Realization of a Circular Society

Basic Concept

While the apparel industry performs an important role in people’s lives, the negative impacts on society and the environment of mass production, consumption, and disposal are increasingly severe. We must build circular systems, providing products made with renewable raw materials and products that can be used over the long term.
We are aiming to realize a circular society through zero fashion loss, eliminating waste, including in our business activities, extending product life, and reusing apparel that is no longer needed.

Key Environmental Issues

Until now, we have rigorously managed procurement and production plans and taken other steps to reduce material and product waste in our Group. Our new medium-term management plan includes “Realization of a circular society” as a priority issue. In cooperation with procurement partners, we are promoting in-store collection and reuse of apparel that is no longer needed, and working to reduce loss, aiming to realize a circular society to eliminate simple incineration and landfill disposal throughout the supply chain.
In addition, our EMS Committee, chaired by our President and Representative of Board, manages the actual amounts of products and materials disposed of each month, and promotes waste reduction. Progress is also reported at quarterly meetings of the ESG Management Committee.

Environmental improvement activities: strategies and specific measures

Reducing Waste

Our Group’s volume of industrial waste was 47.9 tons in FY 2022. It was 52.5 tons in FY 2021. In addition to reducing product waste volumes, we are reducing waste by promoting the effective use of deadstock materials. Also, for more detailed management, we have further classified waste emissions into “products and materials” and “other” since FY 2022. Products and materials account for 30% of our total waste, and we are striving to reduce fashion waste. Future issues include further reducing waste volumes accurately grasping waste volumes in the supply chain, and examining ways to reduce waste.

Waste volume (t)

* Since FY 2022, waste emissions have been further classified into “products and materials” and “other.”

Examples of Initiatives Utilizing Leftover Textiles

Commemorative products for the Toyama Marathon
On November 5, the day before the Toyama Marathon 2022, we sold shoulder bags as commemorative products for the marathon at the GOLDWIN booth at the Toyama Marathon EXPO inside the Toyama City General Gymnasium. The bags were made from leftover fabric from the apparel production process. Many runners identified with this initiative, and about 150 bags were sold.

Workshop with Kataller Toyama “How to Make a Shoulder Bag: Using Resources with Care”
On September 24, 2022, we held a workshop called “How to Make a Shoulder Bag: Using Resources with Care.” It was held over two sessions at our GOLDWIN Toyama Office in collaboration with professional soccer team Kataller Toyama. About 40 participants, including Kataller Toyama fans and supporters as well as GOLDWIN employees, made shoulder bags using scraps and surplus fabrics generated in the apparel manufacturing process, and it was an opportunity to think about a circular society.

Reducing Product Waste by Lowering Sales Loss Rate

A major environmental issue in the apparel industry is product waste due to excess supply. With the shift to an actual demand business model from 2000, we commit to order flow management and strictly manage the total amount of procurement. Rapid inventory flow during the sales period has also helped us to reduce the sales loss rate to 1.5% in FY 2022.

Sales loss rate (%)

Conservation of Water Resources

GOLDWIN Group is committed to the conservation of water resources, including reducing water consumption through using water sparingly, wastewater treatment, and proper management of wastewater quality. Our Toyama Office and GOLDWIN Logitem use groundwater, while our other offices use tap water. Water usage in FY 2022 comprised 3,574 m3 of tap water and 159,155 m3 of groundwater. In addition, 14,259 m3 of domestic wastewater was discharged into the sewerage system, and no pollutants were observed.

Water and sewerage usage

Unit FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020 FY 2021 FY 2022
Water supply Tap water m3 5,167 4,920 3,065 2,723 3,574
Groundwater m3 127,041 91,065 232,048 178,496 159,155
Sewerage m3 21,719 17,422 13,989 13,034 14,259

* Usage by our Tokyo Head Office, Toyama Office, and GOLDWIN Logitem.

Reduction of Paper Usage

GOLDWIN Group promotes paperless offices and is committed to reducing the amount of paper used in offices. We are working to use less copy paper such as by shifting to electronic materials and documents, introducing electronic systems for application processes, encouraging double-sided and multi-page printing, and promoting paperless meetings using notebook computers.
In FY 2022, 3,192 kg of copy paper was used at our Toyama Office. Going forward, we will track paper usage at our other business offices and work to further reduce our overall usage.

Amount of copy paper used (Toyama Office) (kg)

Measures for the Careful Use of Resources

Promotion of Recycling

GOLDWIN Group is also promoting initiatives to incorporate clothing into a circular model, for the careful use of our limited resources. We started recycling in collaboration with various partners in 2008, whereby we collect garments that are no longer needed regardless of the brand, quality and condition, and convert them to raw materials for new products.
In FY 2022, 12,592 kg of garments were collected. We placed recycle boxes at 167 stores across Japan (as of March 31, 2023), mainly at directly managed stores, to facilitate the collection of products from our customers. We also collect products at sports events, such as the Toyama Marathon and Kataller Toyama (professional soccer team) home matches, and facilitate recycling activities for a cyclical business in collaboration with our partners (Kawada Feather Co., Ltd., Toray Industries, Inc., Hasetora Spinning Co., Ltd., and JEPLAN, INC.).

Product collection results

Repair Service to Encourage Long-Term Use

THE NORTH FACE provides repairs with a strict policy of “free repairs on items with material or manufacturing defects, and repairs on other cases for a reasonable price.” Repairs are offered for outdoor items from brands such as THE NORTH FACE, and for motorcycle, ski, and athletic apparel. The service also offers free repairs on kid’s items (exclusions apply.)
We have been receiving more repair requests as the extended use of items became more popular due to increased environmental awareness. In FY 2022, we established a permanent repair center on the first floor of the Yebisu Garden Place Center Plaza in Tokyo. In addition, since January 2023, there has been no charge for the repair of Goldwin brand products. The number of requests for repairs has increased from about 3,500 per year in 2004 to 19,966 in FY 2022.
We anticipate that demand for product repairs will continue to increase, and in addition to expanding our repair system and responding to this increase in repairs, we aim to reduce the current four-week turn-around to two weeks by 2025. We will also enhance the service by accepting online requests for repairs, which previously had to be made in-store.

Repair results (cases)

Launch of “GREEN BATON” resale business

It is generally said that children outgrow their clothes in about two years, and according to our survey, approximately 40% of these clothes are discarded as garbage.
GREEN BATON was launched in July 2022 as an initiative to buy clothes that children have outgrown, and then repair or upcycle them before selling them as new products. Resold products are distinguished with a green zipper pull and name, resembling a relay baton, adding value to these unique, one-of-a-kind products.

Before upcycling → After upcycling

Future Issues

In FY 2022, we were able to steadily reduce the amount of waste we generate. The amount of collected secondhand apparel and the number of repair requests are both on the rise, and we also launched our GREEN BATON resale business. A future issue to achieve our FY 2050 target of zero waste in the supply chain is understanding and reducing waste volumes not only at our company but in the supply chain.