Life cycle management
Minimizing waste requires proper planning. We are managing the life cycle of our garments and optimizing our production planning processes with the goal of making just the right number of products so we can sell them all without overstocking and generating waste.
Target: By 2020, Esprit will increase the amount of garments resold by 40,000kg
Overstocking a product has a greater impact than it first appears. All of the inputs that went into creating excess goods, such as water, energy, and chemicals, have also been an unnecessary excess, along with the time and effort associated with production, logistics, and sales. We optimize our stock handling with the aim to reducing overstock, and reducing waste. Our Product, Buying and Merchandise divisions are working closely together to develop a smart purchasing strategy which ensures the proper volume of garments at the proper time in all of our different sales channels, while also minimizing the potential for unsold stock. This is a critical process inside the company that has an impact on all our activities.
As part of Esprit's commitment to minimizing our impact on the environment, we carefully consider how to handle unsold goods and returns from our retail, E-shop and outlet channels. For example, we are investing into ways to extend the lifetime of unsold or returned products by applying any required repairs or touch-ups and then feeding these refreshed products back into alternative sales channels.
Garments that are not sold through our own retail and e-commerce channels within a certain sales period are generally sent to our outlets. There, the goods are usually sold out completely. We have 11 outlet stores in Germany and 21 in Europe.
Exploring resale options
If there are unsold items from our outlets, they are delivered back to the closest distribution center, along with any items with quality defects. We then offer these goods to be sold in countries where Esprit does not have direct business, providing a third opportunity for our goods to reach the hands of a new customer. We work with a carefully selected reselling partner that first provides any repairs that might be needed, such as replacing broken zippers or mending small tears. This process is monitored by our legal department to ensure that the needs and rights of all our customers and business channels are considered and respected. Through these steps, we are able to sell nearly 100% of the garments we create.
Do we destroy garments?
Customer safety is our highest priority. A garment is only destroyed if customer safety cannot be guaranteed; for example, if a supplier has applied a restricted chemical that we do not permit. These situations occur very rarely since we work closely with our suppliers to monitor and manage chemical use. If destruction must occur, products are destroyed under strict third party supervision and in accordance with Esprit environmental directives.