Brands in this issue include: Inditex (claims of environmental strategy “does not go far enough”), Target, The North Face, JanSport, Nike and Gap (lagging on sustainability commitments), Uniqlo (going green with its jeans), Zara (questioned over sustainability commitments), and more.
Recently released reports:
Forced Labor in Supply Chains: Addressing risks and safeguarding workers’ freedoms, by Fair Labor Association
In general news:
Mary Creagh MP: We want to ‘fix’ fashion but the Government is not listening
Fashion ‘needs to rapidly develop’ beyond animal leather says Helsinki Fashion Week founder
Climate concerns fuel demand for sustainable fashion
Turkey’s Zero Waste campaign extended to textiles
Is locally made better?
Meet the future of Bangladesh’s sustainable design talent
To ‘future-proof’ business, fashion must pivot toward sustainability
Positive Luxury announces awards celebrating sustainability and innovation
Textile waste has increased 811% since 1960
The supply chain:
Cambodia: two killed 31 injured in crash
China: Nepali women stuck in Chinese factory finally arrive home
India: Supreme Court revisits the scope and ambit of the definition of employee under the EPF Act
Pakistan: expectations the country will join Better Work program this year
Sustainable fashion jobs: 2 new job listed this issue (at Ralph Lauren, and Superdry).
Quotes of the week:
“The Government isn’t listening and appears increasingly out of step with the public mood.” Mary Creagh MP, on the UK Government’s lack of action to reform the fashion industry (30 Jul).
“Textile waste has increased 811% since 1960 and the vast majority of this is heading to the landfill.” (23 Jul).
By Stephen Frost, CUHK Business School, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
BRANDS & RETAILERS
Retailers predict three years until ‘true sustainability’: “A study conducted by the organisers of retail industry events Pure London and the Spring & Autumn Fair have found that of 1,896 national and independent retailers, 73 per cent said they had increased reuse and recycling efforts in a bid to become more ‘sustainable’, but they were realistic that total sustainability was still out of reach” (01 Aug – from Ecotextile News, requires subscription to read full article).
Meghan Markle is launching a fashion line with a charitable angle: “The Duchess of Sussex has announced via the September issue of British Vogue - which she guest edited - that she has been secretly working on a fashion collaboration that will benefit her royal patronage, Smart Works, as reported by E! News. The charity kits out women trying to return to the workplace with suitable outfits for interviews, as well as coaching sessions to help boost their success” (31 Jul).
Inditex environmental strategy “does not go far enough”: “Following the launch of fashion conglomerate Inditex’s environmental strategy, not-for-profit Labour Behind the Label has said that whilst its commitments are commendable, it “does not go far enough” to catalyse progressive improvements to the lives of workers who produce Inditex apparel, many of which do not receive a living wage” (30 Jul – from Ecotextile News, requires subscription to read full article).
Big brands lag on sustainability commitments: “A new report from non-profit Green America has scored 14 major US apparel companies based on their sustainability efforts, concluding that whilst the likes of Target, VF Corporation’s The North Face and JanSport brands, Nike and Gap are “above average,” not one can be considered a “true environmental or social leader”. Ralph Lauren, Ann Taylor, Walmart, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle, The Children’s Place, Carter’s, J. Crew, Forever 21 and URBN – the owner of Urban Outfitters – complete the sample. Each was quizzed about its commitment to optimising the sustainability of various aspects of business” (30 Jul – from Ecotextile News, requires subscription to read full article).
What are fast fashion brands doing to tackle fashion’s sustainability problem? “As Zara announces a new wave of sustainability initiatives, Vogue looks at the key commitments that it and other fast fashion brands have made to date, and whether their impact goes far enough” (30 Jul).
How Uniqlo is going green with its jeans: “Drapers goes inside Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing’s Los Angeles denim-manufacturing hub, where it hopes to become top of the pack in the race to create sustainable jeans” (30 Jul).
NEWS & REPORTS
Mary Creagh MP: We want to ‘fix’ fashion but the Government is not listening: “Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee Mary Creagh MP writes on the need to reform the fashion industry. The UK’s thriving fashion industry pumps billions into our economy, showcases our creativity, and puts the capital on the map with London Fashion Week. But the business model behind it is broken. Online retailers sell dresses for a fiver, less than the hourly minimum wage. In the UK we buy more clothes per person than anywhere else in Europe. Our appetite for fast fashion comes with a huge social and environmental price tag” (30 Jul).
EAC chair: “Government is not listening”: “Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) Mary Creagh MP has hit out at the UK Government following the rejection of proposals in its report, saying: “the Government isn’t listening and appears increasingly out of step with the public mood”” (31 Jul – from Ecotextile News, requires subscription to read full article).
Fashion ‘needs to rapidly develop’ beyond animal leather says Helsinki Fashion Week founder: “Fashion designers and brands need to start swapping animal leather for sustainable alternatives, or risk alienating themselves from consumers, says Evelyn Mora, founder of Helsinki Fashion Week. Mora believes the fashion industry can expect a major upheaval, as customers start to demand more eco-friendly products” (30 Jul).
Climate concerns fuel demand for sustainable fashion: “India’s apparel market will be worth $59.3 billion in 2022, making it the sixth largest in the world. Though growing, sustainable or slow fashion is still a small contributor to India’s apparel market” (30 Jul).
Turkey’s Zero Waste campaign extended to food, textiles: “Turkey's ambitious zero waste project, which aims to drive recycling efforts for every kind of waste, is being extended to food waste and unused, old textile products” (30 Jul).
Is locally made better? “When something is bought locally, it seems like it would be better for the environment, since we are more likely to be able to find out if the brand is harming, for example, our local water supply. But it is easy to forget that an item of clothing has many stages of production. From the origins of the raw materials, to the transformation of that raw material into the fabric we see as the basis of our clothes. It’s not as simple as sewing the fabric into a funky new pair of pants! There are many factors we need to consider” (29 Jul).
Meet the future of Bangladesh’s sustainable design talent: “Bangladeshi fashion is so often framed negatively, but these four up and coming designers are championing craft, education and sustainability in fashion” (29 Jul)
To ‘future-proof’ business, fashion must pivot toward sustainability: “The mounting pressure for the fashion industry to adopt sustainable methods for sourcing and manufacturing was evident at Project New York last week, where trend forecasters, consultants and retailers hashed out what’s next for sustainable fashion” (29 Jul).
Positive Luxury announces awards celebrating sustainability and innovation: “Eco-friendly luxury brands are being invited to enter the competition, introduced by the Positive Luxury to recognise the companies and individuals who are working towards driving positive change in businesses and the world” (29 Jul).
Textile waste has increased 811% since 1960: “Jackie King, the executive director of Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles (SMART), said she's seen the issue of clothing headed to the landfill worsen in the last 10 years she's been in this business” (23 Jul).
THE SUPPLY CHAIN
Two garment workers dead, 31 injured in crash: “Two garment workers [from You Li International] died and another 31 were injured in a traffic accident in Svay Rieng province’s Svay Teab district yesterday” (31 Jul).
Nepali women stuck in China finally arrive home: “Nearly six weeks after sending out a call for help, a group of Nepali women stranded at [Dandong Larore] garment factory in China after being duped by a recruitment agency has returned home. All 44 women arrived in Kathmandu on Sunday afternoon” (29 Jul).
Supreme Court revisits the scope and ambit of the definition of employee under the EPF Act: “The scope and ambit of the definition of an employee under the Employees Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 (EPF Act) has come up time and again before the Courts in India. This issue often arises in situations wherein workers engaged by an establishment are working from home or are being paid on a piece rate basis” (29 Jul).
Pakistan expects to join Better Work program this year: “However, when Pakistan approached Better Work, it was informed that it “currently had more candidate countries that it could accommodate”. This was back in 2013. An arduous process followed requiring feasibility studies and assessments. Fast-forward to 2019, the process is finally bearing fruit and Pakistan is expected to be part of this programme this year, which will be funded by the Export Development Fund” (29 Jul).
ZDHC Releases Updated Version of the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines Version 1.1: “The ZDHC Roadmap to Zero Programme [has released] ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines Version 1.1. Initially released in November 2016, the Wastewater Guidelines define a single, unified standard for wastewater testing that goes beyond regulatory compliance and conventional wastewater testing parameters. They are the first guidelines to define wastewater requirements for hazardous chemicals covered in the ZDHC MRSL (ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substances List)” (31 Jul).
How YR uses fast-printing software to tackle fashion sustainability: “Global apparel customisation firm YR provides retail companies with on-demand printing technology to reduce wastage in an aim to tackle the fashion sustainability issue … YR, which was founded in 2013, provides software built to enable retailers to create designs which meet the demand for change in the fashion supply chain” (29 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: Manager, Sustainability (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)
* Superdry: Energy and Environment Manager (Cheltenham)
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.