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
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.
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.
- SupplyCompass and Flexport release ‘Logistics for Fashion’
- Arch and Hook warns that “hangers are the plastic straws of the fashion industry”
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.
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.
- Vin + Omi teams up with Debbie Harry on a new collaboration
- Adidas collaborates with model Karlie Kloss
- By Far partners with Vestiaire Collective on a circular collaboration
- Karl Lagerfeld collaborates with Amber Valletta
Brands & Retailers
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.
- Clae announces first-ever cactus leather sneaker
- Video: Mipacha turns recycled ocean plastic into sneakers)
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.
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.
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.
- H&M Group expands Renewcell partnership to recycle textiles
- H&M Group appoints new head of sustainability
- Monki presents the new ‘Green Machine’ recycling technology
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.
- Barbour places sustainability at the heart of Christmas campaign
- Britain’s first sustainable retail pop-up in the Netherlands
Companies, Education, Fairs & Awards
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.
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.
- Naia from Eastman receives high ranking in Canopy’s 2020 Hot Button Report
- Burberry achieves its highest score in Dow Jones Sustainability Index
- Kohl’s named to Dow Jones Sustainability Index for 3rd time
- Canada Goose launches Humanature sustainable initiative
- Career Q&A: Sustainable British-Lebanese jewellery designer, Alexandra Hakim
- Black Friday: Most UK shoppers would wait longer for green deliveries
- Podcast: The Wardrobe Crisis discusses catalysing fashion change
- Podcast: Conscious Chatter talks about the importance of finding your niche
- Podcast: Recloseted Radio explains how to build a sustainable brand
- Podcast: Recloseted Radio chats about how to consciously participate in the sales season
- Video: Final episode of the circular movement
- Video: Episode two of the circular movement
- Video: Episode one of the circular movement
- Video: Business insider interviews NYC street tailor Makayla Wray
- 36 Sustainability efforts of the fashion industry in October 2020