Brands in this issue include: Abercrombie & Fitch (new sustainability targets), Asos (asks suppliers for three percent discount), C&A (blockchain in Brazil), Gucci, Kering, H&M and Inditex (joining forces with the G7), H&M, Esprit and KappAhl (fair wage pilot in China), Kering (sustainability undermined by flashy events, nebulous supply chains), Levi’s (new action strategy for water; joins forces with Kontor Brands over reports of sexual abuse in factories), Marks & Spencer (safe migration project in India), New Look (Vegan Society trademark), Nike (still using sweatshops?; is it a responsible investment?; releases sawdust shoe), Tchibo (joint action for water protection), thredUP ($175 million in funding), Uniqlo (sustainable jeans), and more.

In general news:

  • Rock band recycles t-shirts to cut waste

  • How Hasna Kourda is using tech to encourage fashion sustainability

  • Fashion Summit puts sustainability first

  • How blockchain could change Brazil’s fashion industry

  • When it comes to sustainability, hemp is the fabric of fashion’s future

Manufacturers in this issue include: CleanDye, Eco Spindles, Hirdaramani Group, The Renewal Workshop, Vertical Knits (earn sustainability recognition) and more.

Sustainable fashion jobs: 8 new job listed this issue (Amaro, C&A Sourcing, Columbia, L Brands, PVH, Velcro Companies, Walmart, and ZDHC).

By Stephen Frost, CUHK Business School, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.


Levi Strauss & Co. announces new global water action strategy, heightening focus on most water-stressed areas in supply chain: “Levi Strauss & Co. today announced a new water action strategy that represents an evolution in thinking around water use in a global supply chain, particularly in areas already facing water stress, and a new way to define successful water stewardship in manufacturing. It leverages the latest water science and data, consultations with leading water experts, and the company’s own water management experience and leadership over the past three decades to set a new standard for the company and the industry … with a goal of reducing its cumulative water use for manufacturing by 50 percent in water-stressed areas by 2025” (22 Aug).

Abraham and Thakore launch viscose kurtas: “Abraham and Thakore have designed a kurta collection with sustainable viscose fiber. The green fiber ‘Lenzing Ecovero’ has been used by the designer duo for a garment range for both men and women. The viscose fiber is manufactured only from certified and controlled wood sources and produced with significantly lower emissions and water than generic viscose” (21 Aug).

The truth behind the alleged Nike sweatshops: “Is Nike hypocritical as a brand? Does Nike use sweatshops even to this day? Let’s find out … These recent allegations don’t just taint the reputation of a brand that has tried so hard to make up for its past mistakes, but also highlights the prevalent hypocrisy found in the rest of the fashion industry” (21 Aug).

Resale clothing company thredUP gets $175 million in funding: “Online resale store thredUP said on Wednesday it received $175 million in funding which it will use to expand its platform to offer resale clothing services to retailers” (21 Aug).

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. announces new sustainability targets through 2025: “Abercrombie & Fitch Co. [has] announced that it has become a participant of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate citizenship and sustainability initiative. The company also announced its new sustainability targets through 2025” (21 Aug).

G7 and fashion houses join forces to make clothes more sustainable: “But this year, G7 leaders will be joined by more than 20 fashion retailers and brands, including the owner of Gucci, Kering, H&M and Zara’s parent company, Inditex, for a key fashion moment – a global pact to fight the climate crisis and protect biodiversity and the oceans” (21 Aug).

British HC launches project for safe migration: “The British High Commissioner to India, Dominic Asquith, on Tuesday launched a Responsible Migration project in Ranchi aimed at spreading awareness among migrants to ensure safe migration for work. “I am delighted to launch this project alongside well-known British brand Marks & Spencer. Initiatives like this help promote responsible employment practices and cleaner supply chains. The UK Government remains committed to protecting the most vulnerable workers across the globe. The UK and India are working together, as a global Force for Good, to build a future where forced labour and exploitation are truly a thing of the past,” said Asquith” (21 Aug).

Asos asks suppliers for three percent discount to cut costs: “Asos has reportedly asked suppliers for a discount on its orders as the online giant continues to cut costs. In a letter sent to suppliers and seen by Drapers, Asos asked for a three percent discount on the prices of all stock it receives after 1 September” (20 Aug).

Joint action for water protection: “[T]ogether with WWF, we [Tchibo] conducted a water risk analysis in 2018 with the aid of the “Water Risk Filter” - an instrument developed by the WWF in cooperation with DEG (German Investment and Development Company). According to Alexander Liedke, Senior Manager for Sustainable Business and Markets at WWF, “The biggest water risk for Tchibo is in certain regions in India and Turkey (cotton cultivation) and in China (textile dyeing)”. The complete study is publicly available here. As a result of the analysis, we have entered into a partnership with WWF Germany to learn from its water expertise and to access the international network of experts. In addition to the further development of our strategy, a key element for us is the support of two sector-wide projects in China and Turkey” (20 Aug – in German).

Levi’s and Kontoor Brands react to reports of sexual abuse in garment factories: “Levi Strauss & Co., Kontoor Brands - which owns Wrangler and Lee jeans - and The Children’s Place have all pledged to crack down on gender-based abuse in Lesotho garment factories after an investigation found women were being coerced into having sex in order to keep their jobs. The major fashion brands will be taking part in a pilot programme intended to prevent gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH) in five factories owned and operated by Nien Hsing Textile in Lesotho where their clothing is made and where more than 10,000 workers are employed. They have signed a set of agreements with five Lesotho-based trade unions and women’s rights organizations, US-based Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), Solidarity Center and Workers United to address the issue. (20 Aug).

ESG investing: Is Nike a responsible investment? “Does the company treat its employees well? No. The CEO-to-median-worker-pay ratio for Nike is 379:1, which is higher than the national average. (The average employee/pay ratio is 287, according to Vox.) Additionally, the median employee at Nike makes $24,000, which is much lower than the national average of $60,336. Nike executives have unnecessary perks like flying in Nike's private jet, having their rent paid, and more benefits that don't align with a culture that promotes the happiness of their lower-ranking employees” (20 Aug). [Ed’s note: analysis of Nike using The Motley Fool’s 10-question framework.]

Solidaridad launches Chinese fair wage pilot: “Solidaridad and its partner technology QuizRR have launched a pilot project to improve working conditions and productivity in China’s textile and garment supply chain. The project has received funding from the ASN Bank and will also involve collaboration with H&M, Esprit and KappAhl, as it looks to ensure decent labour conditions and foster progress towards fare wages, improved transparency in alignment with sustainable development goals (SDGs) in the fashion sector” (20 Aug – from Ecotextile News, subscription required to read full article).

Why luxury fashion is walking the runway in recycled-plastic heels: “Kering is leading the way in luxury’s sustainability efforts. But flashy events and nebulous supply chains are undermining the group’s socially and environmentally responsible front” (20 Aug).

Uniqlo deploys lasers and eco stones for sustainable jeans: “The parent company of Japanese retailer Uniqlo will slash water use by 90% to 99% in the production of all jeans for the apparel chain, starting in 2020. Fast Retailing will combine water-saving technology, water recycling and lasers to create its vintage looks, rather than relying on manual labor and excessive washing to produce distressed denim for all of its jeans lines” (20 Aug).

New Look first major high street brand to get Vegan Society trademark: “Major UK high street fashion brand, New Look, has launched 500 bags and shoes that are entirely vegan. Vegan’s looking to buy from the brand can be confident that no animal products are involved in the production as they are working alongside The Vegan Society to ensure all of these products meet the standards for the charity’s Vegan Trademark” (19 Aug).

Nike just released vegan Air Max 90 sneakers made from sawdust: “The Maharishi x Nike Air Max 90 features an organic cotton upper in one color — Maharishi’s signature “maha Olive” — dyed naturally with pomegranate and turmeric. The outsoles are made from Nike Grind, a material created from recycled athletic footwear and manufacturing scraps. Nike’s signature checkmark logo as well as other details on the shoe feature sawdust made by grinding down shipping palettes for a woodgrain effect” (19 Aug).


Rock band recycles t-shirts to cut waste: “UK pop rock band The 1975 is doing its bit to address the disposable nature of music fashion by printing new logos on old t-shirts in a bid to cut down on overproduction and to divert textiles from landfill” (20 Aug – from Ecotextile News, subscription required to read full article).

Save your wardrobe: how Hasna Kourda is using tech to encourage fashion sustainability: “Having spent her life in Tunisia, going on to study in France, and spending the last 6 years in London developing Save Your Wardrobe, Hasna states her vision, “Our aim is to change the way we approach fashion, while also increasing sustainability.” So what does Save Your Wardobe do? The concept is a virtual form of your wardrobe, with a system created around it that has service actions including customization, styling, and even dry cleaning, determined by your API. Save Your Wardrobe then refers you to their local service partner, in your locality, whilst they learn about your consumer behaviors” (20 Aug).

Fashion Summit puts sustainability first: “The Hong Kong Fashion Summit (HKFS) is set to return for its 2019 edition, with 52 speakers from 12 countries taking part. This year the event’s theme will be ‘Achieving the Goals’, with a focus on how fashion brands can be more ‘sustainable’ in their day-to-day operations” (19 Aug – from Ecotextile News, subscription required to read full article).

How blockchain could change Brazil’s fashion industry: “A number of industries have been looking into the benefits of blockchain technology, with many believing it to be key for the success of future industries and organisations. As it becomes more widespread, blockchain could potentially enable higher degrees of transparency and accountability in various types of networks, including fashion supply chains. C&A – a Brazilian [sic] multinational clothing brand – has highlighted the importance of using blockchain technology in its supply chain as a way to promote transparency among partners” (19 Aug).

When it comes to sustainability, hemp is the fabric of fashion’s future: “The crop’s legalization could change the industry — and threaten cotton’s dominance” (14 Aug).


Fashion factories earn Sustaining Voices sustainability recognition: “The honorees in the factory category are: CleanDye, for establishing the world’s first water- and process-chemical-free dyeing facility in Vietnam; Eco Spindles, for building a first-of-its-kind PET-recycling plant in Sri Lanka; Hirdaramani Group, for achieving net-zero carbon emissions across its apparel vertical; The Renewal Workshop, for keeping lightly damaged garments out of the landfill; and Vertical Knits, for dramatically reducing freshwater use during cotton dyeing” (21 Aug).


[New listings or updated information marked with *]

Achille Pinto Spa: Sustainability Manager (Como)

* Amaro: Sustainability & Social Impact Lead (São Paulo)

Amazon: Social Responsibility, Senior Program Manager (Shenzhen, China)

Ascena: Analyst Community & Philanthropy (New York)

Asos: Ethical Trade Assistant (Hong Kong)

BSR: HERproject Associate (Hong Kong)

BSR: Manager, Supply Chain Sustainability (New York)

* C&A Sourcing: Environmental Project Manager (Hong Kong)

C&A Sourcing: Specialist - Sustainable Chemicals Management (Bengaluru).

C&A Foundation: Data Analyst (Gurgaon)

Calvin Klein: Director, Corporate Social Responsibility (New York)

Canada Goose: Manager Fabrics Research, Development, Sustainability (Toronto)

Canada Goose: Sustainability Programs Specialist (Toronto)

Canada Goose: Sr. Materials Developer, Fabric Research, Development & Sustainability (Toronto)

Canada Goose: Corporate Citizenship Department Coordinator (Toronto)

Center for Child Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility (CCR CSR): Social Worker (Shenzhen)

Centric Brands: Global Sourcing & Compliance Analyst (New York)

* Columbia: prAna Sourcing Analyst (Carlsbad, CA)

Copenhagen Fashion Week: Bæredygtighedspraktikant (Copenhagen)

Cutso: Lead Developer - Sustainable Fashion Marketplace (London)

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 Assistant (London)

Global Brands Group: Social & Environmental Affairs Officer (London)

Global Fashion Agenda: Sustainability intern (Copenhagen)

Good Weave: Director, Apparel and Fashion Jewelry (Washington DC)

GoodWeave: Program Officer (Washington DC)

Groupe ETAM: Sustainability Manager (Hong Kong)

Guess: Apparel Testing & Environmental Sustainability Specialist (Bioggio)

Gymshark: Sustainability Manager (Solihull)

H&M: Sustainability Developer (Yangon)

House of Anita Dongre: Fashion Designer – Sustainability (Mumbai)

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)

Interface: Global Director of Life Cycle Assessments (Atlanta, GA)

JCPenney: Project Specialist – Corporate Social Responsibility (Plano, TX)

Kmart Australia: Human Rights Manager (Melbourne)

* L Brands: Government Affairs Specialist (Columbus, OH)

Lululemon: Director, Chemicals & Materials Sustainability (Vancouver)

Michael Kors: Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility (New York)

MV Sport: Global Social Compliance Manager (Bay Shore, NY)

Nakd: Corporate Social Responsibility Internship (Gothenburg)

Nike: Integrated Performance Senior Manager, Sustainable Manufacturing & Sourcing (Beaverton, OR)

Nike: Ethics & Compliance Manager, Greater China (Shanghai)

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)

Pebbles: Manager Maatschappelijk Verantwoord Ondernemen (Alkmaar)

Pegas Nonwovens: Global Safety, Regulatory and Sustainability Specialist (Znojmo)

Primark: Sustainability Materials Sourcing Manager (County Dublin)

Primark: Sustainability Materials Coordinator (County Dublin)

* PVH: Corporate Responsibility Coordinator (Amsterdam)

PVH: Manager, Environmental Sustainability & Product Stewardship (New York)

Ralph Lauren: Manager, Sustainability (New York)

Ralph Lauren: Associate, Global Employee Communications & Philanthropy (New York)

Puma: Officer Social Sustainability (Guangzhou)

QuizRR: Internal Sales Representative (Stockholm)

REI: Director, Communications and Public Affairs (Kent WA)

s.Oliver: Senior Global Sustainability Manager Environment & Chemical Compliance (Rottendorf)

SML: Manager – Global Sustainability (Hong Kong)

Solidarity Center: Senior Specialist for Organizing – Trade Union Strengthening Department (Phnom Penh)

Solidarity Center: Deputy Country Program Director (Phnom Penh)

Superdry: Executive Assistant to Sourcing and Sustainability Director (Cheltenham)

Superdry: Energy and Environment Manager (Cheltenham)

Sustainable Apparel coalition: Operations Coordinator, Europe (Amsterdam)

TAL Apparel: Environmental Sustainability Executive (Hong Kong)

Tchibo: (Senior) Project Manager Sustainability (Hamburg)

Tommy Hilfiger: Communications Manager Sustainability (Amsterdam)

Uniqlo: Sustainability Officer (Bangkok)

University of Leeds: Research Fellow in Sustainable Materials and Renewable Fibres (Leeds)

Unravelau: Internship Sustainability Researcher (Utrecht)

* Velcro Companies: EHS Manager (Somersworth, NH)

VF: Sustainability Trainee (Stabio)

VF: Manager, Worker Rights (Hong Kong)

* Walmart: Senior Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility (Beijing)

Welspun: Head - Group Sustainability (Mumbai)

White Stuff: Foundation Manager (London)

WSR: Director of Outreach and Communications (New York)

* ZDHC: Legal Intern (Amsterdam)

CONFERENCES & SEMINARS                                        

[New listings or updated information marked with *]  

28 August, New Delhi: Launch Event - Life And Building Safety (LABS) Initiative: “Start the future on providing safer working conditions for factory workers in the apparel and footwear industry.”

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.”

* 11 October, Coimbatore: Top Ten Best Practices – ZDHC: Training by Sustainable Textile Solutions (STS) – Those interested in attending should contact:

15 – 18 October: Vancouver: Textile Exchange Sustainability Conference: Driving impact through integrity and preferred fiber & materials.

* 16 October, Delhi: Top Ten Best Practices – ZDHC: Training by Sustainable Textile Solutions (STS) – Those interested in attending should con tact:

* 23 October, Dhaka: Higg FEM 3.0 training: Training by Sustainable Textile Solutions (STS) – Those interested in attending should contact:

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 October, Shanghai: Top Ten Best Practices – ZDHC: Training by Sustainable Textile Solutions (STS) – Those interested in attending should contact:

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.”

* 30 October, Istanbul: Top Ten Best Practices – ZDHC: Training by Sustainable Textile Solutions (STS) – Those interested in attending should con tact:

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, Delhi: Higg FEM 3.0 training: Training by Sustainable Textile Solutions (STS) – Those interested in attending should contact:

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.”

* 22 November, Coimbatore: Higg FEM 3.0 training: Training by Sustainable Textile Solutions (STS) – Those interested in attending should contact:

* 26 November, Dhaka: Higg FEM 3.0 training: Training by Sustainable Textile Solutions (STS) – Those interested in attending should contact:

* 11 – 12 December, Istanbul: Chemical Management - ZDHC: Training by Sustainable Textile Solutions (STS) – Those interested in attending should contact:

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.”

(Photo by Dorothe, CCO)

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.