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From the design phase to garment end of life, the challenge and ambition are to develop new low environmental impact techniques and materials, minimise the resources used for production, extend product life and promote recovery of materials.
To implement a circular economy model, sustainability must be integrated into the product and processes by tackling various aspects ranging from the choice of materials made from recycled raw materials to initiatives that extend product use and life, such as dedicated repair services to garment design aimed at fostering recovery and recycling, to production processes, distribution and packaging with a low environmental impact. These are all aspects that require an aptitude for innovation, experimenting with new solutions and collaborating with all actors in the supply chain.
Some of the key principles of the circular economy, such as garments durability, have always been a part of Moncler’s DNA. The high quality of its products and the way they stand above fashion and trends ensure that they have a very long average life.
Despite these core strengths, Moncler is aware of how important it is to constantly work to find ways to extend the life of its garments even further (e.g., by repairing garments that would otherwise be at the end of their lifecycle), as this is one of the pillars of the circular economy and is a good practice that allows clients to avoid the environmental impact associated with the production, purchasing and disposal of a new garment.
This characteristic was the foundation of the Extra-Life project, a service aimed at providing a second life to Moncler’s jackets through specific repairs. In 2021 the initiative was launched at a selected group of stores in Italy, France and Denmark, involving tailors from local repair platforms and sharing with clients the available garment repair solutions. Thanks to efficient, personalised service, tailors are able to repair damaged fabrics, thus extending product life. In 2022 the project was extended to all Regions in which Moncler operates. In 2022, through this initiative, in the areas where the service has been activated, Moncler has received repairing requests from its customers for about 46,000 used garments (corresponding to about 40 tons in weight), and was able to successfully repair around 76% of them. Almost all items that couldn’t be repaired, went through a process of recycling.
Finally, through this service, Moncler estimates that it has enabled its clients to avoid emissions for about 422 tonnes of CO2e2.
Over the next years, Moncler is committed to continuing extend this advanced extra repair repair service for the garments used by its customers, thus expecting also to increase the number of used garments collected to be repaired.
Moncler’s first objective will always be to ensure a longer life to these garments through advanced repair techniques. At the same time, Moncler expects and is committed to increase accordingly the volume of recycled materials from used garments included in new collections through the development of innovative techniques.
With regards to product durability, the information reported within the care labels on our products and in the composition & care section on our website indicates specific washing and care guidelines that are studied to engage and educate
customers to take care of their garments in the most appropriate ways, extending their lifespan as much as possible. In particular, the care labels suggest that the washing phase should be performed at low temperatures and with the exclusion of tumble drying, in order to limit the deterioration of the garments’ materials (e.g. possible shedding of plastic microfibers).
In any case, the majority of Moncler’s products is comprised of outerwear nylon fabric garments, a product that usually does not undergo frequent washing (approximately once a year), and that is not composed of brushed fabrics, which represent the type of fabrics that is most subject to shedding of plastic microfibers.
In 2022 both Moncler and Stone Island continued their commitment to use recycled raw materials.
In particular, the Stone Island upcycling project aimed at recovering cotton scraps generated by suppliers during garment production and launched a mechanical recycling process. This process generated a 70% recycled cotton fabric used to create three items, two sweaters and a pair of trouser, for the winter collection. The entire process was verified by a third party that validated the recycled content and its origin from production scraps.
Moncler continued to recycle the down from its garments, and implemented the R•DIST section of the DIST protocol, which sets out the requirements for obtaining the certification of recycled down.
In 2019 Moncler began introducing lower-impact products into its collections through the bio-based and carbon-neutral down jacket, designed with plant-based and natural-origin materials and whose emissions have been offset through REDD+ certified projects, as well as the range of garments created from recycled fabrics in the Moncler Grenoble collection, then launching in January 2021, the Moncler Men, Women and Enfant “Born to Protect” jackets made entirely from lower-impact materials. In 2022 the Moncler Born to Protect range was expanded to become a total look, including, in addition to jackets, various types of garments and accessories, all made from fabrics and components with low environmental impact and certified according to specific sustainability standards. Further information on the materials in the collection can be found at: https://www.monclergroup.com/en/sustainability/think-circular-bold/born-to-protect-collection.
In addition to focusing on specific projects or dedicated collections, the Group 2020-2025 Sustainability Plan also includes targets focused on the progressive integration of lower-impact raw materials into all collections. By 2025, 50% of fabrics and yarns will be from lower impact materials, including 50% recycled or bio-based nylon, 50% of cotton will be from regenerative practices, organic or recycled, and 70% of wool Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) certified. In this way, the Group is making efforts to address impacts of raw materials production in all stages of its supply chain; in particular, to meet the 50% target by 2025 for lower impact cotton, the Group engaged with main suppliers requiring to source certified organic or recycled cotton wherever possible. Furthermore, among other assessments, statistical GMO testing is performed to check presence of modified genes in organic cotton sourced.
Since 2021 Stone Island, in addition to materials, has also integrated new treatments into its collection, maintaining the technical and performance aspect of its products but with lower environmental impacts, such as reduced-water consumption treatments in the Soft Shell e.dye® waterless color system™.
The assessment of the environmental impact of materials and components is supported by Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) analyses that quantify the potential environmental impacts.
These analyses, which are based on a structured methodology and in line with ISO 14040, 14044 and 14067 and are certified by an independent, external third-party, are a useful tool for various considerations on the sustainability of the products, processes and materials used. To date, about 88% of the Group’s products have been evaluated through an LCA methodology. In particular, in 2021 additional LCAs were carried out on garments from the Moncler Born to Protect collection, launched in January 2022, to analyse in detail the environmental impacts of these type of products, characterised by lower-impact materials.
In this same direction, in 2020 Moncler produced its Guidelines for Sustainable Materials, a protocol, updated on an annual basis, that summarises the criteria and thresholds that guide the choice of materials, accessories and production processes of low-impact Moncler products; it will see an evolution in the Responsible Raw Materials Manual in 2023.
The main raw materials used by the Moncler Group are fabrics, yarns and down. Both Brands work constantly with their suppliers and require production processes to be structured so to optimise use and cutting, thus avoiding scraps and waste. The Group is constantly looking for solutions for the development of products and processes with a view to a circular economy. For this reason, annual investment in research and development is allocated to identify new solutions, also in collaboration and with the support of international start-ups and research institutes, accelerators and universities.
Besides innovative creative designs, the brand maintains a base of garments (including carry overs and permanent) that are always present in stores representing approximately 30% of the Group’s total revenues.
The Group’s commercial strategy is based on the principle of scarcity and, from an operational point of view, on effective inventory management, translating into efficient production planning and the right quantities at the right time and in the right place in order to avoid excessive inventories. This approach, combined with a high level of sell-through, allows to limit the amount of unsold products.
In the case seasonal garments, i.e. those that are offered for one season only (which differ from carry-overs, which can be reoffered for several seasons) remain unsold, they are first placed in the outlet channel operated by the Company or marketed through “Family and Friends” sales initiatives. In collaboration with some non-governmental organisations (NGOs), some of them are donated to people in difficult situations through the Warmly Moncler programme, designed to protect people from the cold. Lastly, the limited number of remaining products are all recycled through innovative and also experimental processes.
In 2022 the Moncler Group further refined its system for selecting and recycling garments that can no longer be sold in collaboration with several international companies with leading roles in fabric reuse and recycling. Depending on the category, products are recycled and put to various uses such as the creation of new yarns or components for jackets, the production of furnishings and objects often used as visual merchandising for stores.
In 2022 all nylon production scraps at Moncler Group direct sites in Italy and Romania were included in the recycling process.
This was made possible thanks to the collaboration of the Moncler Research and Development Department, which set the scope, parameters and methods of recycling, and the Operations and Supply Chain Department, which implemented the “Nylon Scrap Management Process”.
According to the procedure, during the year nylon scraps were classified and collected by line operators into specific recycling categories, weighed, recorded, stored and sent to the recycler. In order to monitor the correct assignment of scraps to the respective recycling category, the Group carried out physical and process checks at the sites, as well as differential scanning calorimetry analyses performed on a sample basis at third-party laboratories.
At the recycler’s site, nylon scrap is subject to shredding, melting, cooling, extrusion, and finally cutting the material into chips to be used by the Group as a secondary raw material.
Other production scrap of cotton, wool and mixed compositions from directly managed production sites are also sorted into various categories by composition and subjected to different recycling processes.
The Group’s innovation journey is based on an open innovation model that encourages the exploration and development of ideas, solutions, skills, processes and materials coming from the outside world, such as universities, innovation centres and suppliers of different sectors as well as accelerator hubs or research bodies.
Since 2020 the Group has worked closely with the start-up accelerator Plug & Play, a platform that connects the best international start-ups with partner companies to create collaboration opportunities.
Lastly, the Group constantly works with its suppliers to identify innovative solutions for the business. In
2021 the Company combined its specific down expertise with that of a supplier specialised in recycling technologies, creating a machine that allows DIST down to be recycled through an innovative mechanical process. The machine is currently object of patent application.
In 2022, in coordination with Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, the RE.CREA consortium was formed, with the support from ten associated brands, including the Moncler Group, which
decided to share their skills in order to support its activity.
The consortium was founded to organise the management of textile and fashion products at end of life and to promote research and
development of innovative recycling solutions.
The consortium focuses on the systematic and rigorous control of the entire textile and fashion recycling chain.
1 This includes other raw materials that are not particularly significant in terms of volumes, such as silk, viscose, etc.
2 The avoided emissions are estimated starting from the emissions (cradle to grave) of avoided new purchases, taking into account the average replacement rate (sector average rate of substitutability of repaired garments with new ones), and subtracting the emissions related to the repair activity.