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Pentland Brands to “hibernate” its Boxfresh brand

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Pentland Brands, which owns Speedo and Berghaus, has concluded its global strategic review, which it started before the Covid-19 pandemic, and has announced a number of changes, including plans to “hibernate” its Boxfresh brand and make around 350 redundancies at its UK-based head office to allow it to focus on its core brands.

The aim of the changes it explains is to help drive an increased emphasis on sustainability and bigger opportunities for its core brands - Speedo, Berghaus, Endura, Canterbury, Mitre, Ellesse, Kickers and SeaVees.

The hibernation of Boxfresh, the men’s footwear brand, is to reflect what it is calling a “more focused” brand portfolio and reduced licensed footwear business, as well as its plans to resize its support functions.

Andy Long, chief executive of Pentland Brands said in a statement: “While our strategic review started before the Covid-19 pandemic, we know the crisis will have a major impact on our business for, at least, the next 12-18 months. As a result, we’ve looked more deeply at the needs of the business and the fundamental and sustained changes that are required to thrive in the long-term.”

Pentland Brands announces UK-based redundancies as part of global strategic review

Pentland Brands has shared this news with its employees, and is now in consultation with its teams, and expects there to be around 350 redundancies from its UK head office.

Long added: “We know this is going to be a difficult time for our teams, and we’ll be incredibly sad to see some really talented people leave our business over the next few months, but our focus right now is on supporting those people impacted.”

In addition, Pentland Brands has stated that it will invest in its technology and digital platforms, including further expansion of its retail customer website, pentlandconnect.com, which enables retailers to check stock in real-time and place brand orders directly 24/7.

Pentland Brands to embrace circularity to build a “sustainable future”

The fashion group has also announced that it is to start to embrace circularity across its brands and products as it looks to find “small ways to reduce waste” within its supply chain, while continually using the resources it already has to reduce its impact on the environment.

As part of its plans to make a bigger impact by embedding circular processes into the heart of its operations, Pentland Brands has shared some of the success stories from last year to review its surplus materials and products, and how they could be put to good use to prevent waste.

These include working with charity, In Kind Direct to help channel its surplus stock to good causes. In 2019, the fashion group donated a total of 116,000 pounds in estimated retail value of products to 522 charities. While SeaVees trialled a recycling programme, allowing customers to return their old trainers to its Santa Barbara store in return for a discount on a brand new pair, this initiative is now a permanent feature, Berghaus has started to offer a lifetime guarantee on all of its items at no additional cost, and they relaunched ‘Uglies’ a range of clothing made by Canterbury using surplus materials from other areas of production, in 2019, the brand used 12,000 metres of excess fabric to create 11,500 T-shirts.

Sara Brennan, head of corporate responsibility at Pentland Brands, said: “In an industry that creates a lot of waste, we need to think about circularity and its principles. By designing for circularity in the first place, we can design out waste and pollution.

"We have a role to play in creating positive business models that keep our apparel and footwear in use for longer. This can involve looking at renewable materials, making durable, repairable and reusable products and considering the end-use. We are rethinking how our products are made and used.”

To move its sustainability goals forward, Pentland Brands has also pledged to reduce its carbon footprint by 25 percent and send zero waste to landfill by 2025 by focusing on improving the sustainability, durability and efficiency of its materials and by collaborating with others to give its products a second life.

Pentland Brands Limited owns sports, outdoor and lifestyle brands Speedo, Berghaus, Canterbury of New Zealand, Endura, Ellesse, SeaVees, Red or Dead and Mitre. It’s also the UK licensee for Kickers and has a joint venture partnership for Lacoste footwear. Its products are available in over 190 countries and are sold either directly by Group companies or are represented by licensees and distributors.

Image: Boxfresh Facebook

Pentland Brands
Sustainable Fashion