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23 Sustainability efforts announced in January to April 2019

By Simone Preuss

6 Jan 2020


Photo: Adidas

At the beginning of the year, quite a few sustainability initiatives were announced. From brands, retailers to manufacturers, everyone wants to be in on circularity, recycling and in general, running one’s business more responsibly. It is heartening to see sportswear brands taking the lead and presenting recyclable and eco friendly sneakers and other products. FashionUnited has put together 23 such efforts that were announced in the first four months of the year 2019.

Brands & Retailers

Monki launches sustainable swimwear line

Photo: Monki

H&M brand Monki announced a sustainable swimwear line made from recycled polyester and recycled polyamide in April. The brand promised a retro-inspired collection, marked by shoulder frills, cut out details, leopard prints, citrus fruit prints and golden beige hues.


Ralph Lauren unveils Earth Polo made from recycled plastic

American brand Ralph Lauren announced its newest style in its Ralph Lauren Polo line in April, aptly called the Earth Polo and crafted from thread derived entirely from recycled plastic bottles. Each shirt is also dyed in a way that it does not use any water.


H&M tests out selling vintage clothing online

Swedish multinational retailer H&M Group has started trying out sales of second-hand and vintage clothing online in April this year, as part of its commitment to increasing sustainability initiatives. The company launched a test for second-hand e-commerce on the Swedish website of its brand.


Adidas unveils 100 percent recyclable running shoe

Global sportswear brand Adidas has strengthened its commitment to tackling plastic waste with the unveiling of Futurecraft.Loop in April 2019, its first 100 percent recyclable performance running shoe. Futurecraft.Loop is Adidas's first running shoe that is made to be remade.


Asics to recycle used clothing for Japan’s Olympic uniforms

Photo: Asics website

Japanese multinational Asics that produces footwear and sports equipment, announced plans at the end of January to use recycled clothing to make the official uniforms for the Japanese Olympic and Paralympic teams at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. This initiative was a contribution towards a sustainable society in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and its target to reduce CO2 emissions by 2030.


Reformation uses store credit to push for renewable energy

Reformation, the American sustainable, vertically-integrated women's clothing brand, launched an innovative new campaign called Carbon is Canceled in February 2019. The campaign uses retail credits to incentivize consumers to opt for renewable energy options in their homes.


Savile Row Company introduces 100 percent recyclable packaging

Photo: The Savile Row Company, Facebook

British online retailer Savile Row joined the war on plastic as it announced 100 percent recyclable and compostable packaging for its shirts in March. For online orders, there are 100 percent recyclable paper bags made from potato starch in a bid to reduce the company’s carbon footprint.


Sperry launches sustainable platform "Look Good Do Good"

American footwear brand Sperry launched an ongoing sustainability project called "Look Good, Do Good" in March. The initiative brings together a new collection of shoes made from recycled plastic with an education program on reducing the use of plastic.


Dr. Scholl's launches sustainability initiative

Photo: via Businesswire

American footwear and orthopedic foot care brand Dr. Scholl's announced in April that the company was investing in sustainable, eco-conscious designs to create environmentally lower-impact shoes. The brand is taking a step towards making shoes using eco-conscious materials, finding ways to reduce packaging, and choosing sustainable processes when possible.



UN launches Alliance for Sustainable Fashion

Photo: UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion website

Together with various partners, the United Nations launched the UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion at the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya in March 2019. The Alliance seeks to halt the environmentally and socially destructive practices of fashion, pointing to the fact that the fashion industry is the second-biggest consumer of water and is responsible for 8-10 percent of global carbon emissions - more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined.


Inditex and MIT sign agreement to promote research into sustainability

Spanish fast fashion giant Inditex (Zara, Pull & Bear, Bershka, Stradivarius) announced a multi-year agreement with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in March to conduct joint research on sustainability and recycling of textile materials, as well as new lines of research related to data analysis.


Solvay and Lenzing team up to develop new sustainable fabric

Austrian fiber manufacturer Lenzing and Belgian chemical group Solvay announced their partnership in March 2019 to launch a new sustainable fabric combining Tencel’s lyocell fibers and Amni Soul Eco, a biodegradable polyamide.


Education, Companies & Fairs

Ispo Munich 2019: Textile innovations, sustainability and heavy snow

Photo: Ispo Munich / Bergans of Norway

At the Ispo Munich 2019 fair held in February, it was evident that the sportswear industry was getting serious about sustainability, and more and more brands were pushing the hot topic to the top of their agenda. Ispo Munich offered exhibitors and visitors the best of winter weather this year, with heavy snow creating a white winter landscape.


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  • Photo: Adidas