has never been a passing fashion
This May – the month of the year when nature really starts coming to life again – we want to remind ourselves and everyone else that consideration and respect for people and nature has always been one of the cornerstones of what we do. And that has probably even been the case since before the word 'sustainability' existed in its modern form.
Here at ETERNA, we have been living and breathing sustainability across all levels of our business for decades. CEO Henning Gerbaulet has been steering the Passau-based shirt and blouse specialist for over ten years. In an interview, the ETERNA CEO reveals his approach to sustainability, unveils what is still on the to do list for ETERNA, and tells us whether he lives by the same values in his private life.
All sewn up – Henning Gerbaulet on ETERNA's consistent sustainability strategy.
For over 20 years now, we at ETERNA have succeeded in building trusting, long-term working relationships with consistently certified suppliers, opening up our entire value chain to scrutiny, and successfully passing all the necessary inspections time and time again.
As early as the year 2000, ETERNA was the world's first and only fashion producer to be granted the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 plus certification – the organisation's highest award that corresponds to the MADE in GREEN product label by OEKO-TEX® today.
Such an achievement was a real rarity, especially within the fashion industry. For Henning Gerbaulet, this is proof that ETERNA was not only far ahead of its time (just as it is today!), but also that the fashion producer still has something very special to offer the world. And as we all know, this is something that now fits the times we live in more perfectly than ever before.
In 1981, the idea for the first non-iron shirt made of pure cotton sprang up from an extraordinary thirst for invention. But even at that point in the company's history, it was already obvious that ETERNA was not only concerned with commercial success alone. "A sense of responsibility for the environment, for people and for nature was already at the heart of the company's activities back then," says Henning Gerbaulet. "For example, we took care to reduce the use of harmful chemicals in our textile finishing processes, avoided monoculture farming practices in cotton cultivation, and kept transportation distances as short as possible to save tonnes of emissions each year – all things we continue to do to this day."
Sustainability is a deeply held conviction at ETERNA. In fact, it forms part of the company's DNA. Nevertheless, Henning Gerbaulet knows that sustainability alone is not enough to convince customers to choose the company. In an interview, the CEO explains why he hopes that customers will recognise and appreciate this and to what extent the company's commitment to sustainability is also reflected in its prices.
How ETERNA puts its own convictions into practice every single day.
A small but very real example of sustainability at ETERNA is the strapping machine that prepares packages for shipping. This is yet more evidence of the typical ETERNA inventive spirit at work – this time thanks to the resourcefulness of conscientious employees who asked themselves how the company could save plastic and replace it with something more sustainable. Henning Gerbaulet tells us how over 600 km of plastic strapping is saved in this way each year.
For Henning Gerbaulet, sustainability means far more than "just" protecting the environment.
As well as demanding sustainability from the products and from the company itself, the CEO is deeply convinced that a brand can only be a success when short-termism gives way to long-term thinking. This drives him and the ETERNA team to keep growing in all areas of sustainability.
A few facts about sustainability at ETERNA:
Want to dive even deeper into the sustainable world of ETERNA?
Head to www.eterna-naturally.com to learn all about everything we are doing and developing here at ETERNA.
Because as far as we are concerned, sustainability is more than just a passing fashion.
TOGETHER FOR A BETTER FUTURE
Want to play your part and take on a little responsibility too?
Sustainability and style are an excellent match. We prove it. And we did not just start yesterday.
Which blouse and which shirt should you pick to showcase your talent for sustainable style?