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15 Sustainability efforts announced in September 2019

By Simone Preuss


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Sustainability remains more than just a buzzword with brands, retailers and innovative companies following through and taking responsibility. In September, six brands reported being ahead of their sustainability goals for 2020, 2025 and even 20230 while others announced sustainable collections and exciting cooperations. FashionUnited has put together 15 such efforts that were announced in the month of September alone.

Cooperations & projects

Germany unveils Green Button: What you need to know about the world’s first government sustainable textile label

Photo: BMZ / Agentur Tinkerbelle

"We need a global ethic of responsibility in the supply chain," said Gerd Müller (CSU), Germany’s Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development. In September, he introduced the Green Button, the world's first government sustainability label designed to help improve textile manufacturing. FashionUnited has summed about the most important points.


Fashion for Good launches Good Fashion Fund

Global sustainability initiative Fashion for Good has launched the Good Fashion Fund, a collaboration between the C&A Foundation, Hong Kong-based The Mills Fabrica and Dutch impact investment and advisory firm Fount. Its aim is to spearhead systemic change in the apparel and footwear supply chain by investing in the implementation of innovative technologies in India, Bangladesh and Vietnam. The Good Fashion Fund will be officially announced today at the Hong Kong Fashion Summit by C&A Foundation board director Albert Brenninkmeijer and Fund director Bob Assenberg.


Photo: Fashion for Good

Levi Strauss & Co. pledges grants to future apparel leaders

Levi's announced over 380,000 US dollars in grants to the second class of LS&Co. Collaboratory fellows, with the goal of creating a more sustainable apparel industry. The brand started its fellowship program, LS&Co. Collaboratory, to focus on a different sustainability challenge facing the apparel industry with each class. Its second class of entrepreneurs is centered on climate change. The 11 fellows from all over the world are each working on their own projects that will create a more sustainable future for the industry. The grants from Levi's will fund their projects, which include rescuing and recycling excess fabrics, a data platform that enables end-to-end trading and tracing and a shipment solution to reinvent the way goods are sent and received.


Jeff Bezos announces new climate change pledge

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has announced a new set of projects to help the company tackle climate change. Under a new Climate Pledge announced Thursday, the US giant aims to become net zero carbon across its businesses by 2040, ten years ahead of the Paris Accord’s goal of 2050, and is calling on other companies to do the same.


Swarovski launches sustainability accelerator in partnership with Study Hall

Swarovski has partnered up with nonprofit Study Hall, which organizes the annual summit on sustainable fashion, and the UN Office for Partnerships (UNOP) to launch One X One, a “part fellowship, part accelerator” initiative to foster three partnerships between emerging designers and innovators focusing on sustainable practices in materials, manufacturing and consumption.


Brands & retailers

Rick Owens and Veja team up for sustainable sneakers

Photo: Veja

American fashion designer Rick Owens and French footwear brand Veja have joined forces to launch a sustainable-focused running sneaker. Designed by both studios, the collaboration brings together the innovative technologies from the Veja Running project and Rick Owens’ trademark attitude, with the sneakers available in butter-beige, black and exclusive “dust” grey and retailing for 250 euros.


Diesel partners with Coca-Cola on recycled materials collection

Photo: Diesel

Diesel has joined forces with iconic American beverage company Coca-Cola to create a collaborative clothing line made with recycled materials. Called (Re)Collection, the Diesel x Coca-Cola capsule incorporates recycled PET derived from plastic bottles and recycled cotton into beautifully crafted garments. The collection brings a fresh and modern sensibility to Diesel’s casualwear aesthetic. Paired with the recognition and popularity of Coca-Cola, the project aims to raise awareness on the value of recycling, showing consumers the many uses of discarded plastic.


Guess introduces sustainability initiative with Guess Eco collection

Guess’s Guess Eco collection includes clothing for both men and women and is made up of environmentally conscious manufacturing materials. According to the brand, the Guess Eco collection is a part of the brand’s goal to develop 25 percent of its denim and source 20 percent of its materials according to the Guess Eco by 2021. Though Guess Eco initially started in 2016 in Europe, the collection is now available globally each season, beginning with the Fall 2019 collection.


Timberland pledges to plant 50 million trees by 2025

Photo: Timberland

Timberland has announced a new target to plant 50 million trees around the world by 2025 as part of a sustainability push. The pledge comes as the outdoor apparel and lifestyle brand launches its largest global campaign to date: Nature Needs Heroes. The campaign celebrates 12 ‘eco-heroes’ across the world who are making lasting, positive change for the environment and their communities. Each will don new styles from the brand's autumn 2019 collection, against a backdrop of city greenscapes.


Selected launches first 100 percent sustainable collection

Photo: Selected

Danish brand Selected has launched its first 100 percent sustainable collection for both men and women: Selected Lab. Every component of the collection, including the fabric, lining, cuffs, thread and buttons has been created using sustainable methods, according to Selected. The Bestseller-owned brand has been ramping up its eco-efforts for the past two years and has set itself a goal to make each collection more durable than the last, working with the mantra ‘ASAP’ - as sustainable as possible, as quickly as possible.


American Eagle Outfitters has unveiled new sustainability goals which include a pledge to achieve carbon neutrality in all of its owned and operated facilities (offices, stores, distribution centers) and employee business travel by 2030. The company additionally plans to reduce its carbon emissions 40 percent by 2030 and 60 percent by 2040 in its manufacturing from a 2018 base year.


Companies & education

Waste2Wear presents world’s first collection of ocean plastic fabrics verified with Blockchain

Photo: Waste2Wear

Waste2Wear, the Dutch company that makes fabrics out of recycled plastic bottles, has presented the world’s first collection of recycled ocean plastic fabrics that is fully traceable using blockchain technology at the international textile fair Première Vision that took place from 17th to 19th September in Paris. By implementing blockchain technology, Waste2Wear wants to bring more transparency to the supply chain of recycled textiles.


Arch and Hook unveils marine plastic hanger

Photo: Arch and Hook

Arch and Hook, the world's leading and only sustainable hanger brand, launches Blue, the first-ever hanger made entire of marine plastics, as it looks to continue to offer a 100 percent recycled, fully closed-loop alternative to source plastic for hangers. The new Blue hanger debuted at London Fashion Week and has been made from “plastic soup,” a mixture of plastic and other waste harvested from the four most polluting rivers in the world that cause 90 percent of ocean plastic pollution, according to the World Economic Forum.


Chargeurs fashion technologies unveils Sustainable 50

Chargeurs PCC Fashion Technologies, the world's largest manufacturer of interlinings, has announced a new product line designed to offer brands a new way to ensure interlinings are eco-conscious. The company's new line, Sustainable 50, is its first complete collection of interlinings made with eco-responsible materials. Its materials include BCI cotton, hemp, recycled polyester textiles and recycled plastics. There are 50 products included in the Sustainable 50 collection.


UAL makes sustainability required learning

University of the Arts London (UAL), which includes Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion, has issued a response to what it calls a “climate emergency” by confirming that sustainability will become a “required part of the student learning experience”. In a statement, UAL said that all courses, starting this academic year, would include compulsory modules in sustainable practice, with all students expected to complete. To facilitate the modules, all academic and training staff will be required to undertake a carbon literacy training programme.


Photo: Timberland