Two years after Tommy Hilfiger (TH) had taken some significant steps and encouraged the industry to start collaborating and lower the impact of jeans and fashion production, Nicolas Prophte, VP Sourcing, Production & Innovation Denim, Tommy Hilfiger, believes it’s time to drive the denim industry to embrace new paradigms. He explained The SPIN OFF what new standards Tommy Hilfiger wants to achieve while igniting an overall collaboration within the supply chain and its main players.
Our ambition for 2030 is that all our products will be designed and produced according to circular principles. On this journey, we are embracing a holistic approach to circularity that goes beyond using recycled textile waste and producing recyclable garments.
We also believe in the potential of regenerative agriculture to slow or reverse the destructive impacts that industrial agriculture has had, and to generate a systemic shift that focuses on rebuilding soil health and ecosystems.
While we explore further possibilities, we have already taken our first steps by sourcing regenerative cotton for part of the denim styles of our Pre-Spring 2023 Tommy Hilfiger collection.
Yes. It's a new focus. I think that regenerative agriculture is beyond the fashion industry. I think that we, as part of the fashion world, should see it as an agronomic and scientific aspect and the whole sector should start focusing on it.
Since when did TH start working at this new product range?
We will deliver our first collection for s/s 2023, and it will be in stores by end of 2022, but TH started working on this project a year ago, as it took us a full year to understand and start a due diligence. Plus, we had to connect with the right stakeholders and partners who follow this practise already in scale.
Do fabrics made with raw materials grown through regenerative agriculture carry any weakness or strength?
The regenerative agriculture practice hasn't got any impact on the quality of the product. Its quality is the same premium range of classic virgin cotton.
With which factories are you working with?
For regenerative cotton, we are working with factories in Australia and Brazil.
For our Farm-To-Jeans project, we also work in part with other farmers that use regenerative agriculture and grow hemp in France.
Traceability and transparency are key strategic priorities for Tommy Hilfiger’s teams and the denim industry. It’s important to know where our raw materials come from, how they are produced, and then transformed into products. That’s why we joined the Farm-to-Jeans Program, where we are directly connected with the source, with producers, and farmers. Through it, we can achieve visibility on the product roadmap and the origin of the fibers we use to make our denim garments.
The Farm-to-Jeans program strengthens accountability and partnerships, and it has allowed us to use hemp grown without pesticides, rain-fed and field-retted, which is also processed and transformed 100% mechanically. Additionally, it has facilitated the sourcing of regenerative cotton, grown according to farming practices that focus on rebuilding soil health and ecosystems.
Yes, we created it because we had started agreements with farmers. It's a program we invented internally to engage them and have now involved three farms in our program.
We are still at an early stage and are still trying to explain how it works, as we want to go beyond the usual dynamics and beyond the mills, and go directly to the farmers.
I think that "business as usual" is not the right direction as we need to be disruptive, to be innovative and try new ways of working. I think that creative thinking here is extremely important and opens the boundaries, think a little longer and to go to the source of the fiber is, as we need to have a fiber strategy.
There are different mills involved in this program. For this, we collaborate with our key fabric suppliers, but other brands are not involved in the program.