Labels and standards that certify the resource-efficient use of materials, improved chemical management, low water consumption or reduced CO2 emissions, etc.
As a prominent fashion and lifestyle brand, we want to continuously impress our customers. As their host, we want to inspire and delight them every day. To achieve this, we regularly search for new approaches and opportunities that we can take on together, with courage and determination. Through this, we have become a responsible and innovative company and partner for our customers and our employees.
For over one hundred years, we have taken seriously our relationship to society and our responsibility to the environment; we are aware of the impact of our actions beyond our company’s walls. We continuously address social and ecological issues and factor them into our decisions, and are guided by the traditional values of the family business: trust, respect, tolerance, openness, responsibility, performance and recognition.
Because of the strong values that are deeply rooted in the company, we feel it is our duty to contribute to a sustainable textile and consumer goods industry. To succeed at this, we have defined four fields of activity that represent our vision for a sustainability strategy.
An open dialog and exchange with our customers, employees, suppliers and partners is very important to us. For this reason, we would like to provide the details of our sustainability strategy and communicate what we are doing in each of our fields of activity, as well as what we want to achieve. Through consistent communication, we are regularly informed about what is important to our stakeholders and can plan how to adapt our strategy. It is therefore important for us to be transparent in reporting the results we achieve.
We offer our customers a wide range of high-quality products sourced from all over the world and made from a variety of materials. We are aware that many of these materials are not only highly sought-after but also in some cases controversial and the subject of critical debate. We recognize this as a challenge and use it as an opportunity to clearly acknowledge our responsibility. Together with our supply chain partners, we work hard to reduce the negative environment and social impacts of our products and our productions processes. We strive to always offer our customers more sustainable options, provided it is possible with the same quality and economic viability.
We are committed to promoting sustainable materials even more extensively throughout our products. Cotton is one of the most important textiles in our product offering. However, due to the high volume of fresh water and land space required, and the large quantities of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers used, conventionally grown cotton is problematic for the environment, for the people involved in production, and for the neighboring communities. Therefore, moving forward, all products from our range of private labels will be made from 100 percent sustainable cotton. In addition, the humane treatment of animals is a matter close to our hearts. For this reason, we have openly published our own animal welfare policy. In addition to the exclusion of real fur, angora wool and exotic leather, we have adopted several goals in this respect. Our Animal Welfare Policy applies to our own brands as well as to all external brands in our product offering. To ensure our entire product offering is more sustainable, Breuninger will begin applying sustainability seals for all external brands. It is our goal that the majority of the products in our range meet at least one sustainability seal over the next few years.
Our goals and achievements
Since 2020: Breuninger has excluded products made of angora wool, exotic leather and real fur from its entire range.
Since 2021: Breuninger is a member of the Fur Free Retailer program.
In 2021: We published our first animal welfare policy.
Ongoing: Breuninger is increasingly focusing on the use of sustainable cotton in the Breuninger brands and is consistently expanding the proportion of this.
Ongoing: More and more products in our range will meet at least one of the criteria for our sustainability certifications.
The people who work at and with Breuninger are the foundation of our success. Customer satisfaction is our main priority, and we work hard every day to maintain and improve our first-class service. This wouldn’t be possible without the passion and professionalism of our entire staff. For this reason, we strive to create the best possible work environment, where our employees feel welcome, can develop their talents and be recognized for their contributions. This also applies to those who work within our supply chain; we are committed to fair working conditions and health and safety provisions also among our business partners and suppliers.
Our goal is to establish a long-term and transparent relationship with all the people who work with and for Breuninger, including employees, suppliers, service providers and partners. This requires not only a trustworthy relationship, but also compliance with a set of requirements. These are outlined by Breuninger within its purchasing guidelines and its Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct defines the main principles for suppliers and business partners, in order to ensure that all products are manufactured in an ethical, socially acceptable and environmentally conscious manner. In future, this will also apply to all direct business partners and suppliers of products from Breuninger’s own brands and will become an integral part of supplier contracts.
Our goals and achievements
Since 2021: We have a Code of Conduct and make it a binding part of all supplier contracts of the Breuninger brands.
Ongoing: Training and development have always been major components of our DNA. Our dedicated talent management programs help to promote the individual strengths of our employees.
In order to provide our customers with the product selection and shopping experience they desire—both in store and online—we require resources. The main factors include our energy consumption, the waste we produce, and the emissions we generate through our buildings, logistic centers and transport. We take climate protection seriously and are constantly working to reduce any harmful impact and thus contribute to a healthy environment.
We are continuously looking for new ways to reduce our CO2 emissions in the mid- and long-term and to conserve natural resources. When it comes to reducing CO2 emissions, our main focus is on the areas where we can exert the greatest influence: our transport logistics and our facilities. We have set ourselves the goal of making online orders and internal transportation carbon neutral over the next few years. To save resources and reduce waste, we also want to increase the use of natural, recycled and/or recyclable materials in our procurement process. We have made it our mission to always choose the most sustainable alternative—the easiest solution is not always the most sustainable. Consequently, we switched to a new, climate-neutral bubble wrap in December 2021. This bubble wrap is made of up to 70 percent recycled household waste and is itself fully recyclable. We are also working on new sustainable solutions for the repackaging of products, in order to save resources across the board.
Our goals and achievements
Since 2021: We have been using sustainable recycled and recyclable packing materials to protect fragile package contents during transit.
By 2022: All deliveries for orders placed online will be carbon neutral.
By 2025: All internal transportation and deliveries will be carbon-neutral.
By 2025: All of facilities that we control will be carbon-neutral.
By 2025: We will have eliminated plastic as far as possible—single-use plastic will be avoided and outer packaging will be 100 percent plastic-free.
Ongoing: We will avoid the use of printed materials in all order and delivery processes.
We see ourselves as part of the community—at all our locations. We want to be a reliable partner for our immediate neighborhood, a partner that strengthens society through social commitment and actively contributes to a livable city with a high quality of life.
Our commitment to sustainability also extends to the region and its residents. At many of our locations, we are in close contact with local community organizations, support numerous projects and actively connect our employees with those projects. With targeted actions, we want to contribute to an infrastructure that promotes sustainability and supports projects and people in the region—and through our own facilities and procurement processes, we can exert the most influence. For example, we are planning the installation of charging stations for cars and e-bikes in our parking garages. In addition, we are working to promote local farms with the increased use of seasonal and regional products in our restaurants.
Our goals and achievements
Ongoing: We will increasingly rely on regional and seasonal products in our gastronomy.
Ongoing: We will continue to work with several community organizations and strengthen social connections at our locations through civic engagement.
Products that contribute to a sustainable textile and consumer goods industry are labelled as sustainable in our online shop. The requirement for labelling a product is certification by one of the certification standards recognised by Breuninger.
→ Click here for labels overview
The standards and certifications accepted by Breuninger as well as the partner-specific sustainability labels of the brands fulfil one or more of the following sustainability criteria:
Breuninger accepts responsibility for ensuring animal welfare and protecting biodiversity in the procurement and production of its product range. The fundamental cornerstone of our efforts is our Animal Welfare Policy, which we are continuously refining.
Fashionable, sustainable, ecological and fair: more and more brands have taken up the cause of sustainability in very different ways.
In the article below, we present brands that are setting standards for sustainability by using innovative materials, environmentally-friendly processes and resource-saving production methods.
Whether clothing, sport, beauty or shoes—discover our selection of sustainable brands that are committed to a greener future.
The corporate philosophy was developed with the participation of our employees. It describes our identity, our values, our perceptions on how we interact with each other and how we demonstrate our appreciation for our customers and partners.
Our Code of Conduct defines general, non-negotiable minimum standards relating to social, ecological and ethical issues. The commitment to these minimum standards is taken on voluntarily by E. Breuninger GmbH & Co and all its affiliated companies and forms the foundation for the responsible actions of the Breuninger company as a whole.
The aim of this Breuninger Responsible Sourcing Policy (RSP) is to define the principles and requirements, that Breuninger would like to see implemented in its value chains. It applies to all direct business partners and their suppliers. Breuninger expects its partners to systematically analyse the risks of its own business area and to reduce their negative effects and the reduction of their negative effects.
We are committed to the inviolability and inalienability of human rights. This commitment is expressed in our actions and is a core element of the values deeply rooted in the company. With regard to social sustainability, it is our goal to ensure compliance with human rights, social standards and labor rights, as well as the payment of fair wages.
Ensuring the welfare of animals and preserving biodiversity are key priorities in the procurement of textile and non-textile goods of animal origin. Our Animal Welfare Policy defines the mandatory principles and standards required of us and our suppliers.
We only want the best for our customers, so your questions and suggestions are important to us!
A large number of questions pile up very regularly. To help you find information quickly and conveniently, we have already compiled some information for you in the FAQs below.
If any of your questions remain unanswered or are not listed in the FAQs, you are welcome to contact us personally.
E. Breuninger GmbH & Co.
Tel.: 0711/211 21 00
Do you have a question about your order? Then please contact our customer service:
Tel.: 0711/211 20 00
Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions.
Does Breuninger carry sustainable brands?
Breuninger regularly acknowledges social and ecological issues and considers them when deciding on which brands and products to carry. At Breuninger, sustainable products are labelled at the item level, not at a brand level. Whilst this approach requires more work, it allows us to ensure transparency when communicating our strict product requirements.
What criteria does Breuninger use to label products as sustainable?
We are committed to transparency and trustworthiness. Products are identified as sustainable when they either receive certification from a recognized organization independent of Breuninger or when they use their own in-house sustainability label that meets Breuninger’s strict criteria for sustainability.
How can I identify sustainable products at Breuninger?
Both in our online shop and on our sales floors in-store, you can identify sustainable products by their labelling. In the online shop, these products are marked with a sustainability flag in the top left corner of the product image. In our stores, clothing racks and product displays will indicate the sustainability of a product. Our trained sales staff will also be happy to advise you.
Is a product with a sustainability label really sustainable?
Products labelled as sustainable by Breuninger comply with at least one of the criteria or certifications we use to classify an item as sustainable. Some labels only recognize one part of the production or supply chain. Nevertheless, in our opinion, these certified products stand out for their efforts to be more sustainable.
What does Breuninger’s social commitment look like?
Breuninger sees itself as part of the local community at all of its locations. We want to be a reliable partner for our immediate surroundings—a partner that strengthens society through social commitment. As a corporate citizen, we support various community foundations at many of our locations with our expertise, communication, personnel resources and also through financial support. We also support many social and cultural organizations.
Does Breuninger publish a sustainability report?
Currently, Breuninger is not yet subject to any obligation to report on non-financial topics. From April 2024, we will publish our report on the fulfillment of human rights due diligence obligations in accordance with the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz) here annually.
We will take into account the changing legal requirements for sustainability reporting (including the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) or the European Supply Chain Act) and publish the required reports accordingly.
Is Breuninger committed to animal welfare?
Yes, we care deeply about animal welfare and conservation. We are conscious of the responsibility that we share within the fashion industry to ensure animal welfare and to protect biodiversity in the supply chain when procuring animal derived materials. As well as participating in the international “Fur-Free Retailer” program, we ensure the humane treatment of animals through our Animal Welfare Policy. With this policy, we exclude the use of highly critical animal-derived materials, promote the use of alternative materials, where possible, and ensure that minimum welfare standards are met for all other non-textile materials of animal origin. For example, we reject materials obtained through live plucking – as well as the use of angora wool, fur or exotic leather. Breuninger has also set itself strict goals to reduce the use of animal-derived materials that are sourced from sheep under the practice of mulesing.
Why is Breuninger a member of the Fur Free Retailer programme and what does it stand for?
By joining the Fur Free Retailer program, we hope to encourage more responsible and sustainable consumer behavior. Breuninger therefore advocates an end to the breeding and killing of animals for fur. The Fur Free Retailer program is an initiative of the Fur Free Alliance (FFA), which helps customers find fashion items that are guaranteed to be free of fur.
Does Breuninger have a Code of Conduct?
To minimize ecological and social risks in our supply chain, we have created a Code of Conduct for our business relationships. By establishing this Code of Conduct, Breuninger sets general, non-negotiable minimum standards that serve as the basis for all future suppliers. The Code of Conduct applies to social, ecological and ethical aspects of the supply chain and is based on national laws and regulations as well as international conventions. Our contractual partners are obligated to fulfil the requirements of the Code of Conduct and to make every effort to oblige their subcontractors to do the same.
Is Breuninger a responsible employer?
We are proud to have created a work environment where our employees feel at ease, have opportunities for professional development and are treated with respect. As an employer, Breuninger attaches great importance to equal treatment and employee recognition. Accordingly, opportunities for training and development are an important part of our DNA. Our dedicated Talent Management Programs promote the individual strengths of our workforce.
In what way does Breuninger take responsibility for its supply chains?
Our core business is the distribution of retail goods, especially textiles and leather goods. We are aware that this industry is characterised by its strong international integration and a global division of labour, and that it is fraught with human rights risks, especially in the first stages of the value chain. We take responsibility for our supply chains and meet the challenges with continuous risk screening, preventive measures as well as transparent and anonymous complaint options. You can find detailed information in our policy statement on respect for human rights.