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13 Sustainability efforts of the fashion industry in January 2021

By Simone Preuss


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With biodegradable and other more sustainable denim innovations, products and collections, the fashion industry’s efforts towards more circularity and a cleaner footprint continue in 2021. Young brands, such as Qwstion, the Swiss company making premium bags, forego traditional materials altogether and make the unusual work for them, in this case banana plants. A panel discussion dedicated to cotton set out to debunk common cotton myths. This month, FashionUnited is highlighting 13 sustainable initiatives that were presented in January 2021.

Collaborations & Projects

Closed and Candiani team up for biodegradable stretch denim collection

Photo: Closed

German fashion brand Closed has teamed up with Italian denim mill Candiani for a 100 percent degradable denim collection. The capsule collection, which comprises jeans and jackets for both women and men, is made using organic cotton and biodegradable stretch yarn Coreva, which is developed by Candiani.

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Brands & Retailers

Adidas by Stella McCartney presents first collection developed by artists

Photo: Adidas by Stella McCartney / Anna Pollock

Adidas by Stella McCartney has unveiled the first part of its spring/summer 2021 collection, which is a tribute to our world and the environment and will be released in two parts. The first part, called “Futureplayground,” was developed under the creative direction of artists such as Netti Hurley, Monika Mogi and Anna Pollack as well as activists such as Madonna’s daughter Lourdes Leon.

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Desigual launches first 100 percent sustainable collection

Photo: Desigual

Spanish fashion label Desigual has launched “Love the World,” its first 100 percent sustainably produced collection made from organic, eco-friendly and recycled fibres. The collection starts with an upcycled capsule collection designed in Barcelona that pays homage to denim and the beginnings of the brand. Discarded denim waste was used for the upcycling collection.

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Meet Qwstion, the Swiss brand making premium bags from banana plants

Photo: Qwstion

When it comes to the fashion industry’s issue of sustainability, the problem isn’t just that it’s churning out clothing in unsustainable quantities - it’s also using synthetic fibres like polyester that cause enormous harm to the environment. Fortunately, trailblazing brands around the world are developing new materials to reduce the damage. Swiss brand Qwstion is one of them. The Zurich-based label, founded in 2008, makes premium bags and accessories using Bananatex, its proprietary fabric made from plants of the banana tree.

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H&M’s new kidswear collection transforms plastic waste into fashion

Photo: H&M

H&M has joined forces with Danone Aqua for its latest kidswear collection as part of its Bottle2Fashion project, which transforms plastic bottle waste from the shores of Indonesia into recycled polyester. The H&M kidswear collection will transform around 3.5 million PET bottles into recycled polyester, which will be blended with organic cotton and recycled cotton. The sustainable fibres are then used to create everyday kidswear pieces in fashion-forward colours and silhouettes, such as coordinating hoodies, joggers and long-sleeve tops in blush pink, bright green, yellow and vibrant blues.

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Gucci presents expanded, nature-positive climate strategy

Photo: Gucci

Italian luxury fashion brand Gucci has expanded its climate strategy, which now goes beyond carbon neutrality and takes a “nature-positive approach”. Gucci’s new Natural Climate Solutions Portfolio is committed to protecting and restoring endangered forest and mangrove areas and investing in regenerative agriculture within its supply chain.

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Companies, Events & Awards

Panel discussion: Can common cotton claims be debunked?

Photo: S Aziz123 via Wikimedia Commons

Is cotton as bad as its reputation when it comes to water consumption, pesticide and insecticide dependency and land usage? A recent panel discussion titled “Cotton claims - the good, the bad and the nuanced” as part of the Truth Series by the Transformers Foundation - founded early last year as part of the global Kingpins Transformers trade shows for the denim manufacturing sector - tried to answer that question.

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Circular Fashion
Sustainable Fashion