Stephan Elsner, Direttore Generale bonprix Italia

bonprix Italia, part of the Otto Group of Hamburg, is a company specialising in the distance selling of women’s, men’s and children’s clothes and home textiles. It is based in Valdengo (BI), in the heart of world’s textile excellence. It is a market leader in its sector and is one of the few companies to have a true multi-channel offer: the historic sales catalogue for distance and online selling has a constantly growing share.
In order to comply in record times with the environmental standards imposed in December 2019 by the European Commission’s ‘European Green Deal’, bonprix has collaborated with the specialist consulting company, Bearing Point, to develop a solution aimed at measuring the company’s carbon footprint in the environment.
The process will stimulate the production of simulation and optimisation scenarios for implementing plans to reduce emissions and to gradually achieve neutrality, with an approach based entirely on the transparency of the data collected. The goal is to make 70% of its products sustainable by 2025 and 100% sustainable by 2030.

We asked Stephen Elsner, General Manager of bonprix Italia about these deadlines?
“We want to be sustainable not only in what we sell, but also in how we sell it. The European Union requires us to become neutral by 2050, but for us at bonprix this is a more urgent objective, one on which we had already decided to invest time and resources. Therefore, I am proud to announce that we will soon be launching the pilot project in Italy.”

What are the key words guiding this project?
“Style, innovation, ethics: these words have always guided the work of bonprix and the Otto Group towards a sustainable future and sustainable commerce.”

Where are you today in your path towards sustainability?
“75% of the bonprix shoe range and 95% of the bonprix bags have been certified as vegan, i.e. labelled PETA-Approved-Vegan by PETA, the largest animal rights organisation in the world with over 6.5 million supporters worldwide.
For a number of years now, bonprix has been using plant-based materials such as Lyocell, Tencel or Modal in its products. And for some time, bonprix has also been creating sustainable collections, with garments made from organic cotton, PET bottles, recycled polyester, Lenzing and Ecovero, currently the most environmentally friendly viscose fibre on the market. Recycled materials are also often used to make accessories and other components: buttons and zips contain recycled polyester, which helps save water, energy and chemicals during production. In addition, in 2021, 160 items for babies were added to the range of green label products.”

What is your real roadmap?
“The achievement of sustainability targets will be gradual: in particular, by 2025 bonprix products will be made from 70% sustainable fibers and sold with 100% environmentally friendly packaging, which already consists of 100% FSC® certified cardboard or 80% recycled plastic from consumer waste. After four successful sustainable collections in 2019 and 2020, bonprix will permanently introduce low-impact products in all assortments and expand the range on an ongoing basis. Overall, sustainable fibers now account for 50% of the total, which will rise to 60% next year. In addition, from the end of summer 2021, customers will be able to experience the first recyclable fashion items with Cradle to Cradle Certified™ denim, i.e. certified for circular economy cycles.
Already by 2025, we intend to reduce CO2 emissions by a further 40% to achieve total neutrality by 2030.
Among the adopted technologies we are proud of is the dyeing technology (DyeCoo) developed by CleanDye, which does not require water or process chemicals. In fact, the dye is introduced into the fabric by liquid CO2, 95% of which is reused in the cycle.”

One of the most hotly debated issues is the sustainability of the entire supply chain.
“Bonprix is committed to making its entire supply chain transparent by 2030. Suppliers are one of the most important elements in the journey towards circularity and transparency. To do this, we want to invest in free training on themes related to anti-waste and eco-friendly best practices to benefit some key links in our supply chain, with the aim of training a total of 50,000 people by 2030, which will also benefit other companies in the sector.”