Sustainable Packaging

Collaborating to reduce packaging
and send zero waste to landfill.


trees saved


lbs. of PVH packaging now recyclable


less water for PET trims

Sustainable Packaging

Our Commitment: Reduce the amount of packaging used for PVH products and work toward sending zero materials to landfill

In the apparel industry, waste occurs throughout the product lifecycle, from the design stage through to consumer use. Packaging is a large and visible source of waste, yet it also plays a vital role in protecting products for our consumers. To optimize our use of packaging materials and preserve the environment, we are taking steps to reduce the amount of packaging on our products and use more recyclable materials. This has a significant potential to conserve natural resources. For example, 78 million tons of plastic packaging is produced globally each year, yet only 14% is collected for recycling. Plastics production also uses as much oil as the airline industry annually. Meanwhile, preventing one ton of paper waste can save up to 17 trees. Further, we have also identified areas where sustainable packaging initiatives could generate a few million dollars in savings for our business.

In 2016, we launched a sustainable packaging initiative with a view to reduce and send zero waste to landfill. In particular, we assessed our on-product packaging material footprint and raised awareness of the importance of packaging reduction and recyclability across our company. We also began collaborating with our suppliers and other apparel companies on innovative packaging solutions, through groups like the Sustainable Packaging Coalition.

Increasingly, we will expand our focus to include packing materials, such as cardboard cartons, used to protect products while in transport, and in our store and e-commerce operations. To help guide our business teams with sustainable packaging decisions, we have created a framework and established guidelines, centered on three “Rs” of sustainable packaging: reducing packaging (to cut waste to landfill), switching to recyclable packaging materials (to cut waste and give materials a second life) and rethinking the materials we use (innovating to find sustainable alternatives).

The three 'Rs' of sustainable packaging

As we start our journey toward zero waste to landfill, we are using the following packaging design principles:

REDUCE your packaging – Removing excess packaging means less packaging sent to landfills.

Switch to packaging that's RECYCLABLE – Recyclable materials divert waste from landfills and give materials a second life.

RETHINK your materials – Changing to materials with certifications or recycled content improves the overall sustainability of the packaging.

2016 Highlights

In 2016, we began analyzing our global on-product packaging footprint (based on 2015 data) to understand the quantities and types of packaging materials we use. To date, we have launched 20 on-product and transportation packaging projects and are running a series of important pilots. We estimate that as a result of our packaging initiatives to date, we have already saved approximately 2,600 trees. In addition, 825,000 pounds (over 400 tons) of our plastic packaging materials are now recyclable.

We held a Sustainable Packaging Summit attended by approximately 90 associates from across our organization. They learned about the latest resources and solutions that could help us reduce our product packaging and achieve our goal of zero waste to landfill. The Summit inspired creative projects and practical action across our businesses.

We began measuring our global on-product packaging baseline (based on 2015 data). We have accounted for around 50% of our business to date and we are using our findings to help track progress.

The Dress Furnishings Group is moving away from non-recyclable PVC (polyvinyl chloride, also known as vinyl, a widely used, oil-based plastic) to recyclable PET (polyethylene terephthalate, a type of polyester). Beginning with products for Fall 2017, all new plastic trims will be made from recyclable PET. The new PET trims will use 57% less water and take 51% less energy to make than PVC trims.

Calvin Klein Accessories decreased the size of protective plastic sheets for a line of leather folios, saving the equivalent of approximately 3,875 plastic water bottles to date. It also identified and eliminated a redundant piece of packaging, reducing paper-stock use.

Through a packaging reduction pilot with one of its key suppliers, Tommy Hilfiger North America discovered that converting from a triple wall to a single wall carton could deliver equally good protection for products. It also has the potential to reduce the average weight of the carton boxes by 33%.

Our Commitments