In February, sustainability seemed high on the agenda of fashion brands and retailers, with some like H&M, Mango and John Lewis announcing not one but multiple initiatives. Resale is also booming, with second hand initiatives, resale platforms and clothing swaps making inroads. This month, FashionUnited is highlighting 33 sustainable initiatives that were presented in February 2021.
Collaborations & Projects
Photo: courtesy of Vanish by Marco Mori
Garment care brand Vanish has unveiled a Rewear Edit high-fashion shoot in partnership with the British Fashion Council as part of London Fashion Week made entirely from discarded clothing to raise awareness of the 3.5 tonnes of clothing thrown away every five minutes in the UK.
Dutch denim brand Kings of Indigo has teamed up with Italian denim mill Candiani to launch a new sustainable capsule collection. The collection is made using Coreva, Candiani’s patented biodegradable and compostable stretch denim, which for the first time is available in three colourways - blue, black and ecru.
Photo: Global Fashion Agenda
Over 30 fashion brands and manufacturers have joined a new initiative to collaborate on cutting down textile waste and reusing materials to create new products in Bangladesh’s garments factories. The Circular Fashion Partnership announced this week that it is bringing brands such as H&M, OVS, Marks & Spencer, Berska, Pull & Bear, C&A, Kmart Australia, and Bangladeshi recycling firms and garment manufacturers on board the movement.
Parley for the Oceans is partnering with Dutch textile innovation studio Byborre to launch a range of innovative textiles and wearable products set to be released to retailers and consumers in autumn 2021. The two organisations explain that they have “pushed the boundaries of material innovation to create textiles” by combining Parley’s Ocean Plastic yarns made from up-cycled marine debris with Byborre’s bespoke textile production to create an eco-friendly fabric “for the next generation”.
Brands & Retailers
H&M Group-owned brand Weekday has launched a limited-edition pair of its popular Rowe Jeans made of 100 percent post-consumer waste. Weekday teamed up with Infinited Fiber Company (IFC) to create the jeans made from a material comprising 50 percent organic cotton and 50 percent Infinna, which comes from 100 percent reborn textile waste.
- Mango’s new denim collection will save 30 million liters of water
- Marks & Spencer sets out new denim sustainability standards
Sustainable footwear and apparel brand Allbirds has added a new 100 percent natural plant-based leather alternative to its line-up of open-source eco-materials. The San Francisco-based company said that it has invested 2 million dollars in material innovation firm Natural Fiber Welding and its Mirum technology to create the new product, aptly named ‘Plant Leather’. The material, which is made with vegetable oil, natural rubber and other “bio-ingredients”, has 40 times less carbon impact than leather and 17 times less carbon than synthetic leather made from plastic, according to Allbirds.
Fashion and lifestyle brand Hush is teaming up with social venture Thrift+ to introduce a new recycle and reuse initiative to encourage its customers to donate fashion and accessories which they no longer wear. The secondhand clothing take-back initiative is open to all Hush customers in the UK and is part of the brand’s sustainability commitment to promoting the circular fashion movement.
- Singapore swapping initiatives offer alternative to fast fashion
- Zalando expands resale platform Zircle to new markets
- Resale platform Reflaunt raises 2.7 million dollars in new funding
- Rebag debuts image-recognition technology for luxury resale
French heritage fashion brand Lacoste is launching a sustainable and eco-friendly twist to its bestseller polo, with the introduction of the Loop Polo made using recycled cotton from surplus Lacoste polos. The eco-friendly unisex Loop Polo is composed of 30 percent recycled cotton spun together with 70 percent virgin cotton, made using a “closed-loop” process, which means no two polos are identical.
- Natural History Museum launches childrenswear with John Lewis
- 8 by Yoox launches sustainable capsule collection
- U.S Polo Association launches new sustainability initiative
Photo: John Lewis
John Lewis is to fund a sustainable cashmere programme in Inner Mongolia run by non-profit international organisation the Sustainable Fibre Alliance (SFA). The three year programme will support the expansion of the SFA’s new Cashmere Standard from Mongolia to the Inner Mongolia region of China. The SFA has developed a global standard for cashmere to promote best practice in land management, animal welfare, fibre processing and supply chain transparency in an effort to ensure the long-term viability of the cashmere sector.
H&M has issued a 500 million euro sustainability-linked bond which the Swedish fashion giant said will encourage it to meet its previously announced 2025 sustainability targets. Unlike green bonds, where funds are linked to specific projects, sustainability-linked bonds - which are relatively new additions to the bond market - are coupled to companies meeting several defined sustainability targets.
- H&M launches new sustainability concept, Innovation Stories
- H&M launches ‘more sustainable’ delivery option in the Netherlands
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- 42 percent of companies exaggerate sustainability claims, says new report
Instead of poly bags, Stockholm-based brand Asket now uses cards and cardboard boxes made from 100 percent recycled paper. This reduces the amount of packaging material per order by 22 percent and cuts packaging-related CO2 emissions by 47 percent. Packaging costs also fell by 45 percent. So it’s a win-win situation from an economic and ecological point of view. And not to forget, the new packaging looks much more elegant too.
- VF Corp aims to eliminate single-use plastic packaging by 2025
- Mango launches new store concept with sustainably in mind
Renoon, a platform that helps customers discover sustainable and ethical fashion companies, has launched a new website and app today. The Amsterdam-based fashion-tech company lets shoppers search for sustainable fashion using a range of parameters, such as materials used, carbon-neutral, vegan, blockchain traced, second-hand, and rental as well as learn more about brands’ sustainability credentials.
- Depop announces new sustainability vision for the future
- Fashion blockchain start-up Retraced raises 1 million euros in seed funding
Companies, Events & Awards
The Lenzing Group is expanding its sustainable offering for the denim industry with a Tencel branded modal fibre with indigo technology using a one-step spun-dyeing process to deliver indigo colour whilst using fewer resources. The new fibre has been described as “pioneering” as the technology used delivers superior colour fastness relative to conventional indigo dyeing whilst using substantially fewer resources. Due to meeting high environmental standards the fibre has been awarded the EU Ecolabel Standard for textile products.
Zalando has announced that Swedish label House of Dagmar has won its inaugural sustainability award during Copenhagen Fashion Week. House of Dagmar impressed the jury with its “strong sustainable ambition,” shown through many aspects of the brand’s supply chain, as well as its continued commitment to producing fashionable, high-quality and low-impact products.
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- 13 Sustainability efforts of the fashion industry in January 2021 Photo: John Lewis