PVH's approach to ethical fashion pays off with US award

Fashion giant PVH Corp. has been recognized for its responsible business conduct by the US Secretary of State.

The company, which owns Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Speedo1 among others, has been named as the recipient of the department's Sustainable Operations award -- one of two 2018 Awards for Corporate Excellence (ACE). The accolade is in tribute to the company's commitment to people, the environment and the communities it operates in -- specifically, a clothing manufacturing industrial park in Hawassa, Ethiopia, where the brand is a lead investor, and has been focusing on implementing international standards in building, fire and worker safety, environmental sustainability and human rights since 2014. The park operates a ‘Zero Liquid Discharge' (ZLD) effluent treatment facility that recycles over 90% of the wastewater it produces, helping to preserve the nearby Lake Hawassa, which is the community's main water supply.

"The ultimate goal for PVH's model industrial park is to provide a better future not only for the workers and their families, but also to inspire responsible industrialization across Ethiopia for the betterment of its entire population and the creation of a new market for U.S. goods," read a statement from the State Department.

"We have focused on protecting the local environment, using sustainable energy and ensuring sufficient supplies of clean water," said Emanuel Chirico, Chairman and CEO, PVH Corp. of the project, which is expected to result in the collective creation of 60,000 jobs within the next few years. "Creating a safe and inclusive workplace is also a priority, which provides real opportunities for the residents of the surrounding area. We are honored to receive this award and are proud of the operation we have established there."

PVH has been focusing hard on sustainability this year, signing up to three different initiatives over the summer in a bid to reduce the waste generated by its brands. The move saw the group join the Global Fashion Agenda (GFA), a non-profit initiative that aims to boost sustainability levels within the fashion business, team up with Fashion For Good (FFG), an organization that supports startups in becoming more sustainable, and become a core partner and member of the Advisory Board of The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which works with businesses, government and academia to accelerate and promote a transition into a circular economy.
 

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