36 Sustainability efforts of the fashion industry in October 2020

In October, the fashion industry’s efforts in the areas of sustainability, resale and circularity seemed to have switched to a higher gear. Cooperations especially came through, be it to introduce innovative new materials, provide second hand clothes or ecological innovations. Brands and retailers are still going strong when it comes to becoming more sustainable and eco-friendly when it comes to making the fashion they sell and running their operations. FashionUnited found 36 sustainable initiatives, which were announced in the month of October alone.

Cooperations & Projects

Very launches partnership with Re-Fashion 36 Sustainability efforts of the fashion industry in October 2020 Online retailer Very has launched a partnership with second-hand clothes specialist, Re-Fashion, to help reduce clothes waste. The scheme will encourage Very’s customers to give up their unwanted clothes for new owners to give them a second life in an attempt to reduce the amount of good quality, wearable clothes going to landfill. As currently, British consumers discard 350,000 tonnes or 140 million pounds worth of clothing each year to landfill, according to WRAP.

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Marchon partners with Eastman to boost sustainability

MarchonPhoto: Marchon Eyewear

Marchon Eyewear has announced an industry-first partnership with Eastman, a global speciality materials company, to roll out a recycled acetate material in its sunglass and optical products. The partnership will see Marchon being the first eyewear company to produce and sell frames using Eastman Acetate Renew, a fully sustainable material that will be used in Marchon’s proprietary and licensed brands frames, from 2021.

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Fashion Green Hub: A network of circular economy experts in France are thinking ahead

36 Sustainability efforts of the fashion industry in October 2020Photo: Fashion Green Hub

For years now, the Fashion Green Hub association (ex-Nordcrea) has played a key role in the responsible fashion landscape, working on topics including eco-design and new business models in the industry. Fashion Green Hub is notably at the origin of the Fashion Tech Days. Experts and brands meet to advance on “green” innovation in fashion, where there are days of seminars around a range of crucial topics. The association also organizes the Fashion Green Days, the forum for circular and eco-designed fashion.

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SupplyCompass partners with The Woolmark Company

36 Sustainability efforts of the fashion industry in October 2020Photo: SupplyCompass

The two companies have come together to help fashion and homeware brands produce sustainable wool collections, a fibre first for the production platform. Labels using the fashion production software firm, SupplyCompass, will have access to new manufacturers trusted by The Woolmark Company. The aim of the partnership is to empower more brands to produce sustainable wool collections with this versatile natural fibre. The phased roll-out of wool supply chains will initially see a select number of manufacturer partners go through an onboarding process involving a qualifying digital assessment, comprising the factory’s operational set-up, labour policies, code of conduct, sustainable practices and environmental initiatives, and a visit to the factory by a member of the specialist team.

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Eastman Naia and DuPont Biomaterials launch new sustainable fabric collection

36 Sustainability efforts of the fashion industry in October 2020Photo: Eastman / DuPont

Global specialty materials company Eastman has collaborated with materials innovator DuPont Biomaterials to launch a new sustainable fabric collection. It brings together Eastman Naia cellulosic fibers and DuPont Sorona fibers to offer sustainable, biobased performance fabrics for comfortable everyday wear.

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Burberry teams up with IBM interns for garment traceability prototype

36 Sustainability efforts of the fashion industry in October 2020Photo: Burberry

Burberry has teamed up with interns at tech company IBM to develop a prototype system to improve product traceability. The luxury label revealed that for the past three months its technology experts have been coaching participants of IBM’s Extreme Blue internship programme who were tasked with designing, developing, and testing an innovative new product to track a garment’s traceability. Named Voyage, the new prototype works by identifying a product through scanning a near-field communication tag or entering a product ID. Consumers can then trace a garment’s production journey and lifecycle. The Voyage prototype was trialled for functionality in Burberry’s mobile app.

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Brands & Retailers

Sustainable brand Allbirds launches first apparel collection

AllbirdsPhoto: Allbirds

San Francisco-based sustainable brand Allbirds has announced the launch of its first apparel collection. The brand, which until now has been known for its sneakers made from natural and recycled materials as well as a range of socks and underwear launched earlier this year, is now selling its debut apparel collection comprising a t-shirt, wool jumper, wool cardigan and puffer jacket.

Like its previous products, and true to its motto of ‘Apparel with Purpose’, the new garments are all made with sustainability in mind. Regenerative natural materials like merino wool and eucalyptus tree fibre are used as alternatives to petroleum-based plastics, while ZQ, Oeko-Tex 100 and FSC-certifications ensure high animal welfare, environmental and sustainable standards are met.

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Adidas introduces sustainable vegan Clean Classics sneakers

AdidasPhoto: Adidas

Sportswear giant Adidas has launched a fully recyclable sustainable running shoe as part of its ‘Made to be Remade’ project. The Adidas UltraBoost DNA Loop, was unveiled as part of the sportswear brand’s new Creators Club Week, and has been created from a single material with zero glue. This means that the high-performance shoes can be returned to Adidas at the end of their use to be broken down and reused to create new trainers.

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P.E Nation launches sustainable snow collection

36 Sustainability efforts of the fashion industry in October 2020Photo: P.E. Nation

Active streetwear label P.E Nation has launched its first-ever sustainable snow collection, which will be available to try on using custom created AR Instagram filters. Launched globally on October 29, the ‘Sustainable in Snow’ collection features fifteen exclusive designs which blend P.E Nation’s distinct mix of sleek colourway with chunky knits, timeless base layers and high performance, technical snow wear.

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Tommy Hilfiger starts circular initiative, Tommy For Life

36 Sustainability efforts of the fashion industry in October 2020Photo: Tommy Hilfiger

PVH-owned Tommy Hilfiger is the latest big-name fashion brand to be launching a circular initiative to breathe new life into old clothes. Tommy for Life is a new circular business model that will take pre-owned or damaged Tommy Hilfiger and Tommy Jeans garments and either fix them or ‘remix’ them into completely new, limited-edition styles. They will then be resold exclusively at tommyforlife.com. The new initiative will first be piloted in the Netherlands, before being rolled out to other European markets in 2021.

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Miomojo introduces ‘Made in Italy’ cactus leather and AppleSkin collection

36 Sustainability efforts of the fashion industry in October 2020Photo: Miomojo

Cruelty-free label Miomojo has just released a new premium ‘Made in Italy’ collection produced from cactus leather and AppleSkin. The brand based in Bergamo, Italy focuses on bags, handbags and accessories that are made without fur, wool, silk, feathers, leather or any other animal products.

This holds also true for the new premium ‘Prima Linea’ collection, which is a result of trying to make the brand founded in 2014 even more sustainable. Thus, the new colourful bags and handbags are either made out of nopal cactus leather or AppleSkin, an innovative leather alternative with a high content of natural waste, from the skin and core apple waste of the food industry.

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Ugg unveils new long-term sustainability commitments

UggPhoto: Ugg

Footwear brand Ugg, part of Deckers Brands, has unveiled new long-term social and environmental sustainability commitments with the launch of a new ‘Feel Good’ platform dedicated to people and the planet. Focused around three key pillars, environment, community and innovation, Ugg is looking to showcase transparency as well as accountability with what it is calling “ambitious” sustainability goals, projects and global partnerships.

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Levi’s opens circular-focused concept store in Soho London

Levi’sPhoto: Levi’s

US denim label Levi’s has opened a new concept store in Soho London with a focus on sustainability and circularity. The brand said the two-floor store will act as a “new blueprint for an in-store consumer experience”, and features a made-to-measure Lot No.1 bespoke denim service; Levi’s Vintage Clothing, a premium line creating new interpretations of archival pieces; and Levi’s Tailor Shop, the brand’s customisation and repair service. The label is also introducing Levi’s by Levi’s, a new product solution made from entirely repaired, reimagined and recycled products from the brand, which will be exclusively available at the new store.

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Companies, Education, Fairs & Awards

Red Carpet Green Dress launches workshops on sustainability

Red Carpet Green Dress, the women-led global change-making organisation looking to bring sustainability to the forefront of conversation within the fashion and apparel industry, has launched a new series of workshops. Aimed at educating on the topic of sustainability, the series of workshops are curated especially for beginners and will be hosted by Red Carpet Green Dress chief executive Samata Pattinson with a range of guest appearances, including the organisations’ founder Suzy Amis Cameron.

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