Designing BVB merchandise with future generations in mind

"Being mindful of our grandchildren isn't so easy. We still have a lot to do." Ingo Klein is too young to have grandchildren – obviously. He works in merchandising, where he is responsible for purchasing and, by extension, for environmental aspects in BVB's supply chain. "It goes without saying that we comply with the legal rules and requirements. We're far ahead of the curve when it comes to the safety of our products. We test, test, test – every production batch in the product range. And all of our vendors pledge to protect the environment and treat people fairly in accordance with a recognised standard."

But more is always possible when it comes to the environment. We all know how it goes: When it comes to fashion especially, everyone always wants to be seen sporting the latest look, only to throw away the clothes after wearing them just a few times. "BVB's fan merchandise is different in that respect. It's worn constantly." And it lasts, because it's high quality. Obviously, lots of it is also collected. But thrown out? "That's not so much the problem. The items are often handed down when the kids grow out of them." BVB's fan merchandise often has a long, storied life – for the most part.

"We're nevertheless giving a lot of thought to material cycles. Even after a long life, the material still has value, if we think about its composition and how to break it down beforehand. We'd prefer to not fiddle about with separate stand-alone solutions. We're in the process of reviewing our product range and working hard on feasible solutions to expand the range. It won't happen quickly, and it won't happen without our partners delivering on their end of the bargain, but we're confident it's worth it." In the end, we'll develop new solutions that conserve instead of consume resources.

"By upcycling products, we're already giving unwanted inventory new life. This helps us avoid waste and produce something useful here in Germany." But that's not all. "We're currently working on a scarf project that is teaching us a lot about our responsibility in the supply chain. Energy, water, processing steps over several stages and recycled materials – you'd think that a scarf is relatively simple. We have many new avenues yet to explore..."