Materials

Materials

By July 2024, 100 per cent of cotton, polyester, nylon, cellulose and wool used in our own brand clothing*, towels and bedding will be sourced in compliance with a sustainable standard, from recycled materials, or be from fully traceable and verified sources.

In addition, 100 per cent of leather sourced for our own brand clothing*, footwear and accessories will meet this same commitment.

We are committed to using natural resources responsibly. Population growth, pollution and climate change are leading to increased pressure on the planet’s resources. As a large retailer, we have a responsibility to use natural resources responsibly and source materials in a way that minimises environmental impact. As part of our sustainable materials strategy, we have identified a number of priority materials for our business.

The volume of material we use is one criteria we use to inform our prioritisation, strategy and roadmap. In our apparel business we draw on four key materials, with the following (approximate) breakdown in 2022: cotton 71%, polyester and nylon 20%, cellulose 6%, linen 1% and other 2%. Further, we conduct social and environment risk assessments on these materials - including assessments of country-specific factors – to ensure our strategies and action plans are targeted and proportionate to the scale of the risk. Drawing on this analysis, cotton, polyester and nylon, cellulose, wool and leather (see animal welfare) are the current priority textile fibres for our busines. Our commitment to sustainable materials is further underpinned by our related targets in the areas of water, chemicals, and wastewater. We work closely with our suppliers on continuous improvement and to further reduce our impact, and we seek to apply new standards and emerging technologies as they become commercially viable. Further details on our challenge, approach and progress can be found under each material topic.

We work with globally recognised and credible sustainability standards including Better Cotton, Global Organic Textile Standard, Global Recycled Standard, Responsible Wool Standard and Forrest Stewardship Council. When developing our sustainable materials strategies or choosing which standards to align with, we refer to global expert organisations such as Textile Exchange who have identified preferred fibres and materials with improved social and environmental impacts. We also reference the ISEAL Alliance Credibility Principles to assess the credibility of sustainability standards.

As a member of the Textile Exchange, we are also supportive of cross-sector collaboration to accelerate sustainable practices in the textile supply chain.

In this section, some of our commitments focus on our ‘own brand’ products. When we use the term ‘own brand’ we mean the brands we own, which excludes the brands owned by other companies, such as licensed and international brands.

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