“On the roof of Tommy Hilfiger’s European distribution center—located in the Dutch town of Venlo—are 48,000 solar panels, just one of the latest steps the fashion brand has taken to be more sustainable. CEO Martijn Hagman announced the completion of the solar panel roof at the Fast Company Innovation Festival on Tuesday, saying the company believes it’s “one of the most powerful solar roofs in the world at this moment.”
Hagman and company founder Tommy Hilfiger both stressed the importance to the company of focusing its innovation not solely on environmentalism, but also on inclusivity. ‘For us, sustainability is not just the environmental side, which is important, but it’s also social sustainability,’ Hagman said. Guiding the Make it Possible efforts is the mission to ‘waste nothing and welcome all.’
‘I think we’re living in a new world now, and I think people have woken up to the fact that in order to save the planet, we really have to become sustainable in our lives in many, many different aspects,’ said Hilfiger. ‘But I also think people are becoming awake to the aspect that we have to treat others as we want to be treated, regardless of their background, regardless of their skin color, and I really believe that all of the corporations in the world can do much better than they’ve been doing.’
The company is aiming for a 30% reduction in its overall supply chain’s greenhouse gas emissions, has already started washing its denim without water—using lasers instead to break the fabric down, which prevents the polluting indigo dye from washing into rivers and oceans—and has also launched the People’s Place program, which will give opportunities to people of color entering the fashion world.