Italian fashion giant Benetton said in its annual report on Thursday that 2019 marked an important milestone in the relaunch of the group as its “economic-financial indicators show significant recovery and a significant reduction in the losses compared to previous years”.
The company gave no figures but did talk a lot about its sustainability advances. It said that it has in the last year implemented a series of practices and initiatives “to ensure that everyone involved in the supply chain is treated fairly and properly”.
The result of this, it said in its report is that having assessed the “social impact of over 300 suppliers, 70% of these undertook a process of correcting non-conformities, while 18 commercial relationships were ended”.
It added that 80% of the fibers in United Colors of Benetton garments “are of natural origin and therefore have a lower impact on the environment — and encouraging figure in view of an increasingly circular economy”.
Additionally, in 2019, 54% of the cotton used by Benetton Group was BCI-sourced (calculated as a percentage of total annual cotton requirements), “a big leap forward” compared with 23% the previous year.
On logistics, importing goods by rail/road from China led to a roughly 90% reduction in CO2 emissions, and in waste management, 84% of litter on the Ponzano and Castrette campus was separated for recycling.
And in order to continue making progress, it’s planning to launch a sustainability platform for Sisley this year and expects a complete transition to sustainable cotton in all Benetton Group collections by 2025.
These are all developments that can make an impact globally given the huge size of the company. The report also said that the firm that saw €1.148 billion in net sales last year, has 4,468 stores in 81 markets and produces 76 million garments annually. Of this, the biggest business is for Benetton itself with 11% being accounted for by Sisley.