March saw a number of initiatives that addressed the industry's actual sustainability efforts and their impact on the environment. Innovation was at the forefront of a few initiatives and brands and retailers stepped up their efforts on circularity and transparency. Read through the sustainable highlights of the month.
Actual sustainability versus greenwashing
At the end of the month, the EU Commission submitted a proposal to strengthen consumers' rights and prevent so-called greenwashing; vague product claims such as “green” and "environmentally friendly" are to be banned in the EU if they are not supported. Also, no claims will be allowed to be made about a product's environmental impact if they actually only relate to a certain part of it.
Green Story, a platform enabling fashion brands to measure and communicate their sustainability efforts, has raised 1.1 million euros in funding, which will be used to accelerate the company’s growth and help it move closer to its goal of empowering 1 billion consumers to shop more sustainability and to better understand the environmental impact of their purchases.
A report by the Changing Markets Foundation (CMF), also released at the end of the month, found that voluntary certification programs can contribute to greenwashing in the fashion industry. CMF is a non-governmental organisation that uses campaigning work to educate people about conditions in the general marketplace.
At the beginning of the month, the United Nations released its most recent report on climate change, presenting stark warnings for the future of the climate if immediate and drastic action is not taken.
In 2020, the EU Commission published an action plan on the circular economy that aims to make sustainable products the norm in the EU, support the EU's 2050 carbon neutrality target and promote sustainable growth. The textile sector was singled out by the EU Commission, along with four other industries, as having the highest environmental impact and lowest sustainability. A new series of articles from FashionUnited tracks the implementation of the unprecedented action plan to date. The latest article provides an overview of the scale of the EU regulations in question and sets out how they will affect virtually all players in the value chain, from sports to luxury brands, from manufacturing companies, from fiber to product, and right through to waste management.
Circular shopping-Plattform CCrave opened its second pop-up concept store in Amsterdam while Los Angeles-based Everywhere Apparel launched the world's first closed-loop clothing line made from 100 percent GRS-certified recycled cotton. The company aims to offer a fully recycled alternative to recycled polyester (rPET), which has been shown to release even more microplastics than virgin polyester, with its microplastic-free Circot yarn and fabric.
Social enterprise FashionEnter and production developer Kornit Digital have come together to open a new centre dedicated to the development of direct-to-fabric and direct-to-garment digital production solutions. The Fashtech Innovation Centre, located in FashionEnter’s training and manufacturing site in London, hopes to bring on-demand fashion and textile mass customisation to the UK to tackle overproduction and waste.
Sustainable fashion initiative Fashion for Good announced eight innovators to join its 2022 Global Innovation Programme while innovation-based fashion brand Pangaia entered into a joint research collaboration with mycelium tech company Ecovative and sustainable footwear label Vivobarefoot. As part of the Fashion for Good Cooperative, the trio will work together to co-develop custom mycelium materials to be used in each of the brand’s footwear and fashion products.
Brands and retailers
True to its motto “Don't wear clothes, wear change,” multimedia platform Fashinnovation launched a directory of ethical, sustainable, inclusive and innovative brands in the second week of March. Lingerie label Parade announced the launch of a new sustainability impact tool developed together with global sustainability consultancy Eco-Age that will measure its entire product range based on social, climate and circularity categories.
US denim brand Frame launched a new sustainable collection called ‘Pure’ that features washes that use virtually no water in their production while Pakistan denim company Soorty partnered with the founder of Left Hand Twill to launch a responsibly designed denim collection inspired by vintage styles. Online fashion retailer Boohoo partnered with the Pakistan-based Cotton Connect foundation while vegan bag label Miomojo achieved B-Corp certification.
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- "Godmother of Sustainability" Marci Zaroff on her life work and RESET project
- How can Digital Fashion Design help us be more sustainable?
- Sustainability round-up February 2022