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. 2020 saw similar success, with Weird Fish reaching 55 percent versus its 40 percent target.
For 2021, the brand is already on track to hit its 67 percent target of products using eco-friendly alternatives and has accelerated its original 2023 target of hitting 80 percent to 2022.
Weird Fish managing director, John Stockton, said in a statement: “When it comes to setting sustainability goals within a business, I believe one of the most important things is to be realistic.
“You can never expect such a fundamental change to happen overnight – any changes and innovations need to be carefully researched, tested, and their success measured to understand whether they actually do what they are supposed to do. We view every year as a ‘leap year’ and focus our attention on reaching challenging but obtainable targets.”
Weird Fish states that it has been making more sustainable products over the past two years by swapping out standard cotton with organic cotton yarns whenever possible, as well as widened the range of bamboo and Tencel fabrics in its collections. This year, Weird Fish reports that it has sold nearly a quarter of a million garments made from organic cotton instead of standard cotton and had 30 times more sales of bamboo products in 2020 compared to 2019, equating to a 2,781 percent uplift.
In addition, as part of its drive to reduce plastic, the brand has saved the equivalent of 120,000 single-use plastic bags in stores after launching grass paper bags in 2019.
Stockton added: “Keeping a balance between offering good value and eco-friendly credentials is one of the biggest challenges. Organic and sustainable materials are more and more in demand and prices are rising fast. That is why it is vital to maintain strong and close relationships with suppliers and understand what their key issues are, so you can determine the most cost-efficient options and still trust that products are genuinely sustainably sourced.
“Our sustainability efforts are still a work in progress, but we know that there is an increased appetite for more eco-friendly materials – both in products and their packaging. We don’t claim to be a 100 percent sustainable brand, and we’re transparent about that on our website. But by making small steps and constantly adapting along the way, I believe we’re making realistic changes that will last long-term and help make a difference.”
Weird Fish is a multi-channel retailer offering clothing and accessories for men and women, with 18 branded stores, 400 stockists and an online channel.