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Henri-Lloyd M-PRO HEADER YY

The road to responsibility – it's easier said than done

by Henri-Lloyd / Mark Jardine 8 Jun 12:00 BST
Mav-Lite © Henri-Lloyd

Achieving the goal of becoming a responsible technical clothing brand is hard... really hard. If it was easy then every manufacturer would do it in an instant and shout from the tallest building that their clothing was 100% green, carbon neutral and recyclable.

Henri-Lloyd is a brand that is taking the hard steps to achieve this goal. They understand this means putting aside normal business rules and would willingly and enthusiastically work with all companies, including direct competitors, to deliver on their goals.

With their factory in Poland, Henri-Lloyd continues to find the most innovative and forward-thinking of partners to work with in Europe, reducing the transportation required for each item to reach the customer, whilst minimising the damage caused by over production generally found in South East Asian factories. 80% of Henri-Lloyd's new product styles are now sourced in high working standard factories in Europe, compared to 36% at the start of 2021.

Recycled and organic materials

93% of new developed styles have been sourced from recycled or organic materials.

We've written about the MAV range, made from recycled PET bottles, working with fabric specialist Pontetorto, who are known industry-wide for their forward-thinking attitude and use of recycled materials. The equivalent of 1.2M PET BOTTLES have been removed from the oceans due to Henri-Lloyd product development. Mav-Mid Layers are now produced in Europe instead of SE Asia.

They used Swedish sustainable fabric producer We aRe SpinDye©, who developed a colouring method for synthetic textiles which reduces the environmental impact compared to the traditional dyeing process.

Henri-Lloyd introduced their REPAIR-REWEAR repair service, extending the life of technical clothing to push the concept of never throwing away a quality product and have recently added an additional repair location in the UK to reduce shipping miles.

The Elevated Organic Essentials range are lifestyle items are made from 100% Organic Cotton, produced by Gubec, a company located in Northern Portugal who are GOTS-certified. GOTS is the Global Organic Textile Standard, and the Elevated Organic Essentials product is not only sustainable, but also exceptionally soft, comfortable and long lasting.

The Global Organic Textile Standard was developed by leading standard setters to define world-wide recognised requirements for organic textiles. From the harvesting of the raw materials, environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing to labelling, textiles certified to GOTS provide a credible assurance to the consumer.

The Elevated Organic range includes Sweats, Polos and Tees in a range of colours and is perfect shore wear for any sailor. An example is the Sweat Crew, a modern take on an icon which can be worn all year round, made from 320gsm Organic fabric and pre-washed to avoid shrinkage and increase softness. Or the Polo, made from 24/1 Organic 100% Cotton featuring a 1x1 rib collar, bespoke buttons and available in five colours.

This range is another important step on the road to responsibility that Hans Eckerström took the brand on since acquiring Henri-Lloyd in 2018. As he said when we spoke early in 2020, "Our goal is to reduce the footprint of textile manufacturing in general, to use as little as possible, and that can be converted into having durable garments, so if you can wear something for a significantly longer time, that creates a significant reduction of the footprint. Both from a sustainability perspective, but also from a business perspective, we want to focus, and we need to drive our sourcing to become as local as possible - having a European footprint as far as possible in terms of our sourcing.

"We will continually look and search for alternative fabrics or alternative manufacturing methods to reduce the chemicals involved and what kind of materials we use. It is of course a very complex question. The underlying importance is that we are striving to be a responsible brand; I think it is very difficult to say that you have a sustainable clothing business, but at least we try in every aspect of how we design, how we manufacture, and where we manufacture, to reduce the footprint."

Goals for 2022 include removing all virgin oil from e-com packaging, and to be recyclable and compostable, with 100% of primary protective product packaging to be home compostable by the end of 2022 and increasing the percentage of new products to be made in Europe from 80% to 85%.

Sustainability for Henri-Lloyd is a continual process, but with their drive, and with it being a central pillar of the brand, they will work with local partners and develop clothing we can all feel proud to wear.

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