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34 Sustainability efforts of the fashion industry in July 2021

By Simone Preuss

13 Aug 2021


Image: ThredUp

In July, there was no sign of the hot summer weather slowing down the fashion industry’s sustainability efforts. On the contrary, there were collaborations galore be it in terms of recycling, resale, sustainable collections or material innovations. In addition, many brands published their accelerated sustainability goals or reaching of targets in terms of plastic, carbon and energy reduction. This month, FashionUnited is highlighting 35 sustainable initiatives that were presented in July 2021.

Collaborations and projects

1. ThredUp and electronics giant LG team up for clothing clean-out program

US fashion resale platform ThredUp has teamed up with LG Electronics USA, a subsidiary of South Korean electronics giant LG, to launch a charitable apparel clean-out program.

2. Madewell teams up with ThredUp for second-hand denim platform

Image: Madewell

US denim brand Madewell has launched a new second-hand fashion platform with the help of resale giant ThredUp. The new platform, called ‘Madewell Forever’, harnesses ThredUp’s resale-as-a-service (RaaS) to give preloved women’s jeans a new lease of life.

3. Dotte launches resale collective with leading childrenswear brands

Image: courtesy of Dotte

Dotte, a fashion-forward peer-to-peer marketplace, has launched the Dotte Resale Collective with leading childrenswear brands including Tobias and the Bear and Turtledove London.

4. Fila collaborates with Oliver Spencer on a sustainable collection

Image: courtesy of Fila x Oliver Spencer by Rankin

Sportswear brand Fila is launching a sustainably produced collection with British menswear designer Oliver Spencer. The collection features a range of vintage sportswear silhouettes in rich colours and luxury fabrics that have been ecologically sourced and responsibly made.

5. Adidas invests in Spinnova, a Finnish textile recycling company

Image: Spinnova

Adidas is investing 3 million euros in Spinnova, a Finnish sustainable textile company that makes textile fibre out of wood or agricultural waste. The company aims to make cellulose-based materials cost-efficient, environmentally friendly and a preferred manufacturing option for brands.

6. Gucci invests in sustainable supply chain with Intesa Sanpaolo bank

Image: Kering, Facebook

Gucci and Intesa Sanpaolo bank have launched an initiative to support exceptional, Made in Italy manufacturers, within the Gucci supply chain. The partnership deems to implement ethical and responsible practices throughout the brand’s supply chain by facilitating financial resources to eligible suppliers.

7. Infinited Fiber Company raises 30 million euros

Image: courtesy of Infinited Fiber Company

Circular fashion and textile technology group Infinited Fiber Company has secured investments totalling 30 million euros in its latest financing round completed on June 30, with backing from Bestseller and Adidas.

8. Frankfurt Fashion Week promotes “form follows planet” for sustainability in the European fashion industry

Frankfurt Fashion Week / German Fashion Council

A recent conference organised by Fashion Council Germany titled “The New European Bauhaus – Werkstatt der Zukunft” brought together international experts in the context of Frankfurt Fashion Week to redefine the future of the European fashion and textile industry.

Brands and retailers

9. Sustainable swimwear brand F and Wild launches

Image: courtesy of F and Wild London

New ethical swimwear brand F and Wild London has launched its debut collection made from regenerated plastic waste including fishing nets cleaned from our oceans.

10. Bijenkorf buying director talks shift from loungewear to more fashionable pieces

Image: Bijenkorf

De Bijenkorf, the biggest high-end retailer in the Netherlands and a subsidiary of Selfridges Group, is looking at the SS22 buying season with optimism. Not least due to its growing online business, which the company has in recent years expanded to Belgium, France, Germany and Austria.

11. Denim brand Noisy May offers new jeans with lifetime guarantee

Image: Noisy May

Bestseller brand Noisy May presents its first pair of jeans with a lifetime guarantee. The Danish label commits - should its R.A.R.E. jeans ever become faulty - to repair, replace or refund them. As the name suggests, R.A.R.E. jeans (an acronym for Remarkably Advanced Responsible Essentials) are unique and produced by Noisy May in a limited edition only. Each pair of the 300 exclusive pieces is individually numbered and certified by the brand.

12. Marks & Spencer launches most sustainable back to school range to date

Image: Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer has launched its new back to school collection which it says is its most sustainable one to date following mounting consumer demand for more conscious options. The retailer has switched to organic cotton across all knitwear, jersey, and sweats in its new school uniforms, and is also introducing sustainably sourced viscose, sustainably sourced trims.

13. Lululemon to add Mylo yoga accessories

Image: courtesy of Lululemon

Lululemon has unveiled the world’s first yoga accessories made from Mylo material as part of its ongoing commitment to sustainability and the use of innovative materials. The yoga collection features a concept yoga mat and two soon-to-be-purchasable bags, made entirely from Mylo, a vegan, sustainable, animal-free leather alternative.

14. Uniqlo trials in-house production with Made in Tokyo line

Image: Courtesy Uniqlo

Uniqlo is expanding its vertical operations as it trials a Made in Tokyo collection manufactured in-house. According to Japanese news outlet Nikkei Asia the release could “herald a new design process and business model for operator Fast Retailing,” Uniqlo’s parent company.

15. Know the Origin opens sustainable pop-up at Angel Central

Image: Know the Origin

Sustainability-focused department store Know the Origin has opened a pop-up store at Angel Central in London. Located at 11 Parkfield Street in Islington, the store carries a line-up of over 200 next-generation ethical brands including Girlfriend Collective, Thinking Mu, and Hara The Label.

16. London-based bag brand Troubadour opens Soho flagship

Image: Troubadour

London-based bags and accessories brand Troubadour, which makes its products using a variety of sustainable and recycled materials, has chosen Soho as the location for its first brick-and-mortar store.

17. Marici launching exclusively in Selfridges

Image: courtesy of Marici

Plant-based luxury accessory brand Marici is launching exclusively in Selfridges as part of the retailer’s ‘Project Earth’ luxury designer edit from July 8. Marici will become the only brand within Selfridges luxury edit using Pinatex, an alternative to leather that does not rely on plastics and fossil fuels for its production.

18. Rotaro launches sustainable fashion experiences on Airbnb

Image: courtesy of Rotaro

Fashion rental service Rotaro is teaming up with Airbnb this summer to launch a series of sustainable fashion social impact experiences at its a Carnaby Street pop-up stor in London, with all proceeds going to Protect Earth.

19. Econyl launches shoppable online platform

Image: Burberry's Econyl capsule collection

Sustainable textile manufacturer Aquafil has launched a new shoppable platform dedicated to Econyl, its regenerated nylon made from recycled waste. The new e-shop will allow users to browse through global brands using Econyl Regenerated Nylon, and will also provide information about the innovative fibre and the broader topics of sustainability and circularity.

20. LK Bennett launches rental services

Image: LK Bennett

LK Bennett has launched LK Borrowed, an unlimited subscription clothing rental service. The service will be powered by e-commerce management service CaaStle. LK Borrowed allows customers in the UK to rent some of the brand’s most popular pieces from their RTW collections.

21. Allbirds announces 10 sustainability commitments

Image: courtesy of Allbirds

Footwear and apparel company Allbirds known for its innovative materials and aggressive carbon neutral targets has announced 10 science-based sustainability commitments as part of its ongoing goals to save the planet.

22. The Armani Group announces new sustainability targets

Image: Giorgio Armani

The Armani Group has pledged to reduce its overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in a bid to follow the Paris Agreement for climate change. The Milan-based fashion company said its aims were to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 50 percent by 2030 from a 2019 base year.

23. Fast fashion giant Inditex accelerates sustainability targets

Image: Inditex media room

Zara owner Inditex has announced an acceleration of a number of sustainability targets, including a new aim to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040, ten years earlier than previously planned. The fast fashion giant also aims for all the cotton it uses to be “more sustainable” by 2023, two years ahead of schedule.

24. Weird Fish accelerates sustainability targets

Image: courtesy of Weird Fish

Clothing retailer Weird Fish is bringing forward its sustainability targets by a year due to the success of eco-friendly material swaps in its collections. The brand launched its ‘The Only Way is Ethics’ sustainability policy in 2019 and has already exceeded its initial target of making 20 percent of products more sustainable with a final figure of 25 percent by the end of the year.

25. Icebreaker gets closer to plastic-free goal in latest transparency report

Image: Icebreaker Facebook

New Zealand-based natural performance apparel company, Icebreaker, has released the fourth instalment of its annual Transparency Report that states the brand has reached 91 percent progress on its ambitious plastic-free by 2023 target.

26. YNAP meets renewable electricity target across operated facilities

Image: YNAP

Italian luxury group Yoox Net-a-Porter (YNAP) says it achieved its goal of sourcing 100 percent of renewable electricity across the operated facilities it manages by the end of 2020. The group announced the target in November last year as part of a broader sustainability strategy called ‘Infinity’.

27. Crocs aims to be net-zero company by 2030

Image: Crocs

US footwear brand Crocs has announced it aims to be a net-zero company by 2030. The Niwot, Colorado-based brand said it will achieve the target through a strategic focus on sustainable ingredients and packaging, as well as investments in resource use and product afterlife solutions.

28. Vagabond Shoemakers to focus on reducing emissions

Image: courtesy of Vagabond Shoemakers

Swedish footwear brand Vagabond Shoemakers is looking to reduce emissions “going forward” following the release of its sustainability report for 2020. Last year the brand said in the wake of the pandemic it focused on breaking down its value chain to better apply its sustainability activities to each company function.

29. Asos reports carbon emission reduction

Image: courtesy of Asos

Online fashion retailer Asos has reported a 21 percent year-on-year reduction in operational carbon emissions per order for its 2020 financial year, September 2019 to August 2020.

30. Moose Knuckles Canada to end all fur production

Image: courtesy of Moose Knuckles; autumn/winter 2021 ‘Prism’ collection photographed by Hugo Comte

Luxury outerwear and sportswear brand Moose Knuckles Canada has confirmed that it will end all production with natural fur by the end of 2022 as part of a new range of environmental and social initiatives focused on the long-term sustainability of its global footprint.

31. The world's biggest fashion brands remain reliant on plastics

Image: Plastic and waste, courtesy Pexels

Despite bold pledges to create a more sustainable future, global fashion brands continue to rely on plastics by using synthetic fibres in their collections. According to a report by Changing Markets these fibres are fueling plastic waste and the climate crises due to the fossil fuels needed to make them.

Companies, Education, Events & Awards

32. Stockholm Fashion Week reveals line-up for summer show

Image: BLK DNM, courtesy of Stockholm Fashion Week

Stockholm Fashion Week has revealed the line-up for its upcoming physical-digital hybrid show taking place between August 31 and September 2. Brands attending the event this summer include Stand Studio, BLK DNM, Diemonde, Asket, Abomé, ATP Atelier, Charlott Vasberg, Filippa Agaton, House of Dagmar, Ida Sjöstedt, Iggy Jeans and Rave Review.

33. Maison/0 announces graduate project winners

Imaget: Maison/0

LVMH and Central Saint Martins have announced the winners of its ‘Green Trail’ and ‘This Earth’ awards on its regenerative luxury platform Maison/0. Graduating students proposed solutions to respond to the ongoing biodiversity and climate crisis.

34. Denim artist Ian Berry: “Sustainability means little to me now”

"Paradise Lost" - Ian Berry

Not often does it happen that one’s passion aligns perfectly with one’s profession, in this case, art and fashion. Add a cult item - the humble denim jeans - and you got a winner. FashionUnited spoke to British artist Ian Berry (via email) in detail about his incredible artworks, the denim industry and his disenchantment with it, his inspiration, and sustainability.