Tommy Hilfiger Case Study

Nicolò Giusti
Interview Host: Nicolò Giusti, Director Sourcing & Production Footwear at Tommy Hilfiger, PVH group

The beginning of the collaboration between Tommy Hilger and The ID Factory

“The collaboration with The ID Factory started 3 years ago. 

At that time traceability’s topic was not given much relevance in the fashion world. 

Companies were not required to monitor their products and the sources of their materials, which resulted in a lack of transparency and accountability in the supply chain. 

A product is the result of all the materials it’s composed of and how these are processed and assembled, but if you don’t have control of all steps you will have more questions than answers: 

• What happens when a product non-compliance report arrives?

• Which component of the product is going to involve?

• Do I have to request information from all suppliers? Will they be updated? What tests have been done?

• How can I predict possible delays?

• How can I act on my suppliers?

This made it difficult to take appropriate actions to prevent these issues from happening again in the future.

Traceability and transparency are fundamental to guarantee sustainability, that is a pillar value for us. So we started this collaboration with the traceability of the supply chain module and the purchase of materials in our footwear sector.”

“By collaborating with The ID Factory, the company was able to implement traceability systems in our supply chain which allowed us to monitor the movement of materials and ensure that they were right sourced.

Moreover, the collaboration also focused on improving the purchasing of materials in the footwear sector. This is essential as the materials used to manufacture footwear can have a significant impact on the environment.

The most important KPIs we achieved were:

• The geographical area, where the materials arrive,

• in what condition the goods arrive

• to be in control of the shipments and the time it takes

The greatest benefits achieved were to have 95% visibility of our materials, in particular the upper and lining of the shoes.

Having verified and correct data on our transactions has translated into a reduction in working time and an economic benefit for optimizing the sourcing of materials.

Right now we can accurately evaluate the performance of our Materials Suppliers and partly of our Factories.”

2022 – The hurricane of laws

“It wouldn’t have been new. 

We had already understood that the market was moving towards a more transparent direction towards the final consumer.

We wanted to be protagonists of the change, becoming compliant with AGEC and the new European regulations in order to demonstrate our commitment to responsible and sustainable practices in our industry.

Additionally, being compliant with these regulations allows us to build trust with our customers, who increasingly demand transparency and accountability from the companies they choose to do business with.

So we started 5 pilots with 5 different Digital Product Passports involving the first level of supply chain in Portugal and China.“

The co-evolution mentality

As a partner of PVH Group we attended the PVH Footwear summit event in Amsterdam.

300 people followed the panel discussion from Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein team together with suppliers from Portugal, China and Vietnam. The concept was clear and simple: traceability is essential in order to become a reliable and long-lasting partner.

It is a very strong change of direction, that we are increasingly finding also in other fashion brands which is expressed with a new word: From the supply chain to the Value chain.

The main challenge in making the supply chain transparent includes increasing the relationship with the suppliers and involving them as much as possible in the impact that the finished product will have, starting from the individual materials.

The commitment is to make the supply chain an active partner, to create a strong trust between the brand and its Value chain.

The Digital Product Passport Case Study

The Digital Product Passport technology empowers brands, suppliers, retailers and customers to drive circularity at scale thanks to a smart product labeling linked directly to materials and the supply chain behind.

The collaboration and co-creation between brand and supply chain is strongly supported by new platforms engaging the supply chain though different kinds of smart tags to have primary data.

Through the Digital Product Passport, we will allow Tommy Hilfiger’s customers, by scanning a QR Code set on a pair of shoes, to discover the entire product chain: where the materials come from, where the components are assembled, who are the suppliers who made up the shoe, in all steps: • Finish • Assembly • Stitching • Cutting

It is a revolutionary tool, of a new era of companies and consumers: more awareness, more active in change, and more responsible. 

Engaging the supply chain is the way to go as quoting Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability and Institutional Affairs Officer Kering

 “Around 90 % of fashion’s environmental impact occurs in the supply chain, and while customers cannot see these impacts directly, this is where the real change can happen and where the majority of targets and actions must be directed”

Watch Nicolò’s speech and discover the story of product:

Results and next Steps of our collaboration:

“The implementation of this traceability system and the launch of the Digital Product Passport bring several benefits to us: economic, communication, optimisation of data collection and work efficiency

It is import to know that these opportunities can not only be exploited by large corporations, but also by smaller businesses, especially if we talk about benefits related to certifications and communication.

Even if we are only at the beginning of this technology, we have many goals to archive: 

• Increase the number of products in different states

• Increase work with suppliers

To be transparent, we don’t want to stop at traceability but go to the next step, Social Environmental Compliance.

This will mean working in a more structured way with suppliers on the social environmental compliance side and reaching your supplier (level 2).

Do you want to discover more?


What is Digital Product Passport?

The Digital Product Passport initiative is part of the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) and one of the key actions under the EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP). It is key to the EU’s transition to a circular economy and will provide information about products’ environmental sustainability. It aims to improve traceability and transparency along the entire value chain of a product and to improve the management and sharing of product-related data which are critical to ensuring their sustainable use, prolonged life, and circularity.

We are part of the benchmark analysis, which is the EU analysis focused on finding the main DPP standards that will support the definition of the legislation: The CIRPASS project:

‘’Collaborative Initiative for a Standards-based Digital Product Passport for Stakeholder-Specific Sharing of Product Data for a Circular Economy’’.

Its goal is to assist the Commission in understanding the activities that will be necessary to enable the DPP system. Click here and discover more

The real difference between the various DPPs solutions?

If you want to be compliant with the emerging laws, it’s impossible to talk about Digital Product Passport without a structured traceability system. Many digital product passport solutions are emerging, some more focused on marketing and communication with consumers. Others focus on product authentication against any counterfeiting. The most important thing for the Digital Product Passport to be useful and decisive towards the law and the respect of consumers is that it is integrated with a hub of traceability data, connected directly with all the supply chain.

This is the only way we can talk about real transparency of information.

The potential of this new tool for traceability and transparency in the fashion world is incredible, but the common factor remains in making more informed choices and knowing the impact they have on the world.

The Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP)

It is a key part of the EU legislative programme that will impact several sectors from textiles, construction products, car batteries, customer electronics, food, and packaging.

It is especially for this purpose that the Digital Product Passport (DPP) has been designed as part of the legislative framework to be published in 2024.

Inside the regulation, a twofold purpose is stated:

• Increasing product sustainability levels by extending product life and optimizing the use of materials.

• Improving the transparency of product information to make it available to all stakeholders, especially consumers who will be more educated about purchasing decisions.

 In some countries such as France, labeling the product with processes traceability and sustainability information is already mandatory as part of the French Decree on consumer information about the environmental qualities and characteristics of waste-generating products which was published last year and entered into force this January.

 The Digital Product Passport is a very powerful smart labeling tool that represents a key asset for shifting to a circular economy in the very near future, as the EU has envisioned in the Circular Economy Action Plan.

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