Building on its previous commitments and stated goals, Kontoor Brands, Inc. (NYSE:KTB), a global lifestyle apparel company with a portfolio led by two of the world’s most iconic consumer brands, Wrangler® and Lee®, today released its 2020 Sustainability Report, the second report in the company’s two years as a publicly traded organization. In accordance with the standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Sustainable Accounting Standard Board (SASB), the report details Kontoor’s progress in advancing its sustainability agenda focusing on People, Product and Planet – operating with the highest standards of ethics and transparency, seeking to source products and materials that are sustainable and from partners that share its values.
“Sustainability is core part of our DNA at Kontoor – a foundational element of how we do business around the world,” said Scott Baxter, Board Chair, President and Chief Executive Officer, Kontoor Brands. “While we are pleased with our initial progress outlined in the report, we recognize there is more that we can do. As we move ahead, we are committed to using our scale and purpose-led approach to drive meaningful environmental and social advancements for all of our stakeholders.”
Throughout a volatile 2020 for the apparel industry, Kontoor continued its holistic approach to its sustainability strategy which encompasses the end-to-end product lifecycle and is deeply engrained in the company’s overall business strategy. Kontoor Brands closely manages its supply chain and distribution, and directly owns one-third of its manufacturing operations. The company also leverages its strong relationships with third-party manufacturers and seeks to embed sustainability in all stages of production to improve the overall impact of its products.
“Although our industry faced substantial uncertainty over the last two years, we have used this time to strengthen our resolve to meet our goals and set new ones – for our people, products and the planet,” said Jeff Frye, VP of Procurement, Product Development, Innovation, and Sustainability, Kontoor Brands. “We’re incredibly proud of the progress we have made during this period and have rallied as a team and continue to focus on building a more resilient future.”
Report highlights include:
By deploying innovative water saving and recycling technologies such as IndigoodTM, Kontoor has reduced water consumption by 8-plus billion liters since 2008, putting the company on track to achieve its goal of saving 10 billion liters of water by 2025.
For the company’s more than 120 million units of apparel and accessories it produced in 2020, Kontoor’s teams sourced 50% of its cotton sustainably, on track to achieve 100% sustainable cotton in all products by 2025.
In alignment with the company’s goal to exclusively work with factories that support worker wellbeing, Kontoor’s teams initiated community development programs in select factories in Bangladesh to provide clean water, sanitation and hygiene facilities and education to benefit 1,200 local workers.
Kontoor is on track to use 100% preferred chemistry by 2025 and expects to announce a science-based climate target for greenhouse emissions in 2022.
These goals are supported by a wide array of initiatives across Kontoor Brands’ production chain – from the focus on circularity and diverting materials from landfills to partnering with Business for Social Responsibility’s HERproject to improve access to healthcare knowledge and services for garment workers in Bangladesh. Kontoor is aiming to not only set and meet its own ambitious goals, but also to apply lessons learned and best practices transparently so that others can bring these innovations to life in their own manufacturing operations.
Kontoor Brands’ 2020 Sustainability Report has been prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Standards and the SASB Apparel, Accessories and Footwear Industry Standard.