10 Sustainable Fashion Brands You Must Know About

10 Sustainable Fashion Brands You Must Know About

The sustainability journey hasn’t any set standards which clothing/fashion brands could follow to make its products sustainable. Its implications and standards would be varied from company to company. Every organization has to transform its main pillars in such a way so that it couldn’t upset its revenue, cost, brand and risk factor. For a successful sustainability penetration into company, you need to match the organizational financial objectives with environmental and social goals. So, if you effectively merge your corporate goals with your sustainable aims then you can offer a low cost ethical product to your consumers. It’s true that sustainability journey has some cost but this can be managed through eco-friendly product corporate strategy. The same practice we can observe in our surroundings. And now, you can have multiple brands which are offering ethical products in competitive rates.

Fashion Brands Journey Towards Sustainability

The famous women brand Skunkfunk’s collections in UK are 50% source by ethical sources. As they are offering technical outerwear and innovative fabric range to its target market, exclusively designed by their artists. As per the company’s statement, their sustainable garments are in accordance with the third party stanndards (Fairtrade, GOTS, Organic Content Standard, OCS 100) and independent certifications. Not only this, they are making revolutionary changes into their cutting pattern which leads the cutting waste up to 0%.

The German outdoor clothing brand Vaude (Mountain Sports, Bike Sports and Packs ’n Bags) has already crossed number of milestones towards sustainability. Now they announced that they will extend its environmental stewardship in the supply chain.  As per the company’s target, they will ensure the 100% transparency of their entire material supplier. And the company’s believe that sustainable business pays off in the long term. Economic, ecological and social aspects must be equally considered. The company already published report for its sustainable accomplishment and future goals.

The world famous brand Adidas has commendable journey towards sustainability. It’s one of those fashion brands who contributed a lot in favor of nature and natural resources. They have categorized the sustainable strategy into two major categories which are “Product” (Water Saving, Innovative Material, and Conserve Energy) and “People” (Empower people, Improve Health and Inspire Action). As per the company, these are the six strategic priorities and challenges where sustainable efforts are necessary. You can check their published detailed report of the sustainable accomplishment of Adidas for the year 2016.

The famous retail giant Target join hands with Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and both shall accelerate sustainable cotton research. Both have recently took number of productive steps towards this goal but still they need to do a lot for this cause. Because, currently twenty three million metric tons cotton is producing around the globe. The conventional production requires 10,000 to 20,000 liters water per kilo gram. Along with that an intensive chemicals and pesticides are consuming on the same which are also really harmful for health as well as environment.  Up till now, only 13% of the total cotton production is growing under a sustainable method. So, the challenge for the environment friendly organizations is really big and tough in this sector too.

Let’s have a quick review of the different famous fashion brands efforts towards sustainability. “Minna”, a wedding wear brand, already labelled itself as Eco Luxe brand. It’s Veils and bridesmaid dresses are normally from recycle, sustainable materials. “Fat Face”, in 20196, they launched 360 plan to contribute a positive impact on the environment. Their 03 pillars (Responsible Sourcing, Environment Protection and Support People and local communities) sustainability business model covers the main environmental and people’s issues in an effective way.  “ASOS”, an Internet giant, is doing tremendous efforts towards ethical clothing. Their ethical trade program, working with suppliers, ethical trade partnerships are proven and positive efforts towards the sustainable brand journey.  “Monsoon”, the brand’s 03 years initiative with Oxfam which supports Indian farmer for organic farming. Along with that, their steps towards recycled packaging, energy savings, supply chain measure and animal welfare are really incredible.

People Tree, a slow fashion pioneer clothing brand is really focusing on transparency. They have listed their suppliers on their site so that their client could know their material source.  As per the company, they are not only passing and share their knowledge with their suppliers but also support them financially. Seasalt, a Queen’s award (2013) towards sustainable development company, Seasalt is continuously increasing their local cloth manufacturing (South West, Guernsey and across the UK) so that their client could experience and enjoy more ethical products.

In the Nutshell:

The Government, civil society, especially the fashion brands should join hands with environment-people to achieve the sustainable development agenda by 2030. Although the ordinary consumer is now quite smart and more curious about product quality and environmental concerns. Even then, the environment issues are still really hazardous and making causes of serious health issues. The above guide only covered few UK fashion brands and some other fashion brands efforts of different countries towards sustainability. Here we can’t ignore the sustainability efforts of European, US and rest part of the world’s fashion brands. As mentioned earlier, together we can make a difference so joint efforts should be focused which would be in favor of environment and people’s health.

How Ethical Consumer Favors Environmental Sustainability

How Ethical Consumer Favors Environmental Sustainability

The history of textile sustainable/ethical products has started in early 1990’s. It was the time when manufacturing entities and ordinary consumers started taking interest in eco-friendly products and environmental sustainability issues. And this was the phase when green movement goals have started under discussion on a mass level.  The key manufacturer commenced producing eco-friendly products like organic cotton, bio-gradable papers and detergents, bamboo fibers, sustainable chemicals and pesticides etc.

Similarly, by the end of every day, the ethical spending trend is also increasing in all over the world. As consumers are more insist on eco-friendly products rather than conventional. As per research study findings by Grand View Research, the global eco fiber market will expected to reach US$ 93.27 till year 2025. And the growth rate would be anticipated around 12% pa.  As per some other research findings, the global eco-fiber demand has already increased from 9570 kilo tones. And it is expected to increase up to 7.25% till current year to year 2025.

Ethical Consumer and Environmental Sustainability Approach in UK:

The trend of buying less but buying better is more dominant in UK market. As per the new ethical consumer markets research study findings 2015, the value of ethical product’s sales increased by 8%. It was the time when inflation scarcely rose 0.5%. As per the other research study by Mintel, the 69% women of segment 25-44 aged group said that they prefer quality over quantity. Not only this, the new study report on millennials says that 70% from the target respondents loves to spend on eco-friendly products.

The UK ethical market spending wroth was £54 billion in year 2016. And it represents the 7% of the total UK conventional product’s sale. Based on the consumer buying behavior and trends, most of the national and international brands started aggressively sourcing eco-friendly products. Despite of increasing trends and demand of sustainable clothing in all over the world. The eco system is not as controlled as it should be and still there is need to do a lot towards sustainable development agenda of 2030.

Although the denim and clothing companies’ efforts towards sustainability are remarkable yet we still need to improve the overlooking areas. Being a consumer, we have the power to drag or change industry giant’s approach towards sustainability. If we well educate ourselves from the supply chain system of the brands which we often use. And our brand loyalty is totally depending upon the brand’s strict policy towards environmental sustainability. Then we can say that we are wise and ethical consumer as well as responsible resident of this beautiful globe.

Ethical Consumer:

As we discussed above, being a consumer, our buying behavior and trend has significant effect on our society. As we already discussed in our other article that how excessive cloth buying created waste clothes and polluted our environment. Similarly, if we buy less but buy conventional clothing (unethical) even then our environment will pay the cost of it. So, the approach regarding buy less but buy better will work here.  And we can say that while buying anything, we need to follow an ethical approach. Being an ethical consumer, we should be really careful about our buying that it doesn’t harm our environmental sustainability, society and other creatures (animals etc.).  So, we can say, we need to do a little research before buying any item so that we could contribute positively for the betterment of our globe.

Being an ethical consumer, we need to spend a little time and research about the origins from where our clothes other daily utensils come from. Although the research work and information digging is getting smooth and easy day by day. Because, most of the companies are already showing its material suppliers published to their sites. Moreover, you can also get a lot of information about company’s approach and its journey towards sustainability in daily journals and news updates. By putting a little effort, we can pay our contribution in our natural environmental sustainability.

If You Love Environment, You’ll Love Transparency

If You Love Environment, You’ll Love Transparency

The sustainable fashion approach introduced in late 1980s and early 1990s by famous companies named Patagonia and ESPRIT. Although the focus of both companies regarding sustainability is different yet the motive was just to save environment. Today, the fashion world is emphasizing on one word which is “transparency”. Each and every big brand is focusing on the same and trying to transform its processes accordingly. As per the recent research, more than 100 big fashion brands which belong to 42 companies are now publishing their supplier’s list. The brand’s commitment towards transparency in last 18 months is really substantial.

Environment Friendly Initiatives:

The revolutionary trend noticed by 40 famous fashion brands in 2016. And out of which, 05 brands publicize their manufacturers list and 02 of them also publicize their fabric, yarn suppliers. Not only this, these 106 brands have already publicized some of their production or processing facilities. Here is a slight overview on the efforts of the giants towards environment sustainability:

Tesco:

The UK’s largest retailer Tesco has already released its complete supplier’s list. Not only this, they are also working really hard to eliminate all the hazardous chemicals from its brand named F&F. They are trying their level best to conform and strictly follow the “Greenpeace” campaign for better environment.

Marks & Spencer:

The UK famous brand and retailer launch a system which enables their products to conform the required sustainability process. And this system will be fully operational till 2019 which permits their clients to identify their sustainable products easily. And till 2025, they have plan to publicize their product sustainability report for their clients and general public.

ASOS:

The British brand ASOS management is focusing on water pollution as well as recycling issue.  As per company’s target, they will reduce carbon, water and waste footprint of ASOS clothing by 2020. For water and recycling issue, they are closely working with their suppliers, organizing ethical programs and establish ethical trade partnerships. Along with that, they are among those signatories (Bestseller, Eileen Fisher and Marks & Spencer) who sign a public pledge which explain a circular strategy for setting sustainability targets for 2020.

Wrangler:

An American fashion brand’s effort towards environment sustainability is tremendous. After saving 03 billion liters water from denim washing, now they will support US farmers through pilot program. As per their announcement in Detroit conference, this program will support the farmers to improve the sustainable growing exercises.

Levi & Strauss:

The Levi’s is making infinite efforts towards sustainability of natural resources. The co.’s recent investment of US$ 350,000 shows the management dedication and commitment towards sustainable apparel industry. They work extensively with their collaborators on different sustainable apparel industry projects. And these projects include, waste-water treatment solution, less water consuming products and expanding the natural indigo dyeing facility.

VF Corporation:

VF Corporation, a global leader in branded lifestyle apparel, footwear and accessories, recently released its Animal Derived Materials (ADM) policy. As per the policy, its brands (Lee, The North Face and Timberland) will no longer use fur, angora or exotic leather in their products. As per Letitia Webster, VF’s Vice President of Global Corporate Sustainability, “VF believes that all animals within the global commercial supply chain should be treated with care and respect,” As per co.’s recent partnership with Humane Society International that outlines which animal materials are prohibited. It also set a formal guideline for the procurement and use of approved materials by the company’s brands and global supply chain partners.

Aldi, Lidle & Others:

The recent research study by “Greenpeace” verified the commitment of German chain stores towards hazardous chemical free environment. As per the report, the big chain stores, Aldi, Lidl, Rewe, Penny, Kaufland, and Tchibo are meeting their targets for treating and removing the potentially hazardous chemicals. And as per “Greenpeace”, there is still lot of work yet to be done for this cause.

C&A:

The global famous retailer C&A already step up into transparency campaign. It has already disclosed the detail of its +2000 manufacturing suppliers which are located in more than 40 countries. This information includes factory’s name (tier1 & tier2 production units), addresses, number of workers and main product category. This new report is now online for its customers and general public. This is an enormous step of fashion giant towards transparency and sustainability cause.

Hugo Boss:

As per ZDHC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals) announcement, April 26, 2017, seven new entries into its program, including premium fashion brand Hugo Boss.  Hugo Boss and the other new six entries, commit to work collaboratively on the development and implementation of ZDHC tools. And these include: a Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL)Chemical Guidance Sheets and Wastewater GuidelinesHugo Boss enters ZDHC as signatory brand contributor. So, as per its membership, the company is forecasting a great control on production/supply chain process for betterment of environment.

Bestseller:

The Danish apparel retailer is also the part of sustainable textile community which publicizes their supplier information to general public. As per company, more than 35% of their cotton comes from more sustainable sources.  And they continuously work to integrate regenerated or responsibly sourced fibers in their products. This August, 2017, they are partnering with UNLEASH to bring together 1,000 global talents to solve the world’s most pressing problems. The hiring of 11 talents which represents Bestseller at UNLEASH, will find out more ways that how Bestseller can play role in global issues.

Filippa K:

Swedish apparel brand Filippa K is teaming up new two year project with Mistra Future Fashion. As per the project, they will research, develop and test new designs for 100% circular fashion garments. This project is leading by Professor Rebecca Earley and Dr Kate Goldsworthy of University of the Arts London. The aim of the initiative is to help consumers become more sustainable about fashion.  “We want to be able to enjoy fashion and update our wardrobes in a conscious way,” said Elin Larsson, sustainability director Filippa K.

Why Sustainable Development of Chemicals is Important

 

Why Sustainable Development of Chemicals is Important

The word “sustainability” has changed the whole pattern of the textile processing. The human priorities and requirements are varying on every new day. There was time when they were just focusing on themselves. They had least concern about the environment issues and its challenges. But today, the scenario has totally changed and both consumer and industry people have more curious about the environmental sustainable development. They are more focusing on this thing that how industry chemicals can affect their lives as well as the environment. And here we can’t ignore the contribution of NGO’s, Government body and the famous industry players behind this positive approach.

The sustainable development has becomes a big question mark for every buyer as well as for consumer. And everyone is emphasizing the importance of the same in different words/terms like Toxicology, Ecology etc. The main motive is just to implement the core rules and regulations of the said system into their daily processing/manufacturing.

Chemicals Sustainable Development: 

Sustainability is a need of the current era and everybody in the industry has already realized this thing. So, all the big giants are already emphasizing on this and ask their vendors (suppliers) to get certificate which conform the sustainability requirements. There are different certification choices/steps available (like BLUESIGN, EU ECO LABEL,OEKO TEX, GOTS ,FAIR TRADE SA 8000 and water foot print , carbon footprint, energy footprint etc.) which conform the requirements of different major markets. Apart from brands and consumers, we cannot overlook the Government’s measures towards environment sustainable developments. The “China GB 18401-2010”, “Japan law 112”, “The consumer product safety Improvement Act”, “The toxic Substances control Act”, “Washington children’s Safe Products Act” and “California Proposition 65” are good examples of this thing.

On the other hand the chemical manufacturers are striving to produce such chemicals which are free from Azo Dyes, Solvents, Chlorinated Pesticides, Phenols, Heavy Metals, APEO/NPEO, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Phthalates, Organotin Compounds, Formaldehyde, Isocyanides etc. As the said carcinogenic ingredients are not only harmful for human health but also damage the ecosystems. The hazardous chemicals have directly cause the human skin (allergy), eyes problems (irritations), inhaling issues, nausea and respiratory issues. And if it doesn’t stop then it can cause some serious health hazards like cancer, fertility issues, mutagenic (changes the genetic material) and disorder of hormones. Moreover, the ocean life is also directly affect by these toxic chemicals and cause other major environmental issues like Deplation of DO, Eurtrophication, bio accumulative and increase of BOD/COD.

Our Responsibility:

The main brands (M&S, Asos, Levi Strauss, Nike, Kering and H&M) are already striving to align their supplies from certified vendors. Each brand has already set their goal for sustainability and bound their vendors to improve their processing/manufacturing facilities accordingly (See our other article on Sustainability in fashion industry). The increasing numbers of GOTS, ZDHC, BLUE SIGN, DTOX, LWG (leather) certified units  witness this thing that all the concern bodies are quite serious and aggressive on this productive cause.

How Denim Companies Moving towards Sustainability

 

How Denim Companies Moving towards Sustainability

Fashion is changing in every moment but fortunately, it couldn’t change the denim jeans wearing culture. As it still remains intact till to date and attract its consumers in the same way. Although the denim clothes pattern/looks changes with the passage of time yet the base material and themes are still identical. Keeping in view the consumer’s constant high demand, the fashion guru’s added different contents like Viscose, Modal and Lyocell etc. in the main fabric to give rich and gorgeous look and hand feel of the denim fabric. These types of fabrics are broadly use by the famous brands of the fashion wears all over the world. As these cellulosic fabrics are the main causes of tress cutting which we already discussed in our previous article Fashion Fabrics and Forests Sustainability.

Denim Companies towards Sustainability:

Due to rapid change in fashion and consumer’s liking and disliking, the denim fabric’s contents modified as per the requirements of consumers and fashion drift. But sooner everyone realize this thing that we are playing with our natural environment by cutting millions of trees due to our fashion craze. After realizing this bitter reality, the key fashion denim players play a positive step towards environment revivals. They join hands with the environment companies like Canopy, ZDHC and Greenpeace etc to sustain a world’s environment.

For this purpose, the main five denim brands have took the initiatives to make their denim and other productions more sustainable and environment friendly. The efforts of these companies to make the world better and greener are much appreciable. The below are five environment friendly champs:

LEVI’S (LEVI STRAUSS & CO.)

The Levi’s make endless efforts towards saving the water into their productions through groundbreaking water-saving techniques. They are working extensively toward their garment washing techniques to use less water for their recent and upcoming productions. The company’s new steps towards employees leaves policy is also a positive step towards this journey.

VELOUR BY NOSTALGI:

In early January, this famous Nordic brand received the Nordic eco-label license after creating jeans that is meeting 99% of the desirable label demands. Their sustainable jeans articles is conforming the environment friendly standards against dangerous chemicals, pollutant, endocrine disruptors or Heavy Metals. Moreover, they establish a healthy working environment for its company’s employees.

WRANGLER:

They are one of those who already followed the environmental friendly steps since 2007. And as per the brand, in December,2017, they claim of saving three billion liters of water for last ten years. It’s a big step towards environment because the people who are in denim industry know this thing that saving water from washing process is really difficult.

PVH CORP

As everyone knows this renowned group which introduced well established brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein. They have already announced and joined the environment friendly organizations to sustain the world from toxin, hazardous chemicals, heavy metals etc.

VF CORP:

VF Corp’s has already launched a pilot program. The said program is helping the US cotton farmers reach the next level in sustainable growing practices.  Moreover, they declared partnership with the Paradigm for Parity coalition in recent December. And the main purpose of this union is to achieve gender equality throughout the company by the year 2030.

How Fashion Fabrics Distract Forest Sustainability

 

How Fashion Fabrics Distract Forest Sustainability

From fashion to environment, everything is changing drastically. The awareness of environment condition updates reaches us not so often. So, every new update from environment friendly people/organizations increases our concerns towards eco-friendly environment dream. We are wasting countless forest tress for our fashion craze. As these trees are being used in the manufacturing of dissolving pulp to produce fabrics like Viscose, Modal and Lyocell. These are the fabrics which are extensively use by the famous brands for the fashion wears. As per the research findings, More than 120 million trees are cut every year for cellulosic fabric. And, the pulp production will be double by 2050.

From last three and half years, the CanopyStyle campaign, which is partnering with fashion brands, fashion designers and their viscose suppliers to keep the world’s endangered forests out of the rayon/viscose clothing. The Canopystyle’s campaign is with a motto that being stylish doesn’t have to cost the earth. The Canopystyle environmental friendly initiatives become the fastest moving environmental step in apparel industry. And now in such a short time period, the 100 famous fashion and apparel brands (H&M, C&A, M&S, Levi’s, Inditex/Zara, ASOS, VF Corp and many more) who have already signed on to the fastest-pace environmental initiative and became the part of this environment friendly cause.

Forest Sustainability:

The Canopy and the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) have decided to work together to keep the global endangered forests out of the US fashion supply chain. As per the president of USFIA, Julia K Huges, “Several of our members are part of the CanopyStyle initiative already. And we look forward to propelling Canopy’s positive impact in the rayon and viscose supply chain even further in the US marketplace.”

Canopy & USFIA Partnership:

The Canopy (not-for-profit environmental organization) has deep expertise in supply chain management. It collaborates with more than 750 companies around the world to develop innovative solutions to make their supply-chains more sustainable. And it helps to protect the world’s remaining ancient and endangered forests. Whereas, the USFIA has more than 200 members who are doing businesses globally and are champions on global trade issues.

So, everyone from the industry is expecting that this alliance will give the opportunity to the importers to make sure this thing that rayon and viscose fabrics from controversial sources will not be the part of their supply chain. Along with that, this alliance will also support to develop and introduce new products methodologies through innovative technologies. And this will ultimately support the fashion and environment to develop such alternatives like straw and recycled clothing which would recover the environment too.

Sustainability in Wearable Technology and E-Textile

Sustainability in Wearable Technology

The technology is becoming more efficient, accurate as well as even personalized now. The hardware devices are smaller, less noticeable and the data collection is more easy and smooth. The wearable technology companies own the user’s physiological data which is normally collected via mobile applications and devices, with an intention to perform any kind of operations on it. And this operation can be like analyze it, interpret it or even they can sell it without user consent. For instance, the personal fitness activities data is normally use to monitor worker’s health for job worthiness.

There are several technology giants and startups which are extensively working to make the next wearable gadget or application for body data tracking. This design will focus to connect multiple sensors and applications on the body for a more integrated view of the data. This is called a body area network of wearable devices which is connected with internet.

Sustainability in Wearable Technology:

In continuity of the above approach, a very huge wearable technology project is going to launch by Europe now. This project is investing EUR 2.4 million on the teams of creative people and development of latest technologists. And they will offer new ideas to the next generation for sustainability in wearable technology and e-textile. There are seven organizations across the Europe along with “Queen Mary University of London” and “University for the Creative Arts” are the part of this project name “Wear Sustain”. And for this, they have already launched the first of its two competition call-outs last month.

The said program is looking for the applications of the teams of engineers, design, art, technology and business experts. Because they can contribute an innovative and practical sustainable solutions for the wearable technology and e-textile. The fund of EUR 2.40 million will spend on the 48 teams of the experts (EUR 50,000/team) through innovation vouchers. And with the input from advisers and experts across the Europe, they will develop prototypes and take ideas from market. These prototypes will comprise of sustainability in wearable technology and e-textile. And all they will exhibit in a final showcase event late in 2018.

Wearable technology Gains:

The main motive of “Wear Sustain” is to develop such creative and technology oriented practices which support sustainable and ethical innovation methodologies for wearable technology and e-textile. And at the end of this project, they will publish online tutorial along with sustainable strategy guidelines. This information will definitely help the entrepreneurs and other industry’s stakeholder to aware the sustainability in wearable technology. Furthermore, it will also encourage them to use the recommended best practices for the future of society.