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In light of increasing consumer and media attention on the fashion industry and waste, we have created an overview below of our current set-up regarding damaged products, claims & excess products, and our position on circular economy for easy access. The overview is based on information readily available on our website.

Damaged products

- In BESTSELLER, we dispose of damaged products (mostly due to water and mould damages occurring during transportation) that cannot be sold or reused in any other way due to consumer safety considerations.

- Damaged products are disposed in the most economically and environmentally suitable way: down-cycling by converting damaged products to energy through combustion. Seeking to wash the mould out of damaged products would require additional resources (water, chemicals, transportation, handling) and even then, traces of mould might still remain.

- The number of damaged products being converted into energy constitutes approximately 0.1 per mille of the total number of products being shipped to our central warehouse. It is the equivalent of a supermarket discarding one in 10,000 tomatoes that has gone bad.

Claims and excess products from stores

- BESTSELLER has no financial or environmental interest in destroying undamaged products. We always strive to optimise our buying process to have the right products, at the right time and at the right price in the stores.

- In BESTSELLER, handling excess products and claims is the responsibility of the individual stores. The majority of the stores’ excess products are sold at reduced prices. Some stores’ claims are redistributed to the recycling company I:CO that either redistributes the products for reuse or recycles the fibres for insulation in other industries or as playground surfaces. Other stores return the claims and possible excess products to our central warehouse that resells the items to other markets and others donate the products to the Danish Red Cross.

- Currently, some stores do not have a defined process for reuse and recycling of products. It is an area that we are exploring further in relation to our increased focus on circular economy.

Circular economy and the fashion industry

- It is important to distinguish between damaged products that can’t be sold due to consumer safety considerations and post-consumer products (products that have been sold and used by the consumer). Damaged products make up an infinitely small percentage of the goods we produce. The real waste challenge is what happens to products after consumers are done using them.

- In BESTSELLER, we promote the message to our consumers that used textiles are a valuable resource and not waste. In 2017, we started a collaboration with the Danish Red Cross on the ‘Smid Tøjet’ (‘Drop Your Clothes’) campaign that aimed at collecting as much used clothes as possible for either resale or, if in poor condition, recycling. Throughout the year, we also donate clothes for various other charity purposes, and resell second hand clothes.

- Post-consumer waste is a systemic challenge that one brand can’t solve on its own. BESTSELLER is working with the Ellen McArthur Foundation and the Global Fashion Agenda to discuss and promote circular economy infrastructure challenges and solutions.

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