s more, no newly acquired resources are used. For example, the recycled polyester is produced from PET bottles or old clothing.