Produced the Right Way

We produce 175 million products each year globally. With this kind of scale, transparency and accountability are of utmost importance. To become transparent, we are sharing information about our suppliers, design process, innovative products, material sourcing, and preferred chemistry initiative.

View our Goals

Design & Innovation

Developing responsible products begins with design; the decisions we make at this stage determine the impacts of our garments through their lifecycle – from raw materials sourcing to consumer use and end-of-life. A majority of our products begin as 3D design, cutting our physical sample waste in half.

Our approach spans:

  • 3D Design
  • Circularity

Our Preferred Materials

We search the world to find the right materials for our apparel and source materials that have a positive impact on people and the planet.

  • Our Responsible Materials Policies apply to all Kontoor Brands’ Vendors and Material Suppliers and aims to ensure transparent and robust materials claims. This includes policies on restricted substances, cotton fiber sourcing, conflict minerals, animal- and forest-derived materials.
  • Our goal is full transparency from farm (for cotton) or manufacturer (for synthetics) all the way to final product and consumer.
  • Our Preferred Materials are backed by data to validate their environmental and social impact. We may update our Preferred Materials list as new or innovative materials are available. 


Cotton is the number one material input for Kontoor Brands products. Our cotton strategy focuses on advancing regenerative agriculture practices globally while sourcing more sustainable cotton for every Kontoor Brands product. We currently define sustainable cotton as any one of the following: cotton grown in the U.S., Australia, or Africa (not including Egypt or South Africa), recycled cotton from validated post-consumer or post-industrial sources, or cotton certified under one of the following frameworks: Organic, Transitional Organic, BASF’s e3 program, Regenagri, and REEL Cotton.

Sustainable Synthetics

Sustainable Synthetics

We prefer to use synthetic fibers that have been manufactured from materials recovered from the waste stream. Whether made from pre- or post-consumer synthetic fiber waste, using recycled synthetics over virgin synthetics reduces the apparel industry’s overall reliance on non-renewable crude oil and contributes to a reduction in waste from our industry and others. Additionally, we accept alternative bio-based fibers, like Sorona, and certified Man Made Cellulosic fibers, like Lyocell.

Natural Materials

Natural Materials

Sustainable hemp is a perfect complement fiber to cotton. As an industrial crop, hemp can grow with little water and minimal pesticides and herbicides. It has a high per acre fiber yield and absorbs more carbon dioxide per acre than any forest or commercial crop. We require our preferred Hemp to be certified sustainable by a third party or traceable to the field on which is was grown. Additionally, we accept similarly certified or traceable Linen and Kapok.


Every stage of the manufacturing process has an environmental impact – from water and chemical use to energy and carbon emissions. Chemicals are essential in denim production, but when not managed properly, can be harmful to factory workers and pollute local water resources, impacting the local community. Preferred chemistries are those which have been shown to not cause any negative impacts to human health or nature.

  • As part of our sustainability strategy, we have committed to use 100% preferred chemistry by 2023.
See more on our supply chain

"We apply the most stringent regulatory requirements and task methods from any one region globally; in our eyes, a hazardous chemical needs to be managed in every location, no matter if the regulation exists."

-Gamma Cheung, Manager of Product Stewardship in Hong Kong

Discover Kontoor Sustainability Report 2020

Discover our commitments and progress towards the continuous improvement of our sustainability practices.

Download the 2020 Sustainability Report

Learn More About Kontoor’s Sustainability Program


In 2020, we announced our first global sustainability goals to address the environmental and social impact of our operations, supply chain, products, and people.

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Stakeholder Engagement

We recognize we cannot address major environmental, social, or economic challenges alone, so we collaborate with experts who share our commitment.

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We strive to use responsibly sustainable suppliers, materials and operations for each of the millions of products we produce each year.

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Our longstanding commitment to environmental stewardship and compliance unites with a vision of a more sustainable world.

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