It’s time for our next trends in sustainability edition. And this month, we have been watching some fairly exciting evolutions in the fashion industry. From clothing veterans Patagonia to smaller organisations like Humans Being, all tackling clothing waste and changing the way fashion is handled, here we take a look at a few of their brilliant initiatives.
(Photo by Gearist)
Did you know Patagonia tax themselves? The brand has a self-imposed Earth tax of 1% (of sales), which goes towards the preservation and restoration of the natural environment and has been doing this since 1985. Forward thinkers! And even further back, in the 70s, they launched their Worn Wear programme, where customers can learn how to repair their items with the Patagonia kits and some handy online videos. They have 72 stores worldwide for repairing, and the first port of call is simply a click on their website to 'start a repair'.
And what we really love is their repair-and-resale program.It means customers can return eligible items via post or in-store drop-off, and receive a voucher for up to 50% of the resale price of the item (US stores only).
Purposefully reusing post-consumer and post-industrial waste to make a polyester cotton called Antex Ynviron yarn, is just one of the ways that this sustainable brand is helping close the clothing loop. And we don't love this brand because they pledge to use only natural or recycled materials, such as pesticide-free organic cotton or Antex, and not because of Rita Ora who founded this wonderful company (mind you that is rather cool). We also love that Humans Being is completely transparent about where their products are made and how, as you can see in clear letters on their website. They even show you on a map where their factories are located.
This Swedish label has a worn and repair shop that sits inside every Nudie store. Neat hey...quite literally neat that you can repair those messy tears. This word-of-mouth attraction became so popular, that staff started offering repairs on jeans after what started simply as a sewing machine in the store corner that was used to raise the jean's leg length. And while they started this offering 15 years ago, in 2012 the company officially launched their Reuse take-back program to encourage customers to exchange their old Nudies for new ones, with a fairly decent discount.
Oh, and the other thing we rate about Nudie Jeans is their sustainability model on garments with 95% of their products being made from Organic, Fairtrade, or Recycled cotton.
While this little brand might not be as well-known as the likes of Patagonia and isn't fashion per se that we put on, it is a fashion accessory - the almighty bag that we don on our shoulders is very important. For those customers venturing out to festivals this summer, this paper backpack might also be your best friend. In 2022 Paper Bag Co launched the festival bag that is circulating again this year. It has been spotted at Glastonbury jam-packed with sustainable goodies that typically litter festival grounds, long after the music has stopped.
Adidas has said that by 2024, the company aims to replace all the virgin polyester it uses with recycled polyester. And what is most impressive from a company this size is that 96% of all of the polyester used in Adidas products is now recycled.* In fact, in 2021 the company even launched a Stan Smith Mylo shoe, where its upper is partially created with a nature-based alternative to leather, made from mushroom roots. If it were a person it would be a fungi (yes, we went there).
And it comes as little surprise that the biggest emissions at Adidas come from its supply chain (77%) and packaging and logistics (8%), and then external factors it can't influence. This has lead to Adidas creating a Product Carbon Footprint Calculator, to measure the exact carbon footprint of a product. Neat hey! Definitely a step in the right direction.
And finally, we love the Asket because they're encouraging the planet to buy fewer garments, and to choose more carefully.
On their website, as you purchase an item, it states: "For every garment, we disclose its supply chain traceability, environmental footprint and cost structure. The more we know, the better decisions we make, the more we cherish what we buy and the longer those items will last. As a result, we make do with less."
Each time you buy an Asket garment they've traced every step of the cost structure and even detail how and where it has been made on their labels. There's power in knowing the origins of what we buy, and this clever brand is helping educate the masses on exactly that. Plus they're encouraging us to purchase well once, so we don't buy twice.
Six companies doing great things
There you have it. These six companies are keeping (fashion) sustainability at the forefront of their brand's positioning. Let's hope more follow suit and we actively change the way clothes are used, returned, repurposed, fixed, and reintroduced back into the fashion loop.
*As per their website