Brands in this issue include: Apolis (empowering workers), Bestseller, Lindex, Orsay, Li & Fung, Lidl and Tchibo (using GoBlu’s BHive), Everlane (fails sustainability test), Inditex (can fast fashion and sustainability coexist), OVS (sustainable cotton by 2020), Primark (reacts to Bangladesh repression), Stella McCartney (using anti-consumption activists to sell more clothes), and more.
Recently released reports:
The Greater Manchester textile and garment industry: a scoping study, by Homeworkers Worldwide
In general news:
Second-hand website capitalises on industry growth
Water is the hidden imbalance in U.S./China trade
Wake up, fashion industry. Sustainability is the new name of game
The supply chain:
Bangladesh: 201 RMG factories vulnerable to labour unrest
Morocco: unions reject strike-restricting law
Manufacturers in this issue include: Lenzing (expands on-site pulp production), and more.
Sustainable fashion jobs: 1 new job listed this issue (at Welspun).
By Stephen Frost, CUHK Business School, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
BRANDS & RETAILERS
Primark reacts to Bangladesh repression: “After more than 400 workers from Primark suppliers in Bangladesh lost their jobs after partaking in peaceful protests which disputed sub-poverty minimum wages, the fashion brand says it has now suspended new orders from all factories affected and will ensure compensation is paid to those dismissed” (29 Jul – from Ecotextile News, subscription required to read full article).
Fast fashion brands are launching ‘sustainability initiatives’, but will they actually work? “From Zara to H&M to Asos, Vogue looks at the ways retailers are working towards a more sustainable future—including cutting carbon emissions and using recycled textiles—and how effective these initiatives really are” (29 Jul).
Can fast fashion and sustainability be stitched together? “[Inditex] pledged that by 2025, all of its eight brands will only use cotton, linen and polyester that's organic, sustainable or recycled, which is 90% of the raw materials its uses. CEO and executive chairman Pablo Isla said that renewable sources will power 80% of the energy consumed by the conglomerate's distribution centers, offices and stores. It also plans to transition to zero landfill waste” (27 Jul).
What does Zara’s new sustainability pledge really mean - and will it make a difference? “Rebecca Lowthorpe gets a rare audience at the brand’s Spanish headquarters, as the company reveals its plans to tackle the issue that’s finally firmly on the fashion agenda – sustainability” (26 Jul).
Stella McCartney taps anti-consumption activists to sell more clothes: “The eco-conscious label’s new campaign highlights the delicate balance brands and activists navigate when working together” (26 Jul).
How Apolis empowers workers in developing countries: “The Los Angeles-based company has set “advocacy through industry” as its key message, working with the international manufacturers who make their wide range of products—from graphic tees and jackets to bags and swimwear—to pay their workers a living wage” (25 Jul).
OVS to use only sustainable cotton by 2020: “The Italian retailer, operating 1,700 stores, said that by 2020, 100 percent of the cotton used for its collections will be sustainable. It will include organic cotton, cotton coming from cultivations certified by Better Cotton Initiative, a nonprofit promoting better standards in cotton farming and practices across 21 countries, as well as recycled cotton” (25 Jul).
We tested Everlane and they failed. Here’s what happened: “Using our sustainable brand criteria, powered by Remake, Everlane scored 30 points out of a possible 100, and that is failing! In order for a brand to pass this criteria they need to score 50 or above. To put that in perspective, most of the brands Eco-Stylist approves score in the 50s, while some well-known brands like Outerknown score in the 80s. Let’s dig in to Everlane’s results. (24 Jul).
GoBlu International launches BHive, a new app for chemical management: “International brands and retailers like Bestseller, Lindex, Orsay, Li & Fung, Lidl and Tchibo are already piloting the app. Moreover, more than 100 factories have been enrolled into BHive in seven countries including Bangladesh, China, Myanmar, Romania, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Vietnam” (24 Jul).
NEWS & REPORTS
Second-hand website capitalises on industry growth: “A second-hand clothing website which sources clothing from charity shops, housing clearance centres and from the public has launched in the UK, hoping to carve a niche in consumer’s growing inclination to shop for pre-owned fashion” (29 Jul – from Ecotextile News, subscription required to read full article).
The big leak: “Water is the hidden imbalance in U.S./China trade. The stakes for the climate and the economy are high ... there is a hidden price tag on all the clothing that is made in China. It’s a considerable sum—and growing—that is skewing the trade relationship and putting its future at risk. That hidden price tag is water” (28 Jul).
Wake up, fashion industry. Sustainablity is the new name of game: “Sustainability is not a trend. It’s a cry for help, especially to the big bosses. The fashion industry is now being highly criticized for years and years of humanitarian and environmentally destructive practices when mass-producing. Not only are they a large contributor to the world’s waste and destroying vast bodies of water, but they also are guilty of exploiting human resources especially in third world countries” (27 Jul).
THE SUPPLY CHAIN
201 RMG factories vulnerable to labour unrest: “Industrial police has identified 147 industrial units, including 99 readymade garment and textile factories, across the country having high risk of labour unrest over non-payment of wages and festival allowances to workers before upcoming Eid-ul-Azha” (26 Jul).
Moroccan unions reject strike-restricting law: “Unions are demanding the proposed legislation, which limits the right to strike, is withdrawn for adoption by the Moroccan parliament. The draft regulatory law No. 15.97 was written without consultation or negotiation with trade unions, contravening fundamental International Labour Organization Conventions 87 and 98” (25 Jul).
Lenzing expands on-site pulp production: “Austrian fibre producer Lenzing has completed the €60 million expansion of its on-site pulp plant, increasing production capacities for dissolving pulp extracted from beech wood from 300,000 to 320,000 tonnes per year” (29 Jul – from Ecotextile News, subscription required to read full article).
Why factories should be sustainability leaders, not followers: “But the question is this: why are brands always taking a lead on these issues? Why does a brand to come along to encourage suppliers to act? Many of these issues lie with manufacturers themselves, and they are the ones with the power to act. So what are they waiting for” (26 Jul).
Poor demand shuts 20 textile mills: “Textile dyeing and processing mills around Surat are facing death from fall in demand and decline in production rate. Of the nearly 350 mills that thrived in and around the Diamond City, around 20 have shut shop in the last three months. And, those that are still functioning, have been forced to work at 50 to 70% capacity” (25 Jul).
80 textile mills shut down in 2 years in Surat: “There are numerous factors responsible for the collapse of city's textile processing sector. Among them are 10 to 15 per cent rise in raw material prices such as chemical and dyes and hike in input costs like electricity, natural gas and coal etc. The unavailability of skilled textile labourers due to NREGA scheme and the dwindling demand of polyester fabrics from the domestic and international markets are also other reasons that affected the mills' operations”(21 Jul).
SUSTAINABLE FASHION JOBS
[New listings or updated information marked with *]
Adidas: Manager Sea Program Operations (Portland, OR)
Amazon: Social Responsibility, Senior Program Manager (Shenzhen, China)
BSR: HERproject Associate (Hong Kong)
BSR: Manager, Supply Chain Sustainability (New York)
C&A Foundation: Data Analyst (Gurgaon)
Calvin Klein: Director, Corporate Social Responsibility (New York)
Canada Goose: Sr. Materials Developer, Fabric Research, Development & Sustainability (Toronto)
Canada Goose: Corporate Citizenship Department Coordinator (Toronto)
Canada Goose: Manager, Sustainability and Social Compliance Programs (Toronto)
Center for Child Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility (CCR CSR): Social Worker (Shenzhen)
Centric Brands: Global Sourcing & Compliance Analyst (New York)
Decathlon China: Supplier Quality Engineer (Shenzhen)
Disney: Director, Environmental Science And Policy Analysis (Glendale, CA)
Disney: Manager, Audit Analysis, ILS (Glendale, CA)
Fjällräven: Brand Experience Coordinator (Stockholm)
Fur Europe: EU Policy and Environment Intern (Belgium)
Global Brands Group: Social & Environmental Affairs Officer (London)
Good Business Lab: Marketing and Partnerships Associate (Bengaluru/Delhi)
Good Business Lab: Data Associate (Bengaluru/Delhi)
Good Business Lab: Data Intern (Bengaluru/Delhi)
Good Business Lab: Research Associate (Bengaluru/Delhi)
Good Weave: Director, Apparel and Fashion Jewelry (Washington DC)
GoodWeave: Program Officer (Washington DC)
Groupe ETAM: Sustainability Manager (Hong Kong)
Gymshark: Sustainability Manager (Solihull)
H&M: Sustainability Developer (Yangon)
Hugo Boss: Corporate Sustainability Manager (Metzingen)
Hugo Boss: Sustainability & Innovation Manager (Metzingen)
ÏDKIDS: CSR Internship (Supplier Social Audits) (Pas-en-Artois)
Impactt: Senior Consultant – Social Auditing (London)
Kenneth Cole: Fall Internship Program – CSR (New York)
Kmart Australia: Human Rights Manager (Melbourne)
Kmart Australia: Sustainable Materials Manager (Melbourne)
Lululemon: Community Programs Lead AU/NZ (Melbourne)
Marc Fisher Footwear: Compliance Coordinator (Greenwich, CT)
Nakd: Corporate Social Responsibility Internship (Gothenburg)
Nike: Environmental Health & Safety Manager - Air MI (Phoenix, AZ)
Nike: Project Manager, Social Community Impact APAC (Tokyo)
Nike: Community Impact Director Latam (Mexico City)
Patagonia: Head of Supply Chain Environmental Responsibility (Ventura, CA)
PVH: Manager, Environmental Sustainability & Product Stewardship (New York)
Ralph Lauren: Associate, Global Employee Communications & Philanthropy (New York)
QuizRR: Internal Sales Representative (Stockholm)
REI: Director, Communications and Public Affairs (Kent WA)
Reset Carbon: Senior Consultant – Corporate Sustainability (Hong Kong)
s.Oliver: Senior Global Sustainability Manager Environment & Chemical Compliance (Rottendorf)
Solidarity Center: Senior Specialist for Organizing – Trade Union Strengthening Department (Phnom Penh)
Solidarity Center: Deputy Country Program Director (Phnom Penh)
Sustainable Apparel coalition: Operations Coordinator, Europe (Amsterdam)
TAL Apparel: Environmental Sustainability Executive (Hong Kong)
Tommy Hilfiger: Corporate Responsibility Coordinator (Amsterdam)
University of Leeds: Research Fellow in Sustainable Materials and Renewable Fibres (Leeds)
VF: Sustainability Trainee (Stabio)
VF: Sustainable Operations Assistant Manager (Shanghai)
VF: Manager, Worker Rights (Hong Kong)
VF: Specialist, Supply Chain Sustainability (Shanghai)
Wearable Collections: Drivers, Route Helpers and Market Coordinators (New York)
* Welspun: Head - Group Sustainability (Mumbai)
WSR: Director of Outreach and Communications (New York)
CONFERENCES & SEMINARS
[New listings or updated information marked with *]
04 September, Northampton: 1 Day Sustainability in the Leather Supply Chain Training Course: “An introductory one-day leather sustainability course covering supply chain management, traceability and materials sources, the leather making process, chemical management risks, environmental impacts and stewardship, NGO activity and the leather life cycle.”
05 September, Shanghai: How to assess a factory on Social, Health & Safety and Quality issues: “Be able to grasp the overall vision of an efficient quality process and avoid the critical non conformities in terms of social and health & safety performance.”
08 September, Dhaka, Bangladesh: GOTS Bangladesh Seminar 2019: “The theme of this year´s seminar is ‘Connecting for Success’. In 2018, Bangladesh reached second position (after India) in terms of GOTS certified facilities in the country. This growth trend showcases the commitment of the Bangladeshi textile industry to not only use organic fibres, but also to environmental and social compliances. Fire and Building Safety are included in GOTS criteria and the country has made significant progress in all these areas.” Speaking opportunities available: contacts at link. Click here to register.
10 September, Webinar: See What’s New – C2C Certified Version 4 Draft Standard: “introduce the Cradle to Cradle Certified Version 4 draft standard … free webinar.”
12 September, Shanghai: Environmental Awareness Training: “Know the requirements to control & reduce the environmental risks in the textile wet processing units, and understand how to better address critical topics such as Chemical Management and Wastewater Management in the factory with Effluent Treatment Plant.”
17 September, Hong Kong: Environmental Awareness Training: “Know the requirements to control & reduce the environmental risks in the textile wet processing units, and understand how to better address critical topics such as Chemical Management and Wastewater Management in the factory with Effluent Treatment Plant.”
19 September, Hong Kong: Chemical Management Training: “What are the key requirements in terms of proper chemical management in a textile factory to reduce the environmental & social risks?”
20 – 21 September, Dhaka, Bangladesh: Global Textile Forum – Gearing up for New Generation Textiles: “Global Textile Forum is an initiative, a platform to promote region’s textile and garment industry through Collaborative efforts.”
20 – 21 September: Sacramento: WB/Camp on Water-Based Printing: “first-of-its-kind summit on water-based ink printing, powered by the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association’s (SGIA) THREADX conference. Hosted by Motion Textile.”
09 – 10 October, San Diego: The Responsible Business Summit West 2019: “The Responsible Business Summit West focuses on what business needs to do to show leadership on key social and environmental challenges and opportunities.”
15 – 18 October: Vancouver: Textile Exchange Sustainability Conference: Driving impact through integrity and preferred fiber & materials.
23 – 24 October: Amsterdam: European Textile Polyester Summit 2019: “an insight into the European polyester market and its drivers and developments, as well as focus on feedstock availability and sustainability challenges.”
29 – 30 October: Washington DC: “Brands Taking Stands – What’s next?”: “bringing corporate leaders together on a fast-paced main stage, keenly focused on the ‘why’ and ‘how’ behind their thinking.”
01 November: Hong Kong: Crisis Management & Modern Slavery: “[The Mekong Club’s] intensive 3.5-hour workshop will equip you with the right tools to anticipate and prepare for a crisis, and teach you how to use crisis management principles effectively. A realistic modern slavery crisis scenario will be used so participants can practice these principles.”
04 – 05 November: Stockholm: Transforming Products for the Circular Economy: “This two-day forum will feature leading innovators, product designers, manufacturers and brands using Cradle to Cradle Certified to design and make safe, healthy materials and products for the circular economy.”
05 November: Dhaka, Bangladesh: Sustainable Apparel Forum: 2nd edition of a forum facilitated by the Bangladesh Apparel Exchange.
07 November, Chennai: 1 Day Chemical Compliance & Product Safety in the Supply Chain: “Manufacturers and suppliers who attend this one-day course can understand the importance of RSL and MRSL obligations for their business, key restricted substances and topical global legislation, as well as best practice guidance for implementation of MRSL compliance to satisfy the leather, footwear and apparel industries.”
12 – 14 November, San Jose, California: BSR Conference: “The 27th annual BSR Conference, one of the longest-running and most prestigious sustainable business events. This year, we will explore the transformations that are creating a new climate for business and help to pave the way for companies, people, and planet to thrive in this era of rapid change.”
20 November, Hong Kong: Half Day Sustainability in the Leather Supply Chain Training Course: This half-day leather sustainability course covers key aspects of traceability and material sourcing, chemical management risks, environmental impacts and stewardship, NGO activity and the leather life cycle.”
11 – 12 February, Cologne: 1st International Conference on Cellulose Fibres: “New International Conference on Cellulose Fibres, the fastest growing fibre group in textiles, the largest investment sector in the bio-based economy and the solution for avoiding microplastics.”
11 March, London: Drapers Sustainable Fashion 2020: “[With a] focus on collaborating for change within the fashion retail industry.”
Disclaimer: The Fashion Sustainability Week in Review (FSWIR) is a twice-weekly roundup of sustainability news items relevant to the fashion, apparel, textile and related industries. The views and opinions expressed in the FSWIR by individual authors and/or media outlets cited do not necessarily reflect the position of GoBlu International or any individual associated with the company.