Kontoor Brands Collaborates with Leading Supply Chain Partners to Improve Denim Industry Sustainability Tools

Feb 02, 2022 Press Release Tags: Announcements, Sustainability

GREENSBORO, NC — (February 2, 2022) – Kontoor Brands, Inc. (NYSE: KTB), a global lifestyle apparel company with a portfolio led by two of the world’s most iconic consumer brands, Wrangler® and Lee®, today announced a new supply chain coalition of denim leaders to improve critical data incorporated into the Higg Material Sustainability Index (MSI), the apparel industry’s most widely used tool to measure and assess the impact of products on the environment. As a part of these efforts, Arvind Limited, India’s leading lifestyle and fashion conglomerate, and Cone Denim, a global leader in denim authenticity and sustainable innovation, will share key data from the denim dyeing process that is currently not factored into the Higg MSI. The companies plan to roll out the updated Higg MSI tool for all apparel brands by summer 2022.

“The Higg MSI is the most comprehensive tool on the market for evaluating the environmental impact of apparel and footwear materials and was designed to evolve as new data becomes available, helping shift the industry at scale,” said Jeremy Lardeau, VP Higg Index at the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. “We’re excited to add denim-dyeing related process impacts to the Higg tool for all apparel companies to use."

Launched a decade ago, the Higg MSI helps designers and product developers make more sustainable choices during materials selection and can compare the impacts of various materials, trims, and packaging of apparel products. The tool is built on widely accepted, science-based data and metrics and is intended to quantify environmental impact throughout the production cycle. The Higg MSI measures environmental impact across five areas: global warming potential, pollution in water, chemistry, water scarcity, and fossil fuel depletion.

“Data driven decisions produce the best outcomes,” said Dhruv Agarwal, Senior Director of Global Innovation, Sustainability, and Product Development at Kontoor Brands. “We believe the Higg MSI is an invaluable tool for assessing the environmental impact of processes and materials utilized in our products. Through this work, our industry will be able to have a more complete picture of denim's impact, and our product development teams will have better insight into the environmental footprint of our products, empowering us to make more sustainable design choices.”

Kontoor, Arvind, and Cone are committed to building upon the denim-related information within the Higg suite of tools to further standardize measurements of value chain sustainability and provide greater transparency to apparel companies during product design and development.

“We are excited to explore and advance tools and resources, like the Higg MSI, that align with our customers’ goals to design and produce sustainable apparel,” said Steve Maggard, president of Cone Denim. “We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with likeminded companies, such as Kontoor, to bring transparency to the supply chain. Cone Denim has made considerable capital investments in our manufacturing focused on creating responsible and sustainable products and look forward to verification of our initiatives’ results.”

To learn more about Kontoor Brands’ sustainability approach and goals, visit KontoorBrands.com/Sustainability.

About Kontoor Brands

Kontoor Brands, Inc. (NYSE:KTB) is a global lifestyle apparel company, with a portfolio led by two of the world’s most iconic consumer brands: Wrangler® and Lee®. Kontoor designs, manufactures and distributes superior high-quality products that look good and fit right, giving people around the world the freedom and confidence to express themselves. Kontoor Brands is a purpose-led organization focused on leveraging its global platform, strategic sourcing model and best-in-class supply chain to drive brand growth and deliver long-term value for its stakeholders. For more information about Kontoor Brands please visit www.KontoorBrands.com.

About the Sustainable Apparel Coalition

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) is a global multi-stakeholder nonprofit alliance for the consumer goods industry. It’s made up of more than 250 leading apparel, footwear and textile, brands, retailers, suppliers, service providers, trade associations, nonprofits, NGOs and academic institutions working to reduce environmental impact and promote social justice throughout the global value chain. Leveraging the Higg Index suite of tools for the standardized measurement of value chain sustainability, the SAC is working to transform business for exponential impact.

The SAC was incorporated as a 501(c)6 nonprofit organization and launched the groundbreaking Higg Index suite of tools in 2011. In May 2019, the SAC spun-off the Higg Index technology platform to Higg, which delivers tools and services that help consumer goods businesses accelerate transformation for a more sustainable future. For more information, visit www.apparelcoalition.org.

About Cone Denim

A leading denim innovator for more than 128 years, Cone Denim delivers unparalleled expertise and advanced denim capabilities that service and inspire the global market. Cone promotes sustainable practices through its SustainblueTM denim fabrics representing the highest standards in responsible manufacturing and Cone’s commitment to making a positive impact in its communities. From performance denims and superior S GENE® technology to vintage re-creations of Cone Deeptone DenimTM reaching back to the early 1900s, Cone offers unique collections of Performance, Stretch, Selvage, and Distilled IndigoTM denims crafted out of the Cone®3D R&D incubator. Cone Denim operates as part of Elevate Textiles, Inc. with manufacturing capabilities in Mexico and China and a global network of sales, product and merchandising professionals based out of Greensboro, NC, New York, San Francisco and Hong Kong. To learn more, visit us at conedenim.com, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook or elevatetextiles.com.

Julia Burge, (336) 332-5122
Director, External Communications