In today’s world of fashion, it’s no longer enough to present a good-looking, well-fitting product.
Corporate responsibility—towards society, workers, and the environment—are of significant importance for consumers. That said, many fashion labels actively work towards producing more sustainable clothing, and while the list of such initiatives is quite long, here are five fashion labels that pay attention to their brand’s environmental footprint.
The Swedish fast-fashion brand is one of the better-known in the fashion world for its sustainability programs. For six years now the company’s stores all over the world accept used textile, which either finds its way to second-hand stores or is repurposed for eco-conscious clothing collections or the production of other goods.
The garments that are in good enough condition to allow it are shredded to threads and find a place in H&M’s Conscious collection.
Paul McCartney’s daughter Stella made a name for herself within the fashion industry, and one of the main characteristics of her collections is the focus on sustainability. You could say that producing eco-friendly garments is a No. 1 priority for Stella’s brand, with the designer investing a lot in innovative ways of producing natural materials. One of her latest initiatives is in partnership with Adidas and “textile innovations company” Evrnu. The trio is now working together to repurpose old garments and turn them into new sportswear by recycling the cotton fibers and liquid pulp and “feeding” them to 3D printers.
A lot of the talk about saving the environment revolves around the excessive number of plastic products that we use daily and the most often—plastic bottles. Sportswear brand Columbia is also taking action on the topic with its OutDry Extreme apparel collection. The OutDry Extreme jackets are made from dye-free fabric produced from recycled bottles. On top of that, the production technology allows the jackets to remain waterproof without using DWR (Durable Water Repellent), a chemical-produced material traditionally used in waterproof jackets.
For many jean lovers, Levi’s is the go-to-brand for quality jeans. However, the production of this garment is quite resource-intensive, which, combined with how popular jeans are globally, means quite a load on the environment. To address its production footprint, Levi’s came up with its Water<Less collection, which, according to the company, uses “up to 96% less water.”
As per the brand’s webpage, so far Levi’s has saved “172 million liters [approx: 46 000 000 gallons]” of water through this water-saving collection. This is just one of the company’s various sustainability initiatives; others include the responsible use and disposal of chemicals, the recycling of materials, and the use of sustainable wood-sourced viscose-like fabric blends.
It is only natural that a brand aimed at nature lovers would be doing some good for the environment. But Patagonia’s sustainability initiatives go beyond what customers have grown to expect of any company. Apart from the usual use of sustainable materials, Patagonia aims to stay at the forefront of its industry’s environmental initiatives.
For example, the company came up with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition which, as per the company’s account, “helped gather the top leaders in the apparel industry, non-governmental organizations, academia and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for an inaugural meeting in 2010 to determine the feasibility of working together to create an index of social and environmental performance.”
Another great Patagonia initiative is called Worn Wear, which incentivizes the recycling of—and even helps customers to repair—their gear so that it doesn’t end up in the landfills.
Beyond fashion, other businesses known to generate lots of waste have also undertaken ambitious initiatives to do their part in saving the planet. Last year’s Super Bowl—a major event that also typically results in lots of waste—set out to be a zero-waste event and succeeded with its plan on recovering 90% of the garbage that it generated. That same year the Kansas City Chiefs, who run a high chance of winning the next Super Bowl according to Oddscheckers, also made a move towards sustainability by introducing compostable peanut bags.
In another corporate bid to help the fight against undesired climate change, the world’s largest concert promoter, British “Live Nation, recently announced plans to make “all their venues, clubs and concert halls zero-waste by 2030,” as quoted by Euronews.