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Sustainable Fashion

The 3 Facts Relate Feminism to Conscious Fashion

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Sustainable, ethical or Eco-friendly all these concepts relate to consciousness, we are aware, informed and conscious the reason why we act upon that. The point here is awareness of what we want to express and the way we want to express it. However, conscious fashion or let’s talk first about the conscious state in order to end up with feminism and conscious fashion.  The conscious sate which I think it is important to highlight in order to understand the movement and to take the path.

One of the states of consciousness is a state of awareness a conscious mental state is simply a mental state one is aware of being in (Rosenthal 1986, 1996). So we are conscious because we have the desire to be aware of. Nowadays, that’s how I perceive fashion we are aware of the social injustice, inequalities, discrimination and other costs.

Do you know that women are the most impacted in the fashion industry as they are also the ones who are the craziest about new trends? So if we are consciously fashionable we are feminist because simply we are aware of the situation of those women in that garment factory somewhere is making our clothing that we are crazy about. In the pursuit of social, economical and political equality conscious fashion is striving toward fair wages, clean work conditions, protecting women’s rights and creating opportunities and also protecting the planet environmentally talking. These are the 3 following facts relate feminism to conscious fashion:

FACT 1: CONSUMERISM BEHAVIOR

Women buy the most that’s a fact and also they are the ones that are concerned about women’s rights and they are probably the ones who could be aware of the spectrum of the fashion industry because it concerns them, they could be informed, do research about the circumstances and the real costs and reflect on their consumerism behavior. Being aware is reflecting on our actions, questioning our behavior, looking forward information it is not forcing ourselves to do something that we can’t but what if we start small, ask the brands, look after who made the clothes choose well and consume less it is already the beginning of the journey. Believe me, you will feel good about it later on. 

 ‘’ Women consumerism behavior is something that we could reflect on and raise awareness about that. It is the starting point of the conscious path and the pursuit of the feminist movement ‘’.  

FACT 2: SELF-EXPRESSION

As women, we love feeling beautiful, powerful and confident. Each woman has its unique way to express herself not only by clothes but also the way she wants to show her personality.

For me, self-expression is the feeling of being comfortable with my own skin and clothes play a role but not that big role. Self-expression could be like that: if we want to follow up with feminism for all women who done a lot for us we could express ourselves consciously and lead by example. For example:

‘’ If you support women workers in the garment factories, or empower other women  then you are, or you said a big NO to Brands who are not ethically committed then you are a feminist and you care about other women ‘’.

Why don’t we take self-expression as an advantage to show to others that we care and we want to show up consciously? We want to empower and lead by example and show ourselves as respected women respecting other women, people and the planet.

FACT  3:  DEFINITION OF VALUES

Exploring my values is a lifetime journey, I evolve and I grow. So my values are defined with time. It is very important for us to define our values because our actions relate to that day by day. So if I don’t define my values from the beginning how could I define these brands? Basically, the values could be respect to the planet, to people and to animals. Respect itself could take different forms. However, these values help us to choose well in the market and also we express our feminism as women who respect their values and other women around them.

‘’ Define our values and act upon that, respect could be one of the values. If we respect ourselves then we could respect the ones around us ‘’.

Above all, we are consciously feminist, as women we could consider these facts to acknowledge, inspire and be inspired, empower and be empowered.                                                                              

 

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The Different Ways to Buy Sustainable Clothing

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Around the world, we have begun to see more companies make their operations environmentally friendly, and government legislation is also encouraging people to make significant changes in their daily routines, even if it is something as minimal as. Clothing brands and designers are also making a statement with multiple avenues used to create sustainable clothing. Ethical clothing can have multiple reasons in which it can be recognised as sustainable, and if you’re wondering how, here are some of the main origins of eco-friendly clothing.

 

Donations

This is commonly used by smaller fashion brands that don't yet have the facilities to offer a wider range of ethical practices. Brands tend to boast that they donate a percentage of their profits to their selected charity organisations that usually inspire the brand.

 

Supply Change

Big brands have the ability to completely change their supply chain structure and make it more ethical. Making their warehousing and transportation options more eco-friendly can make a dramatic change when looking at fuel and energy consumption. Ethical brands such as G-STAR Raw show their ethical choices and explain their reasoning behind it, making the brand perfect for anyone wanting to update their wardrobe.

 

Organic Materials

Growing conventional cotton and other materials is very chemical based and has negative effects on the earth’s soil, air, water and local people in the area. Growing organic cotton takes longer but in a long-term future is much better for all aspects of the environment. The chemicals used are currently are considered some of the most toxic, and this option needs to be phased out for organic options to thrive. Naturally making people aware of the benefits of organic cotton is key for designers who use it and should be your first choice when browsing for new clothes.

 

Recycling

An unconventional option but with the advancements in recycling technology means that ethical sportswear brands can use mistreated plastics and transform them into sustainable garments. Manufacturers even claim that the new materials used are actually more durable than conventional materials, which gives you little reason not to consider the modern choice that is helping to reduce plastics found in the ocean and being burnt.

 

There’s little reason not to consider a sustainable garment as your next purchase, prices can be slightly more than conventional brands, as the manufacturing process isn’t mass produced on the same scale which can cause them to seem inflated. However, the more people begin to opt-in for the sustainable choices, more the prices will decrease, and if profits are going to charities it’s always good to know that you are contributing to good causes with your general purchases.

Planning for a Destination Wedding is Simple

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If you love the idea of planning a destination wedding, but you are afraid to do it because it sounds like such a complicated ordeal to go through, then you do not need to worry at all. There are many tips and tricks to make the experience simple. However, you do need to be organized and start doing your research on how to plan for this type of unique wedding! Let's find out the tips to utilize in order to make this happen!

Choose the Right Type of Planner

This tip is the first one to utilize. Before you start getting carried away with making wedding plans on your own to an area that is far away, that you know little about- you need to be prepared to invest in a planner that can help you make your dreams turn into a reality. You definitely need to shop around for a planner that can help you end up having a successful destination wedding. Not all planners will know how to do that. However, don't rely on web reviews to find the right type of planner. You will need to ask for some references after being in contact with one to find out how the experience was for previous clients!

Once you find the perfect wedding planner, you will be led to the perfect package, as well as to the right venues in the location of your dreams. And if this sounds overwhelming even with the help of a planner, then that is a sign that having a destination wedding is not the best fit for you no matter how appealing the idea happens to be!

Make Sure the Resort That You Plan to Stay At is Available for the Entire Weekend

If you are getting married at a resort that is nowhere near your home, as well as near the home of your guests- you will want to make sure that the hotel or resort is not booked for the weekend you want to get married. You don't want to only have the hotel be available to your guests only for the one day you are getting married during the weekend.  You want to make sure that they are not booked at all so your guests can enjoy a stay at the resort or hotel for the entire weekend and make a mini vacation out of it. If it is just for one day, they will not bother attending your wedding! That will put a damper on the dream destination wedding you have wanted all along.

Regardless of Where You Are Getting Married, Be Prepared for the Big Day

Even if you decide to get married locally, you need to properly plan for the wedding regardless. For starters, you want to make sure you get the right wedding dress that fits your style, and of course, fits you! And you will need to find the right ring as well.

If you want a different type of ring, then you need to do your homework. Therefore, for example, if you want to find a pearl ring, you need to do your research on the best place to buy one. The groom needs to be well prepared as well. The same goes for the catering, the music, and anything else you want to include in your wedding.

In a nutshell, if you want to have a destination wedding, there is a lot of planning that is involved, and many considerations to make! Only you will know if that is the right thing for you or not once you go further into the planning process.

Fashion Hysteria: 7 Fashion Tips And Tricks To Help You Look More Stylish

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Fashion trends are changing from time to time. Some say that fashion is all about dressing what's trending. A smart dresser or a fashionista is always seeking for what's new in the fashion industry, and this kind of habit makes a fashionista stylish.

It is a trait for most of the fashionistas to buy clothes and never wore it. You buy clothes to wear it, not to hold on it and stuck it on your wardrobe. Looking stylish isn't just about wearing expensive clothes or wearing the most popular and trendy dresses.

Sometimes, wearing a simple sunglasses would already make you more fashionable. So here are some tips and tricks to help you become stylish.

Wear At Least One Accessory

It's like going to school without bringing a pen, that's why accessories are a part of an outfit. It gives you a satisfying feeling and can make your clothing astonishing. Most women wear false eyelashes or eyelash extensions.

It is one of the most common and convenient accessories women wear to enhance their beauty. So, how long do eyelash extensions last? This kind of accessory lasts for almost eight weeks or two months.

Roll Up Your Sleeve

Rolling up the sleeves when wearing a button-up shirt can make a fashionable style to your clothing. It can add comfort and composure to your shirt. It looks good with long denim sleeves and dark coloured long sleeves.

Wear the Opposite Foot Wear

Whatever outfit you want to wear, choose the opposite style of shoes. For example, exchange high heels to flat booties, sandals to sneakers and sneaker to heels. The more it doesn't feel right, the more it fits.

Don’t Keep Or Buy Clothing that Doesn’t Fit

It is not right to cling on to items that no longer fit you. It's also not essential to buy clothes that don't fit your size for the reason that it is on sale or just hoping that one day you will be able to wear it.

Holding on to items that don't fit you anymore is the worst thing for your wardrobe. The best way to get rid of it is to put it on sale and buy another set of clothes that best suits you.

Go For Heels!

Heels heighten your look literally. It can boost your confidence physically and mentally. You are not obliged to wear heels every day, but including them in your collection can undoubtedly give you a lot of stylish benefits.

Wear Leather Jacket

It doesn't matter if you're wearing jeans, gown, or gym clothing. A black leather jacket or any good motorcycle jacket improves every outfit. Wearing a leather jacket is always a classic choice, it may not be a must but, leather jackets can be an excellent pair of most stylish clothing.

Be Confident

The most important trick to becoming stylish is to be confident in all aspects. The truth is, looking stylish comes down to being confident.  If you walk the streets wearing one of your elegant clothing with confidence, people will have to look at you and agree that the clothes you wear are suitable for you.

Takeaway

Wanting stylish clothing doesn't require you to spend much effort and money. You can wear anything you want effortlessly.  No matter what you're wearing, if you're confident and happy, you'll always look better inside and out.

These are just seven of the many tips and tricks to become stylish. If you want to become one, you can start slowly by getting rid of the clothes that you don't want anymore.  

Green Chemistry and Fashion

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Annually, 43 million tonnes of chemicals are used to produce textiles. With so many chemicals used to make textiles, we cannot go without talking about the chemistry behind it.

Textile chemistry is a highly specialized field that applies the principles of chemistry to the production of textiles, such as those used in clothing, furniture, tire yarn, airbags, and much more. Textile chemists may create new products to meet specific market needs or modify existing products to become more generally marketable.” - American Chemical Society

Stages in which chemicals are used:

The chemistry does not start and end in the production phase but extends to consumption and disposal - across the entire supply chain, consumer use and disposal. For example, chemicals are used for:

  • Fibre and clothing production
  • Dying/ colouring
  • Dry cleaning/washing
  • Recycling textiles

Hazardous chemicals:

  • Alkylphenols Phthalates
  • Brominated and chlorinated flame retardants
  • Azo dyes
  • Organotin compounds
  • Perfluorinated chemicals
  • Chlorobenzenes
  • Chlorinated solvents
  • Chlorophenols
  • Short-chain chlorinated paraffins
  • Heavy metals: cadmium, lead, mercury and chromium (VI)

How do these chemicals impact us and our environment?

They do in the form of hazards from chemical toxicity, water pollution, energy consumption, and waste generation. Chemicals used in the above processes enter into our pristine water bodies, polluting and spreading hazards associated with them. Water pollution is especially a concern in places where water is already scarce, which is apparently the condition of developing countries where the production of textiles happens. The documentary RIVERBLUE spans the globe to infiltrate one of the world’s most pollutive industries, fashion.

How can we change the way we are fundamentally living our lives?

One way to do it is to find sustainable or renewable chemicals designed with people and the planet in mind. Green Chemistry as defined by Anastas and Warner is the utilisation of a set of principles that reduces or eliminates the use or generation of hazardous substances in the design, manufacture and application of chemical products.

Examples of innovations:

Anuja Sawant

Environment & Social Sustainability Specialist

https://anujasawant.com/

Ecological Patterns: Leading Brands That Creates Eco-Friendly Fashion Bags

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Ethically designed bags have come far since their simple beginnings. From stained vegetable leathers to organic and recycled materials, designers have raised the level of form, function, and style when it comes to bags.

If you wish to know more about eco-friendly bags, this article will give you a list of sought-after brands in the field of the sustainable fashion bags.

Matt & Natt

Matt & Nat is living by the simple motto, “Live beautifully,” which means appreciating the creativity, positivity, and humanity. The brand finds its inspiration from the hues and textures of nature and making a consistent improvement to keep their commitment to not use any animal-based resources in any of their products.

Further, Matt & Nat practiced using materials made of 100% recycled plastic bottles and had experimented various forms of upcycled materials over the years, such as rubber, nylon, cardboard, and cork. Currently, the brand has recycled rubber bicycle tires to be used in their compilation.

Moreover, Matt & Nat is gradually expanding all over the globe and is now available in selected shops across the United States, Canada, the UK, Germany, Australia, and Japan, as well as in some online stores.

Purple Mango

Purple Mango is bringing the Brazilian sustainable fashion accessories to international market. This brand is the chic retailer of the ethical clutch bag created from old VHS tapes that illustrates world-class quality and design while working on the problem of waste management.

This brand deserves a massive round of applause for its outstanding sustainable concept.

Kayu

Now, let's take a glance at this Californian based brand. Kayu was born out of the desire to preserve and cultivate traditional techniques of Southeast Asia. Currently, Kayu collaborates with the artisans in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines, and is now providing jobs to many people.

Further, Kayu doesn't manufacture their products in cruel factories where items are mass-fabricated but instead, runs in smaller groups of mothers, sisters, daughters, and even grandmothers, giving a genuine feeling of a family to the brand.

To emphasize, Kayu is entirely vegan-friendly and sustainable. All of their creations are from natural materials like shell, wood, and straw. Since the brand’s designs are handmade, their creations come in limited quantities, making them unique and exceptional.

Mayamiko

A collection of accessories, homewares, and clothing, Mayamiko which is ethically made in Malawi, combines traditional African techniques and modern design.

The contemporary looks come in bold and stylish printed African cotton, locally known as the chitenge, can attract anyone in the fashion community. Plus, other unique materials from nearby African countries are also incorporated in their collections.

Moreover, the brand offers yoga-inspired accessories, beautiful hand-dyed batiks, and a fully recycled capsule of a collection called the Rebirth.

Rags 2 Riches

A proud product of the Philippines, this brand is empowering designer communities. Rags 2 Riches also unites eco-conscious, human-centered, and collaborative, designs which pour in the genuine human spirit in each product.

They're collaborating with local designers all over the country to make an eco-ethical fashion and various home accessories out of recycled cloth, overstock, and some indigenous resources.

Issara

Uniquely, Issara introduces the substance and quality into its products. Superb materials like leather complement its excellent list of master designers.

Its lines of the classy duffle, totes, overnighters, messenger bags and other accessories come from the highest grade, full-grain leather that keeps its maximum strength and unusual natural features, making it more smooth and durable.

Takeaway

We already know that looking for a bag that’s both functional and beautiful can be tough. But searching for a bag created in a method that’s kind to people as well as the environment can be immensely harder.

However, there are stores in the web like Luggage Online and other various sites where you can shop such items, so worry less, those mentioned brands above are indeed highlighting the ethics and the looks to satisfy your wardrobe.

Fashion Sustainability in Progress: A Series

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When most people think of fashion brands, they immediately think of what fashion stands for them as an individual or an organization. For a fashion designer, it may be making patterns, prototypes, and the works. For a fashion blogger, it may be minimalistic fashion. For a consumer, it may be fashion trends. The truth is, most people don’t care about ethics when it comes to fashion, and probably not even the environment. If only they knew who makes their clothes, how they make and ship it to them, perspectives would change.

“The horrendously low prices that farmers get for their produce is a symptom of a society with warped priorities; we do not want to pay adequately to someone who keeps us alive, but we are willing to pay through our noses for branded shoes and gadgets. And in relation to the latter, we don’t even care what the actual factory worker gets.” – Scroll.in

Lack of information about these brands, how they produce and supply their products, how transparent they are about their operations keeps consumers in a state of ignorance. This is changing with the emergence of the slow fashion revolution. The Fashion Transparency Index ranks the levels of transparency of 100 of the biggest global fashion companies. It makes it easy for consumers and businesses to make informed decisions, it has saved lives and also protected our environment.

Fast fashion brands are adapting to the transparency and business risks by being more resourceful, ethical, and technologically advanced. But, what exactly are they doing? To answer that, we are bringing you a series of blog posts. We will look at the most selling brands in the fashion industry in the year 2016-17. Interbrand, a global brand consultancy, reported Best Global Brands of 2017. Ten luxury and apparel companies made their mark in the top 100. Each blog post would probe into these companies for environmental and social performance by highlighting their progress. Stay tuned for a bimonthly series looking into their sustainability efforts.

Stay tuned!

Anuja Sawant

Environment & Social Sustainability Specialist

https://anujasawant.com/

Fashion Sustainability in Progress: Louis Vuitton and Dior

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This is the first article in a bimonthly series where we will look at the most selling brands in the fashion industry in the year 2016-17. Interbrand, a global brand consultancy, reported Best Global Brands of 2017. Ten luxury and apparel companies made their mark in the top 100. Each blog post would probe into these companies for environmental and social performance by highlighting their progress. Stay tuned for this bimonthly series looking into their sustainability efforts.

Ranking on Best Global Brands of 2017: LOUIS VUITTON is at 19 and DIOR is at 95 out of 100.

Fashion Transparency Index Final Score: 11-20% Brands scoring between 11-20% are likely to be publishing a majority of policies, some procedures and information about their supplier assessment and remediation processes. Total scores were out of 250 possible points, which we have converted into percentages. Fashion Revolution choses to publish percentages rather than each brands' individual scores because they felt it encourages readers to focus on emerging patterns rather than exact details.

Third party verification of report: Yes. ERNST & YOUNG et Associés.

Reporting Standard: The information set out in its document also reflects the guidelines in Version 4.0 of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, better known as LVMH, is a European multinational luxury goods conglomerate, native of France and headquartered in Paris.  LVMH was one of the first groups to set up its own Environment Department – in 1992, the year of the Earth Summit in Rio. In 2017, the Group’s Environment Department will celebrate its 25th anniversary. Louis Vuitton and Dior are a part of this same group.

Insights from the its sustainability report:

Training and Employee Engagement

  • LIFE 2020 (LIFE (LVMH Initiatives For the Environment)) launched in 2016.
  • It’s Environment Academy trains employees on eco-design.
  • It’s online materials library introduces designers and developers over 300 “ecofriendly” materials.
  • Introduction of LVMH Store Environment Awards event.

Environmental Expenditure

  • In 2016, the total amount of the Group’s purely environmental expenditure was €23.8 million, including: €13.5 million in operating expenses, and €10.3 million in investments. Louis Vuitton is set to increase its environmental budget by 50% between 2016 and 2017 compared with 2016, and has decided to make significant investments in eco-design, in the environmental responsibility of its procurement chain and in managing CO2 emissions relating to the transportation of its products.

Environmental performance measurement

  • LVMH launched the second version of Edibox in 2016. This is an Internet tool developed in-house that calculates the environmental performance index (EPI) of packaging, as well as the CO2 impact of packaging materials.

Biodiversity

  • Louis Vuitton has been involved in saving bees by supporting scientists and local voluntary organizations for several years.

Waste and resource conservation

  • New Krug box launched, a new packaging range for customers in Louis Vuitton stores, which is made out of FSC-certified paper that includes over 40% of recycled fibers.
  • To recover a portion of its waste, LVMH uses the CEDRE (Environmental Center for Environmentally-Friendly Packaging Elimination and Recycling) platform. CEDRE treated and recycled 2,023 metric tons of extremely diverse waste in 2016. Louis Vuitton, sent packaged items to the platform, including out-of-date alcohol based products, advertising materials and testers used in the stores, as well as empty packaging returned by customers, etc. Furthermore, Louis Vuitton used the platform to recycle textiles.
  • “Refills” are a way for LVMH to extend the lifespan of its products. For instance, Parfums Christian Dior has been developing this concept for many years. They began by applying it to its premium ranges. Nowadays, 80% of the serums and creams that it launches are refillable. This factor is reflected in the saving of 600,000 liters of water and about 11.6 metric tons of waste every year for the Capture Totale cream alone. Parfums Christian Dior pursued this initiative in 2016, when it marketed its new DreamSkin Perfect Skin Cushion cream in refillable packaging.
  • Louis Vuitton teams use digital models and 3-D printing, from the design stage to the industrial manufacture of the products. By offering the opportunity to view the many different possible arrays of colors and materials in a realistic manner, these tools fine-tune the preselection of the models to be prototyped and enable savings on materials.

Renewable Energy

  • Louis Vuitton uses geothermal power, for heating and cooling the staff’s common rooms and offices and intends to roll out an innovative heat recovery system at one of its sites. In Poland, Parfums Christian Dior chose LED lighting to light its new boutique that was opened in Warsaw in 2016.

Sustainable Procurement

  • Parfums Christian Dior’s formulae contain over 60% of plant-based ingredients. The Maison ensures that its procurement is sustainable in order to protect this essential asset.

Louis Vuitton and Dior in the news:

Anuja Sawant

Environment & Social Sustainability Specialist

https://anujasawant.com/

Fashion Sustainability in Progress:H&M

By | Sustainable Fashion, Sustainable Lifestyle | No Comments

This is the 2nd article in a bimonthly series where we will look at the most selling brands in the fashion industry in the year 2016-17. Interbrand, a global brand consultancy, reported Best Global Brands of 2017. Ten luxury and apparel companies made their mark in the top 100. Each blog post would probe into these companies for environmental and social performance by highlighting their progress. Stay tuned for this bimonthly series looking into their sustainability efforts.

Ranking on Best Global Brands of 2017: H&M is at 23 out of 100.

Fashion Transparency Index Final Score: 41-50% Brands scoring over 40% are those who are most likely to be publishing more detailed supplier lists, some will be publishing processing facilities as well as manufacturers — in addition to detailed information about their policies, procedures, social and environmental goals, supplier assessment and remediation processes and general assessment findings. These brands are also more likely to be addressing the Spotlight Issues such as living wages, collective bargaining and/ or circular resources.

Third party verification of report: Yes. Ernst & Young AB.

Reporting Standard: This report is prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards: Core Option. Organizations have the choice between “in accordance – core” and “in accordance – comprehensive”, depending on the comprehensiveness of the disclosures made.

Insights from the its sustainability report:

Waste and resource conservation:

  • Collaborated with Cradle-to-Cradle Products Innovation Institute to help support industry-wide demand and supply of sustainable materials.
  • The Global Change Award innovation challenge, initiated by the H&M Foundation in 2015 aims to find new ideas to help close the loop on textiles. Each year, an expert panel annually selects five winners that share a grant of EUR 1 million and gain access to a one-year innovation accelerator provided by the H&M Foundation, Accenture and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.
  • Clever Care Label: In 2016, we have also launched an extended garment care information page online. This information helps customers care for their clothes in a way that makes them last longer, including making simple repairs and washing less.
  • Conscious Exclusive, C/O Cheap Monday Capsule Collection, and Closed Loop 2016 collections are an example of how our design can be used to expand a product’s lifespan or allow for reuse and recyclability.
  • Together with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, they have developed a tool to assess the circularity of our non-commercial goods, such as store interiors. The tool will be used from 2017 onwards and aims to increase the sustainability of the non-commercial goods we buy. The tool will also support their dialogue with suppliers, helping increase awareness of circularity in their products and processes.
  • H&M Foundation and The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) have entered a four-year partnership to develop the required technologies to recycle blended textiles into new fabrics and yarns.
  • Developed incentives for our customers to create positive behavioural change through the H&M Club and for those who recycle their clothes via their garment collection programme.
  • Collaborated with the innovation company Worn Again saw some promising technologies in development for textile-to-textile recycling.
  • In 2016, H&M commissioned a Life Cycle Assessment study to understand the impact of closing the loop by recycling cotton. The study showed that by using recycled cotton fibre instead of virgin cotton fibre, we can reduce climate and water impacts by 80–90% for the stages up to when the fibre is ready for spinning. Unfortunately, it is not currently possible to use more than 20% recycled cotton from collected garments in a product (because of quality issues), but they are investing in technology to overcome this challenge.

Sustainability performance

  • Collaborated with Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) to build a Higg Index tool to measure the sustainability performance of apparel and footwear. The Higg Index measures environmental, social and labour impacts, presents a score and identifies areas for improvement. It was one of the first global fashion companies to roll out the facility module of the Higg Index to all of its first tier factories, followed by second tier factories that represent 56% of the H&M group’s total business volume. Over the last few years, they have developed a supplier assessment programme called the SIPP – the Sustainable Impact Partnership Programme. This is based on the Higg Index facility module as well as their own KPIs (for now).

Transparency

  • In 2016, the H&M group collaborated with Control Union on a pilot traceability system for organic cotton and viscose. It is a web-based system that allows suppliers to record incoming and outgoing shipments and provide transaction records and a QR code for each one. Selected suppliers from all tiers were trained to use the system for this pilot, which enabled fibre to garment traceability. The pilot was a success and they now plan to scale up the system to cover the entire viscose supply chain over the next few years.

Sustainable procurement

  • H&M is the biggest user of responsibly sourced down.
  • H&M is the second largest user of recycled polyester in the world.
  • H&M is the world’s biggest user of Better Cotton.
  • 96% of electricity used in their own operations comes from renewable sources.
  • The H&M group works with indirectly with mills - 1,826 first tier factories of which 508 are based in EMEA and 1,318 in Southeast Asia. It works directly with organisations such as Solidaridad and the Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) to help mills improve their performance. In doing so, it has integrated fabric and yarn mills that are involved in making about 56% of its products into their supplier assessment system.
  • H&M is the second largest user of Tencel®Lyocell (also known as Lyocell). Lyocell is produced in a closed loop system and has a lower environmental impact than other man-made cellulosic fibres. Tencel® is a brand owned by fibre manufacturer, Lenzing. The generic name for the material is Lyocell. The H&M group considers only Tencel® manufactured by Lenzing as a conscious material.
  • In 2016, H&M helped develop the Responsible Wool Standard in a project led by the Textile Exchange. It is now working to get RWS-certified wool into their supply chain.

Investment

  • CO:LAB, an internal investment team makes investments in sustainable fashion, innovative business models and technology enablers, and looks for companies with a strategic match to our business.
  • Invested in Sellpy, a Swedish start-up that offers an on-demand service to help people sell items they no longer use, to help them develop and scale their sustainable retail concept – a new and exciting way to shop that aligns well with our own business concept of fashion and quality at the best price in a sustainable way.

Organic

  • The H&M group was one of the founding partners of the Organic Cotton Accelerator (OCA) which was launched in 2016. The OCA is a foundation created to accelerate the organic cotton market and find solutions to issues that the industry is facing.
  • They also launched its new Conscious Beauty range of organically produced products for skin, hair and body in March 2016.

Training & employee engagement

  • H&M regularly trains their design and buying office on sustainable material use. They have a specific Conscious Material Course that covers both the why and the how of their work with materials approved as ‘conscious’, as well as a company strategy for sustainable material use.
  • In 2016, a team of H&M group chemists has undergone training in Green Screen hazard assessment, a robust and transparent scientific method of identifying chemicals of high concern and suggesting safer alternatives.
  • In 2016, H&M we ran a Hazardous Substances Control training pilot for 93 suppliers in China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, India and Turkey. They compared the assessment results before and after the training and saw a significant improvement in areas relating to chemical risk identification and chemical monitoring through technical information.

Environmental performance assessment

  • The environmental emission evaluator (E cube/ BVE3) is a measurement and monitoring tool from Bureau Veritas that was launched in 2016. It helps suppliers assess their performance and proactively improve their chemical usage and discharge performance. In 2016, H&M started a pilot project at 29 suppliers in China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Pakistan and Turkey to test the online version of this tool.
  • H&M received an “AVANT-GARDE” grading in Greenpeace detox assessment in 2016, which means that they are a detox-committed company that is ahead in the field leading the industry towards a toxic-free future with credible timelines, concrete actions and on-the ground implementation.

Chemicals

  • The H&M group became part of the ChemSec business group in 2016 – a collaboration between companies to inspire the industry to use fewer toxic chemicals.

H&M in the news:

 

Anuja Sawant

Environment & Social Sustainability Specialist

https://anujasawant.com/

Fashion Sustainability in Progress: Zara

By | Sustainable Fashion, Sustainable Lifestyle | No Comments

This is the 3rd article in a bimonthly series where we will look at the most selling brands in the fashion industry in the year 2016-17. Interbrand, a global brand consultancy, reported Best Global Brands of 2017. Ten luxury and apparel companies made their mark in the top 100. Each blog post would probe into these companies for environmental and social performance by highlighting their progress. Stay tuned for this bimonthly series looking into their sustainability efforts.

Ranking on Best Global Brands of 2017: Zara is at 24 out of 100.

Fashion Transparency Index Final Score: 76-100% Only three companies have scored in this range. Levi Strauss & Co scored highest with 77. They are doing more than most other brands to communicate publicly about their supply chain practices. They seem to have many robust systems in place for tracking, tracing, monitoring and improving labour and environmental practices across the supply chain. The other two companies to score a top rating are H&M and Inditex both come in just one percentage point behind Levi's at 76%. However all the companies in this section still have a long way to go towards being fully transparent. POSITIVE STEPS TAKEN: All areas ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: More stakeholder engagement; better tracing of products down to sources of raw material; and even more transparent communications with the public.

Third party verification of report: Yes.  SGS ICS Ibérica, S.A.

Reporting Standard: This Report has been prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards: Comprehensive Option. Organizations have the choice between “in accordance – core” and “in accordance – comprehensive”, depending on the comprehensiveness of the disclosures made.

Insights from the its sustainability report:

Inditex is present in 94 markets -45 of them online- in all five continents, with more than 7,000 stores. Zara is one of their brands. In 2016, the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) named Inditex the most sustainable retail company in its industry, awarding it the gold medal with a total of 97 points out of 100 in a environmental category. Inditex’s supply chain comprises over 6,900 factories which employ over 1.5 million people.

Spending

  • Inditex has invested €40 million in social programmes worldwide in the last year.

Supply chain

  • Inditex has a Code of Conduct for Manufacturers and Suppliers that is binding for its entire supply chain, which establishes standards such as the prohibition of child labour, prohibition of forced labour or freedom of association, among others.
  • Inditex not only verifies that all the workers in the factories with which it collaborates have the same opportunities and working conditions regardless of gender, but that the factories also conduct programmes for women’s empowerment.
  • A project was launched in China in collaboration with Ethical Trading Initiative and other industry brands for the development of training and awareness materials to ensure that the wages and benefits of workers are complied.
  • In 2016 a pilot project was started in Turkey with a factory of 250 workers. In this initial phase, analyses have been carried out to understand the possible causes of gender discrimination in this country. With the findings obtained, the second phase of the programme will be launched in 2017 with the aim of improving the quality of life and working conditions of working women and achieving a full awareness by the factories’ managers.
  • During 2016, Sakhi Project was conducted which is structured in two parts: Sakhi Health and Sakhi Gender Equity. Both cover two fundamental aspects of the situation of women in the Asian country: health and the prevention of situations of harassment or abuse.
  • As part of Inditex's women empowerment projects in southeast India, on specific actions against Sumangali, an abusive work practice that is deeply rooted in the region’s rural culture, Inditex regularly performs specific audits to verify that its suppliers in India do not use the Sumangali system in their facilities.
  • In 2016, programmes were established for internal migrants in China, focused on ensuring that they understand and receive the social benefits to which they are entitled.

Programmes and standards

  • Clear to Wear & Safe to Wear:  These are health and safety standards for products by the Inditex Group, of obligatory application for all of garments and incorporating the most strict and up-to-date legislation in this area.
  • Picking Programme; This is an inspection and analysis instrument designed by Inditex and adapted to its production and logistic model. Its objective is to ensure that all items that we sell comply with product health and safety standards.
  • Ready to Manufacture (RtM): a code of good manufacturing practices for textile and leather products for facilities that undertake wet processes (dyeing, washing, tanneries and printing) and that guarantees compliance with the demanding health standards of Inditex.
  • Green to Wear: This is a standard that guarantees that production processes are environmentally responsible, including criteria for evaluation and control of the supply chain.
  • Inditex supports the Partnership for Cleaner Textile in Bangladesh (PaCT). This initiative works in collaboration with the World Bank in order to improve competitiveness of the textile sector through adopting the better practice in the management of water, energy and chemical substances.
  • In 2016 Inditex joined is the Clean by Design (CBD) programme, together with the Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC), to promote sustainability in textile production in China.

Training & employee engagement

  • Within the framework of the UK Modern Slavery Act of 2015 and the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010, activities were carried out to sensitize and train internal teams on the prohibition of forced labour. Those are part of regular training in Human Rights that the Inditex purchasing team receives. In 2016, 64 buyers were specifically trained in the prohibition of forced labour.
  • 729 buyers trained in responsible purchasing practices.
  • 164 new employees trained in sustainability.
  • 112 employees of subsidiaries trained in sustainability.
  • India: 5,951 schoolchildren have been trained in their rights.
  • India: 36 employment agencies have been trained in awareness to prevent abusive practices.
  • India: 327 volunteers have been trained to prevent abusive employment practices.
  • Turkey: Raising awareness in a factory with 250 workers.
  • China, Turkey: 18 members of the sustainability team trained in Occupational Health and Safety.
  • In 2016, the EHSA Centre of the University of Ling’nan in Guangzhou (China), specializing in environment and occupational health and safety, gave various trainings to the China sustainability team in: - Legislation on Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety - Ergonomics and occupational health and safety management systems - Electrical and machinery safety.
  • In 2016, Inditex’s Turkish sustainability team took part in advanced technical training, given by mechanical engineers linked to the Fair Labour Association Turkey.
  • In 2016, training of suppliers in aspects such as freedom of association and collective bargaining, traceability, improvement of workers’ conditions based on changes in factory production management systems, health and safety, children’s rights or systems of self-monitoring of the supply chain by the supplier was noteworthy.

Transparency

  • Inditex is the only company in its sector that provides this information to a union and facilitates union access to all suppliers, which is a sign of commitment to transparency and respect for freedom of association and collective bargaining.
  • The Australian Fashion Report 2016 shows the valuation of different retailers in several aspects, including transparency. The report places Inditex in category 'A', the highest level, achieved by only seven of the 87 companies evaluated worldwide.
  • In 2016 important advances were made in raw material traceability, with new initiatives specifically aimed at the traceability of cotton. In this regard, a pilot programme has been launched involving 50 strategic suppliers in five countries with the aim of gaining visibility and more knowledge about the production processes involved, from cotton growing to fabric manufacture.
  • Different programmes and initiatives were developed with suppliers of raw materials (including cotton) to trace production and to cooperate with renowned international organizations such as Better Cotton Initiative, Textile Exchange or Organic Cotton Accelerator (OCA), a multisectoral initiative created to promote the prosperity of the organic cotton sector.

Waste and resource conservation

  • Zara became the first Inditex brand to eliminate physical receipts in its stores and for orders placed on Zara.com in Spain in 2016. It is also introducing this initiative in the United States and the United Kingdom. This new paperless system will be gradually expanded to all other brands and markets in 2017.
  • Inditex maintains a long term strategy to integrate the vision of a circular economy into their business model. For this reason, projects were developed for the end of the product’s life cycle, such as Closing the Loop, which reaches employees and customers through the installation of containers for collecting garments. 100% implemented in Zara stores in Spain, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Holland and Denmark.
  • Inditex has partnered with MIT-MISTI (International Science and Technology Initiatives) in order to conduct research to improve recycling of textile fibres from used garments. The aim is to reduce the impact on natural resources and promote circular economy.
  • Green to Pack programme aims to reduce the consumption of raw materials in packaging and to improve shipment density, increasing the amount of products transported in each shipment. Additionally, the use of more sustainable materials in packaging was encouraged, improving reuse and subsequent separation and recycling.
  • In order to lengthen the useful life of garments, a project was developed for the reuse or recycling of garments in partnership with the third sector, recycling companies and textile manufacturers.
  • Inditex incorporates recycled polyester, wool and cotton in its garments, fibres where manufacturing consumes less water, energy and natural resources than the production of new fibres. Moreover, the Group has initiated new lines of research to improve the recycling of textile fibres together with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). And through the collaboration with Austrian company Lenzing, in 2016, Refibra™Lyocell was developed, from cotton waste generated by Inditex and wood originated from forests that are managed sustainably.
  • All paper products (bags, labels, office paper, etc.) and furnishings used in activities are certified under the PEFC or FSC standards, guaranteeing that the entire process of forestry management is carried out in a sustainable and accountable way.

Labelling

  • To enable customers to quickly identify the products that stand out as environmentally friendly, some Inditex brands have launched specific collections of more sustainable products. Zara identifies these products with the Join Life label, whereas in Oysho, the use of raw materials such as organic cotton, TENCEL®Lyocell or recycled materials is recognised from the Wear the Change label.
  • In 2016, the brand made progress with the commercialisation of these products, launching specific collections of these garments in all sections. In total, Zara put 42.3 million Join Life items on sale this year, representing over 5% of the entire brand collection over the year.

Energy efficiency

  • The sustainability and energy efficiency measures implemented in stores contribute savings of 20% in the case of electricity, and 40% in water consumption compared to conventional stores.
  • Clean energy sources supply 30% of worldwide energy consumption - 520 million KWh of electricity used at facilities comes from renewable sources - 89% of the electricity consumed in Spain is renewable. The use of clean electricity in facilities has grown by a factor of 10 since 2013.
  • In 2016, 520 million kWh of renewable energy was procured for offices, logistic centres and stores. This combined with the renewable generation, tri-generation and co-generation at facilities means that 30% of the energy consumed is clean, avoiding emissions derived from the production of energy using fossil fuels.
  • Increased the use of electricity from renewable sources in facilities tenfold since 2013. In Spain, where the Inditex Group is headquartered, 89% of the electricity consumed comes from renewable sources.

Sustainable procurement

  • 729 buyers have received in 2016 the socalled PrINciples training, which continues in 2017 with the IN Practice workshops, designed ad hoc for the Inditex purchasing teams. Thanks to this, the purchase from suppliers with the highest social ratings (A or B), in 2016 accounted for 95% of the total, which shows how the purchase has been oriented correctly in favour of suppliers with a highest degree of sustainability compliance
  • In the development of garments, focus is on incorporating textiles that allow reduction in environmental impact and to protect biodiversity, such as organic cotton, which does not require fertilisers or chemical pesticides, or TENCEL®Lyocell, a fiber originated from wood from forests that are managed in a sustainable way
  • Since 2013, Inditex has been a member of the Fur Free Retailer Programme by the Fur Free Alliance. Also, in 2015, it definitively rejected the production and sale of angora wool after an agreement with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

Chemicals

  • Prevention programmes such as Clear to Wear standard and the programme The List By Inditex were updated in 2016, increasing the number of chemical substances regulated by these initiatives.
  • Commitment to reach Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC commitment) allows contribution to the sustainability of water. In 2016, led the work team of the ZDHC initiative in order to improve the management of wastewater, publishing the Wastewater Guidelines as a result.
  • Complete elimination of the use of PFCs in items, studying and promoting the adoption of safe alternatives.
  • Implementation of the clean factory strategy for the elimination of the use of APEOS, chemical substances mainly used in the removal of oil stains.
  • Since 2014, compliance was verified with PFC Free policy so that all of products are free from perfluorocarbons (PFCs), compounds used in the waterproof and water repelling finishes. Given that this is of obligatory compliance in supply chain, in 2016 160 direct suppliers were provided alternative sustainable solutions for these unwanted substances.
  • The List by Inditex; A pioneering global programme to improve the quality of the chemical products used in the manufacturing of textile and leather products.
  • Through manufacturing and product analyses audits and later classification, improvements in the use of these chemical substances are implemented with two objectives: Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (environmental) and Clear to Wear (product).

Zara in the news:

 

Anuja Sawant

Environment & Social Sustainability Specialist

https://anujasawant.com/