5 famous fashion brands leading the way in sustainability
A lot has changed in the fashion industry in recent times. Even 10 years ago, sustainability wasn’t at the forefront of people’s minds, with the exception of a few progressive outliers.
But now sustainability and environmental issues are leading the headlines, and the fashion and textile industries are paying attention to the impact their products have on the world.
Of course, no company or industry is perfect, but making an effort to reduce the impact we have on the planet is now no longer a choice, it’s a necessity. From ethical sourcing to using recycled materials, some companies have spearheaded the push for sustainability in the industry, leading the way for others to follow.
What is ethical fashion?
Ethical Fashion is an umbrella term to describe the process of fashion production.
According to the Ethical Fashion Forum, there are three distinct ways to categorise ethical fashion production; social, environmental and commercial.
From the initial design, through to recycling old clothes, ethical fashion covers a range of issues such as working conditions, exploitation, fair trade, sustainable production, the environment, and animal welfare.
This covers everything from fair wages for workers, reducing chemical use, and protecting animal rights.
Stella McCartney has always been a pioneer of sustainability and accountability in fashion.
By working closely with her suppliers to manage the environmental performance of their facilities, she takes an active role in reducing the environmental impact of her textile production.
The McCartney brand also works with the Clean by Design Program, a project designed to help factories in developing countries, take real steps towards reducing their environmental footprint while saving money.
In 2014 alone, the program saved more than 3 million tons of water, 61,000 tons of coal, and almost $15 million in production costs.
H&M Conscious Collection
Swedish giant H&M has committed to sustainability with their Conscious Collection, a range that is designed to promote the use of recycled materials. The company pledge to ensure all the cotton it uses in the range originates from sustainable sources, and it hopes to make all of its clothing sustainable by 2030.
Now in its seventh year, the collection is growing from strength to strength, proving that affordable, stylish fashion and ethical sustainability can go hand-in-hand.
Relatively new on the sustainability scene, G-Star have made huge leaps when it comes to ethical denim.
The brand acknowledge that is they want to be around “in 20, 50 or even 100 years from now”, they need to consider the impact they have on people and the planet.
G-Star invest in sustainable innovation, focusing on a circular approach to how their denim is made, recently coming out with what they call “the most sustainable jeans ever”, with each pair 98% recyclable.
New Balance is pursuing sustainable paths for their products, facilities and operations, aiming for a zero-waste future.
With educational programmes on environmental issues, focusing on material choices in design, and reducing waste production in manufacturing, the company hopes to improve its product quality as well as its impact on the planet.
Perhaps not in the same league as the others on this list, Kowtow is a New Zealand brand with ethical and sustainable values at their core.
All their organically farmed cotton is certified Fairtrade, empowering farmers to secure better prices for their work, while their merino wool is certified by ZQ Merino, ensuring animal welfare, environmental care and social responsibility.
A sign of things to come in the fashion and textile industry, this small brand has an A Grade in the Ethical Fashion Report, which aims to track the efforts of fashion companies to ensure the rights of the workers.
Just the start of the change
The textile industry is responsible for 20% of the industrial water pollution around the world, and with environmentalism now taking a front seat in world events, something has to change for the industry.
Every aspect of the production chain needs to transform, from sourcing raw materials and recycling, to the attitude of consumers.
Sustainability is now the new buzzword, but it’s not just a fad.
The planet cannot continue with this rate of pollution, and we all must do our part to change things for the better.
No matter what lies ahead in the textile industry, immago will be here, working together with our clients, manufacturers and distributors to ensure a fair and sustainable practice for everyone.
If you have any questions about how we can help your business meet the challenges of the future, contact us today, and let’s a have a chat about your concerns or questions.