• The plan to gradually increase the share of environmentally friendly collections in the LPP brands’ offer is being implemented faster than expected. Currently, 23% of the apparel produced by the Gdańsk-based company is already Eco Aware labelled products. The pace of change is set by the Reserved brand collections, where every third item has been created in a sustainable way.
• The implemented solutions limiting the amount of plastics in the sales and distribution network of the Polish clothing company allowed LPP to eliminate further 255 tonnes of disposable plastic in 2020. This means almost doubling the result from last year and a total reduction of as much as 525 tonnes of plastic over the last 4 years.
• Last year in LPP was marked by accession to international and national initiatives for the circular economy and chemical safety.
For LPP, the passing year has been marked by facing the challenges shared by the whole commercial sector. However, the pandemic and the need to set aside many projects did not affect the consistent implementation of the objectives within the framework of the new sustainable development strategy announced last year. What is more, despite the crisis, some of the set objectives have been achieved to a greater extent than originally planned. The business plans adopted as basic pro-environmental goals have become a determinant of actions taken by the company to reduce its environmental impact in four key areas: design and production, packaging, chemical safety as well as infrastructure and buildings.
As regards the clothing industry, from the point of view of global environmental challenges, one of the key stages in the preparation of the collection is the method of obtaining raw materials and the production process taking into account the latest, pro-ecological technological solutions. Therefore, in 2020, LPP focused its extensive activities on developing the Eco Aware Production programme. Its basic assumption for this year was the development and implementation of quality and ecological standards by the suppliers cooperating with the company, such as criteria for reducing water and energy consumption in the process of fabric processing and clothing production. Since the implementation of the strategy, 40 producers from South-East Asia have been consulted with the aim of meeting the set standards of Eco Aware Production. Next year, 30% of all sewing factories cooperating with LPP in South Asia, i.e. 177 suppliers, are to work according to the programme’s assumptions, and by 2023 – 100% of jeans factories.
Recent months have also proved intense time for LPP as regards increasing the share of clothing produced from more environmentally friendly materials, i.e. organic, recycled or made in a sustainable process. In 2019, all LPP brands introduced more sustainable collections with Eco Aware label. Today, 23% of the products available in their offer are already labelled as eco-friendly. Reserved is a leader in this respect – 33 percent of the brand’s collections comprise Eco Aware products.
– From the beginning, the new sustainable development strategy of LPP was to be an ambitious yet realistic plan. That is why our assumption for 2021 is that 25% of the clothing we produce will be more environmentally friendly. Today, we can proudly say that the target adopted only for next year has already been almost fully achieved, despite the current market difficulties caused by the pandemic. Since 2017, we have made a fundamental change in creating a more environmentally friendly offer. This confirms our conviction that our consistency in our efforts to achieve the set goals brings us closer to creating more and more sustainable fashion, friendly to people and the environment – comments Marek Piechocki, President of the Management Board, LPP.
Responsible production is also a matter of chemical safety for the Polish company. In addition to the principle, which has been practised for many years now, of attaching guidelines concerning chemical substances to all orders, LPP wants not only to improve the safety of its own products, but also change the way the factories operate, regardless of who the order is processed for. Therefore, in accordance with the adopted plan, in 2020, LPP was the first Polish company to join the global ZDHC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals) initiative.
– Achieving full compliance with the guidelines on chemicals used by the clothing industry is a multi-stage process and a huge challenge, especially in such a dispersed supply chain. It is difficult to find a factory sewing for just one customer today, so we are convinced that a joint effort of many companies will render it possible to work out standards binding for all manufacturers. Today, we can confirm that we are in the process of implementing the next steps in our cooperation with the ZDHC, thanks to which 25 factories in Pakistan and 35 in Bangladesh producing the collections of our brands are already associated in this initiative. Importantly, with new suppliers systematically joining the ZDHC, we are sure that this list will quickly expand – comments Dorota Jankowska-Tomków, Sustainable Development and Purchasing Director, LPP.
Even less plastics
The overproduction of plastics is still one of the most pressing global environmental challenges. LPP, as a company operating in traditional trade and dynamically developing online sales, has been consistently working for several years to limit the circulation of packaging and fillers made of disposable plastic. As a result, over the past year the company, has achieved the objectives set out in the strategy concerning the complete elimination of this raw material from online order shipments of Mohito and Reserved brands and the use of recycled film in 100% of online order shipments of House, Cropp and Sinsay brands. In the case of online shopping as regards Mohito and Reserved, the year 2020 means a further 255-tonne-reduction of plastics. All these activities and the new solutions implemented in cooperation with packaging suppliers in the distribution network are an investment worth PLN 3.8 million. Taking into account the scope of reduction estimated at the end of this year, over the last four years, LPP has managed to eliminate as much as 525 tonnes of this material from circulation. Additionally, the number of plastic packaging in which commercial samples are delivered to LPP has been reduced by as much as 50%. In the case of some suppliers, such as those from Bangladesh, plastic packaging has been replaced by reusable material bags. The result was a total of 5 tonnes of plastics eliminated from circulation. At the same time, LPP has been increasing its commitment to reasonable management of plastics and the elimination of plastic waste at local level. In 2020, the company joined the Polish Plastics Pact – a national initiative to close the loop for plastics.
Sustainable development in buildings and sales networks
Aware of the extent to which the scale of the company’s operations and its extensive sales network affect its environment, LPP has also taken a number of measures to limit the environmental impact of the company’s stores and HQ buildings. The plan adopted in this respect assumes the reduction of energy consumption through the implementation of a new concept of stores based on an intelligent and energy-efficient system concerning such elements as lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning. According to the estimates, the mere replacement of lighting with LED solutions is expected to result in energy savings of 15%. Another important investment in this area is the implementation of the BREEAM certificate, which the company plans to obtain for the new HQ building in Gdańsk within the LPP Fashion Lab complex, which will soon be commissioned.
– The past year has been a huge challenge for us. On the one hand, we have fought to maintain the company’s liquidity and jobs, and on the other hand, we have consistently pursued the objectives to which we have committed ourselves as part of our sustainable development strategy. We did not want to give up on them. We wanted to keep our word, despite the difficulties and the fight against the crisis, and not to frustrate the expectations of our customers, to whom we made these commitments. We are proud that we have consistently met all the targets adopted for 2020, but we are aware that there are still many challenges ahead of us along the road to sustainable development – concludes Marek Piechocki.
LPP SA is a Polish family business and one of the fastest growing clothing companies in the region of Central and Eastern Europe. For over 25 years it has been successfully operating in Poland and abroad, offering its collection already on 25 markets, including in such prestigious capitals as London, Berlin, Tel Aviv or Moscow. LPP SA manages five fashion brands: Reserved, Cropp, House, Mohito, and Sinsay. The company has a chain of over 1700 stores with the total area of over 1 million sq.m. The online offer of the brands collections is available on 29 markets. On the basis of a global supply chain, the Polish clothing producer distributes over 265 million pieces of clothing to three continents. LPP plays another important role as it employs over 24 thousand people in its offices and sales structures in Poland, Europe, Asia, and Africa. The company is listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange in the WIG20 index and belongs to the prestigious MSCI Poland index.