Fast fashion. Textile waste. Environmental pollution. It turns out the fashion industry isn’t always that pretty.
It’s incredible to think that after energy, the fashion industry is the second biggest polluter. A study has shown that worldwide, up to 100 million items of clothing are bought each year. Consequently, the fashion industry produces over 92 million tons of waste.
Looking at the numbers, It’s no wonder that this industry has landed itself in the spotlight.
Ethical and environmental concerns are now first and foremost in many brands’ minds and there’s a definite shift towards positive change. Creating sustainable, eco-friendly clothing that does not contribute to the waste problem is an ongoing challenge. But it’s one that many brands and manufacturers are working towards.
Let’s take a look at some of the well-known companies in the clothing business that have embraced sustainability and see how their social initiatives can be used as a blueprint for others.
This Canadian company is known for making apparel that’s ideal for indoor and outdoor wear. Every time an item is purchased the brand lives up to its name by planting 10 trees. Tentree plans to plant 10 million trees by 2030 to balance out its carbon footprint and contribute to a net zero emissions goal.
The best part is that Tentree only uses sustainable materials to make its apparel which includes cork, coconut, and polyester. 58% of buyers want companies to use materials that do not cause harm to the environment and Tentree is at the forefront of ensuring this is the case.
Rothys has been a trendsetter when it comes to sustainability. They have expressed this from the way they treat their employees to their production process. Rothys famous shoes are created from recycled plastic and they’ve recently added handbags to their range. Their use of eco-friendly materials is a great initiative that plays its part in reducing plastic waste, and they’ve proven that sustainability can be stylish too.
Consumers also play their part in exerting positive pressure on fashion companies. Up to 80% of buyers say that they want to deal with brands that ensure ethical and environmentally friendly practices. Rothys certainly meets buyers’ expectations in this regard!
This clothing company is one of the most transparent and it has a unique approach to sharing its sustainability initiative. Everlane shows customers the factories where they make their clothes and they break down the cost of each item to highlight where the money goes.
The goal of Everlane is to develop strong relationships with factory owners as well as employees to ensure that the company’s ethical standards are always met.
As a show of its sustainability goals and initiatives, Everlane has started to produce garments that are made from recycled plastic. They’re using plastic bottles, fishing nets and other plasticised products n manufav=cturing to ensure that they meet their 97% sustainability goal.
Levis is well known for its denim jeans and has been an industry staple for over a century. But the denim manufacturing process is one that uses a huge amount of water and creates an excess of waste. It takes a whopping 1,800 gallons to grow enough cotton for a SINGLE pair of jeans.
As part of their sustainability initiative, Levis has come up with their new product line called Water<less. This product line uses up to 96% less water in the manufacturing process, making it far more eco-friendly.
The brand is also working towards using cotton that is 100% sustainable.
Pact focuses on making garments from organic materials. Their goal is to ensure sustainability throughout all the manufacturing processes, starting from growing and harvesting non-GMO cotton all through to making the garments.
Part of their sustainability initiative is to use cotton that requires minimal water compared to GMO cotton.
But it doesn’t end there. Pact will also re-use old cotton to make new garments.
This is a positive move from a marketing perspective too, as 58% of buyers want products made from materials that are safe and don’t harm the environment.
The Pearl Source
The Pearl Source is a leading fashion accessory brand that not only backs sustainability but gives back too. A percentage of each sale of their pearl jewelry gets donated to non-profit organizations that support women’s issues.
They created the Power Pearl Fund that’s designed to help women around the world and empower them to better their lives.
These are just some of the brands that are focusing on sustainability and working towards a greener future. As awareness in the fashion industry grows we’re sure to see an even bigger shift in a positive direction.
Pants made from recycled plastic, jackets made from bamboo and shirts made of recycled cotton are all going to be hanging in your wardrobe soon!