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29 Sustainability efforts of the fashion industry in November 2020

By Simone Preuss

16 Dec 2020

Following on the October momentum, in November, too, cooperations ranked high in the industry, ranging from promoting circular fashion to reducing packaging materials and more. Brands and retailers kicked it up a notch in view of the holidays and put their most sustainable foot forward in terms of offering products that make a difference. FashionUnited found 29 sustainable initiatives, which were announced in the month of November alone.

Cooperations & Projects

New Cotton Project launched to prove circular fashion possible

Photo: New Cotton Project

The European Union is funding a new project to harness fashion industry collaborations and technology to create circular fashion. Under the ‘New Cotton Project,’ a consortium of brands, manufacturers, suppliers, innovators and research institutes will be tasked with proving that circular, sustainable fashion “is not only an ambition, but can be achieved today”. The twelve participating fashion companies and brands include Adidas and the H&M Group, alongside Finnish biotechnology group Infinited Fiber Company, Aalto University, Fashion for Good, Frankenhuis, Inovafil, Kipas Textiles, REvolve Waste, Rise, Tekstina, and Xamk.

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Brands joins Pack4Good initiative to eliminate unnecessary waste from packaging

Photo: Eco-Age

A group of brands including Lush Cosmetics in the U.S, Stitch Fix, The Very Group Redemption and Saloni, have joined Pack4Good to tackle the extensive impact paper packaging is having on the world’s forests, biodiversity and climate. According to Pack4Good three billion trees are currently cut down every year to make paper packaging. “As online sales continue to surge, we must ensure that measures are taken to reduce the reliance of packaging on forests,” the company said in a statement.

Currently 126 global brands including H&M, Bestseller Group, Stella McCartney, Ted Baker, Aritzia, Tensei, and Mara Hoffman are working with environmental non-profit Canopy to develop holistic, innovative packaging solutions through the Pack4Good initiative to reduce waste and keep forests standing.

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Conscious Fashion Campaign launches virtual event to promote UN Sustainable Development Goals

Photo: Conscious Fashion Campaign

In support of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Conscious Fashion Campaign has organised a virtual event and exhibit together with the United Nations Office for Partnerships (UNOP), which will take place from 1st December to 30th December 2020. The aim is to bring the 17 SDGs closer to the fashion industry so that it can drive change through advocacy, education and the engagement of industry stakeholders, ultimately creating a more sustainable future for all.

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Copenhagen Fashion Week and Zalando announce sustainable partnership

Photo: Copenhagen Fashion Week Copenhagen Fashion Week and Zalando have announced a three-year partnership to help “accelerate sustainability in the fashion industry”. The two fashion players said the tie-up would see them aligning their sustainability targets “in order to leverage impactful change together”. The partnership will run from 2020-2023 and kicks-off as Copenhagen Fashion Week prepares for its next edition slated for 2-5 February 2021.

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Terracotta Row joins forces with Leather Inside Out

Photo: Terracotta Row / Leather Inside Out Sustainable accessory brand Terracotta Row has joined forces with the UK’s leading prison reform charity, Leather Inside Out, to create a collection of colourful, and socially and eco-conscious tote bags. The unique fashion collaboration, which is available to buy from the Tate Modern online shop, as part of their Tate Edit Makers’ Showcase, consists of 14 tote bags designed in bold colourways.

The colourful bags have been made from recycled PVC by female prisoners and ex-prisoners, as part of Leather Inside Out’s training programme ‘Design for Life’. The initiative offers prisoners and ex-prisoners the opportunity to learn transferable fashion industry and craft skills in training, whilst earning the national minimum wage so that they can build a new life upon release.

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Brands & Retailers

Air and Grace launches ‘Repurpose’ capsule collection

Photo: Air and Grace website

Air and Grace did things differently this Black Friday, instead of offering discounts, the British footwear brand launched a special edition ‘Repurpose’ capsule collection made from surplus materials, in a bid to minimise waste and champion responsible shopping.

Launched on November 27, the new Air and Grace collection is part of the brand’s “sustainable by design” commitment to minimising waste and has been specially designed, using leftover sample material from sample production that is often a wasted by-product of shoe manufacture.

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G-Star Raw introduces world’s most sustainable black denim fabric

Photo: G-Star Raw

Dutch denim label G-Star Raw has launched the world’s most sustainable black denim fabric for eight styles of its winter ‘20 collection. The “Relz Black Denim” fabric, developed together with Artistic Milliners and Archroma, continues G-Star Raw’s circular approach, as it is made from pure organic cotton and is dyed and treated without the use of harmful chemicals, thus benefiting both people and the environment.

The black, liquid dye and the pigment coating leave behind waste water that is easy to clean and reusable. It is actually applied to the fabric in a five-step process instead of the conventional eight to ten steps, saving 52 percent water, 65 percent energy, 71 percent CO2 emissions and 14 percent chemicals.

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Moncler announces Grenoble collection with Dyneema composite fabric

Photo: Moncler

Moncler has announced that the autumn/winter 2020 collection of its luxury skiwear label Grenoble is to feature Dyneema composite fabric, a high-performance fabric developed by multinational science-based corporation Royal DSM. Sandro Mandrino, the head of design for Moncler Grenoble, was the brand’s first designer to incorporate Dyneema into Moncler’s designs through the Moncler Genius project, as an alternative to conventional cotton and polyester.

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H&M’s latest Conscious Exclusive collection made from waste

Photo: H&M

H&M is asking ‘can waste be beautiful? ‘. Well, for its Conscious Exclusive autumn/winter 2020 it has crafted elegant evening wear pieces from sustainably sourced materials made from waste. The Swedish retail giant is calling the collection an exploration of the beauty of waste, as what’s normally thrown away has been “purposefully transformed into treasures to be loved and valued”. The collection has literally been created from waste, with fabrics made from post-consumer carpet fibre, post-industrial plastic packaging and PET bottles. H&M has also utilised innovative fabrics and processes that transform food crop waste into natural fibres, fabrics made from sustainably sourced wood pulp and a unique garment-to-garment process.

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UK retail aims to hit net zero carbon emissions by 2040

Photo: Rawpixels.com from Pexels

The UK retail industry has set out a target to hit net zero carbon emissions by 2040, with stores and warehouses powered by net zero electricity by 2030. The country’s trade body, the British Retail Consortium (BRC), announced the new target at the beginning of the month as part of its Climate Action Roadmap, which was first announced in July and outlines steps to decarbonise the retail industry and its supply chains. The roadmap was initially developed with the help of 20 leading retailers including Marks and Spencer, Amazon, Missguided and Next, and now has 63 retailers committed to its targets.

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Companies, Education, Fairs & Awards

Six sustainable textile innovations from Taiwan

Photo: Yi Shin

At a recent online seminar, six textile companies from Taiwan presented their latest sustainable textile innovations that involve using unusual waste products such as fish scales and coffee oil and other materials like castor oil. Biodegradability is also high on the list of must-haves. FashionUnited has put together the latest sustainable yarn and fibre innovations at a glance.

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Aldo Group is certified climate neutral for 3rd consecutive year

Photo: Aldo

Aldo has received its climate neutral company certification from South Pole for the third consecutive year. South Pole is a provider of global sustainability solutions and services with a transparent and rigorous certification process. The footwear company received its first climate neutral certification in 2018 and continues to reduce its net emissions and compensate the unavoidable ones through nature-based forest conservation and clean energy projects.

Aldo supports clean energy projects in India and China, such as solar power, wind energy and waste-to-energy, as well as forest conservation in the Amazon basin. The company does this through purchasing carbon credits from high-impact emission reduction initiatives.

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Photo: Clae