Brands in this issue include: Burberry (partners with The RealReal), DL1961 (says ‘people are ready to listen’ to sustainability message), Forever 21 (underestimated young women), Kmart (joins ZDHC), Levi’s (talks about environmental impact), Savage X Fenty (supports breast cancer survivors), Walmart (to test programs for U.S. workers to cut costs), and more.
Recently released reports:
In general news:
We met the winner of the world’s largest sustainable fashion award
Second-hand clothing to overtake fast fashion
Extinction Rebellion takes aim at fashion
Fashion’s next major battlefield: sustainability
‘Garment and textile agreement is relevant’
Why sustainability is becoming as important as influencers in fashion
How four influencers in sustainability focus on fashion
Photos of the daily lives of garment workers in India and Cambodia
Scientists tested children and 97 percent contained toxic plastic byproducts
In the supply chain:
India: Tirupur garment industry gasps for survival
Turkey: Turkey’s fast fashion is rising on the backs of Syrian refugees
Manufacturers in this issue include: Archroma (sustainable solutions at Techtextil India 2019), Re:Newcell (high-tech way to recycle old clothes), and more.
Sustainable fashion jobs: 8 new jobs listed this issue (at Brooks, Global Fashion Agenda, Michael Kors, New Look, Quiz Clothing and Velcro).
By Stephen Frost, CUHK Business School, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
FROM ECOTEXTILE NEWS
Europe to accelerate drive towards textiles circularity: “The Council of the European Union has given the green light to accelerate the transition of key sectors, including textiles, towards a circular economy and says it will encourage the use of economic instruments, such as taxation and extended producer responsibility schemes in order to achieve this goal” (07 Oct).
Inaugural World Cotton Day opens in Geneva: “Leading figures in the global cotton industry have converged on the Swiss city of Geneva for the first ever World Cotton Day” (07 Oct).
Unions, NGOs call for corporate accountability law: “More than 80 NGOs and trade unions have joined forces, calling on the European Commission to introduce corporate accountability legislation that it’s hoped would mitigate human rights abuse cases throughout global supply chains and offset the environmental impact of industry” (07 Oct).
The guardian: “Ma Jun, Environmentalist & Director of the Beijing-based Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE), was shocked to find some chemical giants don’t even know the names of their textile intermediate suppliers and says the NGO will continue to call out irresponsible companies” (03 Oct).
The biology of textile dyeing: “There’s been a lot of press talk about ‘new bio-synthetic dyes’ for the textile industry. But much of this news is often recycled, and inaccurate. So, what’s really going on? John Mowbray gives readers an insight into the current state of play” (03 Oct).
BRANDS & RETAILERS
Burberry partners with The RealReal to tap fast-growing resale market: “Burberry Group PLC is the largest luxury brand yet to explore new ways to tap into the fast-growing resale market, partnering with The RealReal, Inc. to offer special perks that would entice resellers back into its stores” (07 Oct).
Kmart joins ZDHC: “The Kmart Group, comprising Kmart Australia, Target Australia, Anko International, KAS Group Asia and Catch Group, is a division of Wesfarmers and operates over 520 stores across Australia and New Zealand. Kmart Group sells a range of apparel and general merchandise products” (05 Oct).
Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty supports breast cancer survivors: “Savage X Fenty is also raising awareness by spotlighting a group of four women living with breast cancer, dubbed the "thrivers." The social campaign sees them share their own personal stories of strength and resilience in relation to the disease” (04 Oct).
Levi’s Paul Dillinger on how denim innovations must take environmental impact into account: “I think that technology innovation in the textile industry must focus on the negative impact the industry has on the environment, from fabrics to finished products. In a study of our industrial practices we carried out in 2015, we found that 74% of our water consumption and 35% of our carbon footprint arise from working on the material, on denim: from cotton growing to spinning, to weaving the fabrics we use to produce our jeans. There is no simple, unique solution for solving the problems of pollution and resource utilisation. We therefore need to explore all options.” (04 Oct).
DL1961 CEO says ‘people are ready to listen’ to sustainability message: “The Sustainable Fashion Forum, produced by Fashiondex and LA Textile, took place in Los Angeles on Thursday, bringing together the apparel industry’s leading designers, manufacturers and logistics providers who are innovating for change. In a panel discussion about responsible fashion, Zahra Ahmed, CEO of DL1961, took the stage to expound upon the brand’s efforts to bring sustainability to one of apparel’s most notorious categories: denim” (04 Oct).
Walmart to test programs for U.S. workers to cut costs: “Walmart said on Thursday it will begin several healthcare pilot programs for its U.S. employees starting Jan. 1 as it looks for ways to cut healthcare costs - one of the largest expenses for the retailer after wages” (04 Oct).
Forever 21 underestimated young women: “Now, Forever 21 is in trouble for exactly the same reason as the stores it out-muscled: It’s being beaten at its own game. Unlike Millennials, who were compelled by the abundance of Forever 21 and saw its wares as an opportunity to better adhere to existing trends, Generation Z consumers—kids currently in grade school and college—just see a bunch of cheap stuff that everyone already knows about. The familiar is a hard sell to today’s young shoppers, according to Thomai Serdari, a fashion-branding strategist and marketing professor at New York University. “A big difference with Generation Z is that they’re not all trying to look the same,” she says” (03 Oct).
Here's what Forever 21’s bankruptcy could mean for the future of fast fashion: “Additionally, the rapid production of cheap, easily disposable clothes has called into question the negative environmental impact of fast fashion. These concerns were less at the forefront of consumers’ minds in the ’00s when the chain was at its peak success, a time that points to the over-confidence that led Forever 21 to later expand from having stores in seven to 47 countries in less than six years, all while technology — and with it, online shopping — was gaining momentum” (03 Oct).
NEWS & REPORTS
We met the winner of the world’s largest sustainable fashion award: “This year’s winner [of the Redress Design Awards], Maddie Williams, an Edinburgh College of Art graduate, is a junior designer at Pentland Brands. Her collection “The Mourners”, she says, was inspired by a sense of “eco-grief at the destruction of the natural systems that support us””(06 Oct).
Second-hand clothing to overtake fast fashion: “Move over fast fashion, second-hand clothing is the next big thing. New York University business professor and renowned tech pundit Scott Galloway predicts global sales of used clothing will be “a bigger business within nine years than fast fashion”. “The new disrupter in retail, the new gangster that’s going to create hundreds of billions in shareholder value is the second-hand resale market,” Mr Galloway said, speaking at the INFORM News Media Summit 2019. “It’s being driven by young people”” (06 Oct).
Extinction Rebellion takes aim at fashion: “Sustainability is at the forefront of the fashion conversation today in a way it has never been before, and the emergence of XR — which 18 months ago consisted of just 10 people in Britain and has since swelled to millions of followers across 72 countries — has stoked the increasingly heated discussion” (06 Oct).
Fashion’s next major battlefield: sustainability: “Sustainability will be the next major battlefield where fashion brands will compete for millennials. Unfortunately, the fashion industry is not providing enough sustainable choices that are also accessible, affordable, and offer great value—three of the most important criteria for 95% of millennials” (05 Oct).
‘Garment and textile agreement is relevant’: “The Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile is turning out to be a relevant and effective way of improving sustainability in the garment and textile sector. Participating companies are tracking down risks in their production chain and taking steps within their own organisations. In the period ahead, the focus must come to lie on demonstrating impact across the production chain worldwide. These are the conclusions of Avance Impact in an independent evaluation report that is being published today” (04 Oct).
Dutch move enabling sustainable purchasing practices: “Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile (AGT) is helping to promote sustainable purchasing practices in collaboration with the German Textile Partnership and ACT on Living Wage. The AGT gives value to purchasing practices of signatory companies. Sustainable purchasing practices should enable suppliers work towards pay workers a living wage” (07 Oct).
Why sustainability is becoming as important as influencers in fashion: “Did you know that the hashtag "#sustainablefashion" has grown five times in the last three years? The fashion industry is the second most polluting in the world, and sustainability has become a new movement in itself. Influencers, as well as fashion brands, prove they understand the importance of standing for such ethics. Following your values is one of the three trends I have identified. The emergence of a consumer demand-driven model is also strategic, but the key new trend is to show you support sustainability” (04 Oct).
How four influencers in sustainability focus on fashion: “Timberland is giving voice to its sustainability initiatives now more than ever before. But last night, the outdoor standout — in conjunction with female-focused entrepreneurial organization Create & Cultivate — provided a platform for others to talk about their own environmentally-friendly missions. At the brand’s New York City flagship, four thought leaders in sustainability — Aditi Mayer, Deb Shepherd, Erin Boyle and Lauren Singer — discussed in front of a packed crowd why putting the planet first is good for all” (03 Oct).
Photos of the daily lives of garment workers in India and Cambodia: “Several women have given permission to share photos of their home life was part of a yearlong research study. We hope this helps the world better understand what it’s like to be a garment worker and inspires you to become an advocate for the people who make your clothes” (02 Oct). [Ed’s note: from Fashion Revolution.]
Scientists tested children and 97 percent contained toxic plastic byproducts: “A new study by the German Environment Ministry and the Robert Koch Institute concluded that 97 percent of blood and urine samples collected from some 2,500 children between the ages of three and 17 showed toxic levels of plastic byproducts” (19 Sep).
Economic slowdown: Tirupur garment industry gasps for survival: “The knitwear capital of the country, which employs over 10 lakh workers, most of whom are migrants, is seeing en masse exodus after severe job losses and closure of industries” (04 Oct).
Turkey’s fast fashion is rising on the backs of Syrian refugees: “Weak labour legislation in Turkey, paired with brands that put profits before people, is causing harmful working conditions that exploit refugees” (03 Oct).
ZDHC adds 10 new chemical and textile companies as contributors: Ten new additions are Archroma, DyStar, Huntsman Textile Effects, Kisco, Pulcra Chemicals, Rudolf Group, Tanatex Chemicals, Johnstons of Elgin, Marzotto Lab and Asia Pacific Rayon (05 Oct).
Swedish recycling mill creates a high-tech way to recycle old clothes: “Thanks to a Swedish recycling mill [Re:Newcell], old clothes can be reprocessed via a new method. About 80 billion items of clothing are produced globally every year and it requires about 20,000 litres of water to make 1kg of cotton. These number are allegedly enough to make only one T-shirt and a pair of jeans. The Swedish recycling mill however uses about 80% less water to make its cotton. Through the new system, used cotton fabrics are separated and also ‘de-dyed’ in order to remove colour before they are turned into a pulp called circulose, which is dried into sheets. These sheets are further sold to textile companies in order to make thread” (04 Oct).
Archroma’s sustainable solutions at Techtextil India 2019: “Archroma, a leader in colour and specialty chemicals towards sustainable solutions, will be at Techtextil India to present its latest innovations and system solutions aimed to help technical textile manufacturers in India with optimised productivity and/or value creation in their markets” (04 Oct).
SUSTAINABLE FASHION JOBS
[New listings or updated information marked with *]
Ace & Tate: Corporate Social Responsibility Intern (Amsterdam)
Allbirds: Manager, Materials Innovation (Footwear) (San Francisco, CA)
AllSaints: Corporate Responsibility Manager (London)
Amaro: Sustainability & Social Impact Lead (São Paulo)
Amazon: Social Responsibility, Senior Program Manager (Shenzhen, China)
Ann Inc: Manager: CSR, Strategy and Communications (New York)
Arcadia Group: Ethical Trading Manager (London)
Asos: Ethical Trade Assistant (London)
Bestseller: CSR/Sustainability Coordinator (Brande)
* Brooks: Corporate Responsibility Analyst (Seattle, WA)
C&A Sourcing: Environmental Project Manager (Hong Kong)
C&A Sourcing: Chemicals Project Manager (Hong Kong)
C&A Foundation: Data Analyst (Gurgaon)
Canada Goose: Manager Fabrics Research, Development, Sustainability (Toronto)
Center for Child Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility (CCR CSR): Social Worker (Shenzhen)
Cotton On: Environmental Project Lead (Geelong)
Elevate: Sustainability Analyst (Hong Kong)
Esquel: Management Trainee (Hong Kong)
G-Star RAW: Intern Corporate Strategy (Amsterdam)
* Global Fashion Agenda: Senior Content Manager (Copenhagen)
* Global Fashion Agenda: Exhibitor Manager (Copenhagen)
Good Weave: Director, Apparel and Fashion Jewelry (Washington DC)
Guess: Apparel Testing & Environmental Sustainability Specialist (Bioggio)
H&M: Country - Sustainability Developer (Environment) (Guangzhou)
Higg Co: Director, Customer Success
Hugo Boss: Manager Corporate Sustainability Reporting (Stuttgart)
ISKO: CSR Marketing Expert (London)
Kmart Australia: Human Rights Manager (Melbourne)
Levi Strauss: LEAN Project Manager Distribution (Unna)
Levi Strauss: Manager, Global Product Strategy (San Francisco, CA)
Lidl: Compliance Administrator (Hong Kong)
Lululemon: Director, Chemicals & Materials Sustainability (Vancouver)
Macy’s: Vice President, Sustainability (New York)
* Michael Kors: Environmental Administrator (Manno)
Michael Kors: Environmental Analyst (Manno)
Michael Kors: Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility (New York)
* New Look: Culture and Engagement Partner (London)
Nike: Sustainability Manufacturing and Sourcing Internship (Beaverton, OR)
Nike: Graduate Sustainability Innovation Internship (Beaverton, OR)
Nike: Strategic Planning Manager, Global Sustainability (Beaverton, OR)
Nike: Sustainability Professional II (Jakarta)
Nike: Environmental Health & Safety Manager - Air MI (Phoenix, AZ)
Nike: Community Impact Director Latam (Mexico City)
Patagonia: Environmental Responsibility Associate (Ventura, CA)
Pegas Nonwovens: Global Safety, Regulatory and Sustainability Specialist (Znojmo)
prAna: Sourcing Analyst (San Diego, CA)
PVH: Manager, Environmental Sustainability & Product Stewardship (New York)
Ralph Lauren: Director, Sustainability (New York)
Ralph Lauren: Associate, Global Employee Communications & Philanthropy (New York)
* Quiz Clothing: Ethical Compliance & Sustainability Manager (Glasgow)
QuizRR: Internal Sales Representative (Stockholm)
REI: Director, Communications and Public Affairs (Kent WA)
Salomon: Sustainability Program Manager (Annecy)
SAC: Manager, Member Services – APAC (Hong Kong)
SAC: Manager, Events (Hong Kong)
SAC: Senior Manager, Human Resources (San Francisco, CA, or remote)
SanMar: Factory Compliance Analyst (Seattle)
SML: Manager – Global Sustainability (Hong Kong)
Solidarity Center: Senior Specialist for Organizing – Trade Union Strengthening Department (Phnom Penh)
Steve Madden: Social Compliance Manager (Long Island City, NY)
Stitch Fix: Packaging Program Manager (San Francisco, CA)
Sustainable Apparel coalition: Operations Coordinator, Europe (Amsterdam)
Tommy Hilfiger: Communications Manager Sustainability (Amsterdam)
Turnahead: Sustainability Manager (Bangladesh)
Uniqlo: Sustainability Officer (Bangkok)
University of Leeds: Research Fellow in Sustainable Materials and Renewable Fibres (Leeds)
* Velcro Companies: EHS Manager (Manchester, NH)
Vetta Brands: CSR & Sustainability Analyst (Columbus, OH)
* VF: Analyst, Corporate Sustainability (Denver, CO).
Walmart: Senior Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility (Beijing)
Wardrobe: Director of Operations (New York)
WSR: Director of Outreach and Communications (New York)
ZDHC: Legal Intern (Amsterdam)
CONFERENCES & SEMINARS
[New listings or updated information marked with *]
09 October, Hong Kong: SAC Manufacturer Forum: “The manufacturer forum targets apparel and textile manufacturers, brands/ retailers who would like to start capturing their Environmental and/or Social/labor performance using the Higg Facility Tools in 2020.”
09 October, Northampton, UK: Leather Training Course: “The improved understanding you will gain from this leather course will help you to avoid problems when sourcing and specifying leather products as well as providing confidence when dealing with suppliers, manufacturers, and tanners.”
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.”
10 October, Hong Kong: SAC Higg FEM Communications Workshop: “Learn how you can communicate Higg FEM results with your value chain partners starting in 2020.”
10 October, Northampton, UK: Chemical Compliance and Product Safety Training Course: “On this chemical course, our in-house chemical expert will guide you through the various legislations and chemicals in a simple step-by-step process, ensuring that you are aware of your obligation and how to comply.”
10 – 15 October, Los Angeles: Vegan Fashion Week: “This event is designed to empower conscious brands and humans globally with an elevated platform for achievement, inspiration, and discovery.”
11 October, Coimbatore: Top Ten Best Practices – ZDHC: Training by Sustainable Textile Solutions (STS) – Those interested in attending should contact: email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
18 October, London: Kingpin Transformers: Ed: “the first of what we hope will be an annual educational conference focusing on fashion students who are still at university and are about to enter the wider fashion industry.”
18 October, New York: Decoded Future: “Decoded Future 2019 will have an underlying theme: sustainability and social good.”
21 – 25 October, Turin: International Labour Standards and Corporate Social Responsibility: “course offered by the International Training Centre of the ILO.”
22 October, Amsterdam: Kingpins Transformers: Catalysts: “At our Catalysts edition of Kingpins Transformers, we will spotlight the members of the denim supply chain focused on redefining the rules for the future.”
23 October, Dhaka: Higg FEM 3.0 training: Training by Sustainable Textile Solutions (STS) – Those interested in attending should contact: email@example.com
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, Shenzhen: Higg Index Manufacturer Forum: “The manufacturer forum targets apparel and textile manufacturers, brands/ retailers who would like to start capturing their Environmental and/or Social/labor performance using the Higg Facility Tools in 2020.”
29 October, Shanghai: Top Ten Best Practices – ZDHC: Training by Sustainable Textile Solutions (STS) – Those interested in attending should contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com
31 October, Shanghai: Higg Index Manufacturer Forum: “The manufacturer forum targets apparel and textile manufacturers, brands/ retailers who would like to start capturing their Environmental and/or Social/labor performance using the Higg Facility Tools in 2020.”
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.
* 05 November, Webinar: Looking Beyond the Regulation, Potential Safety Hazards: Open industry. All apparel and footwear industry professionals, regardless of AAFA membership, are encouraged to participate.
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.”
13 November, New York: Leather, Compliance & Sustainability New York Conference (organised by Eurofins | BLC and held at Tapestry HQ): “Calling all brands and retailers: How to ensure your brand is compliant with chemistry legislation and can take advantage of the opportunity of adding value through sustainability.”
14 November, Brussels: Ready, Set, Substitute it Now! “ChemSec invites you to a full-day event, which will include messages from policy makers, inspiration from progressive companies and hard facts from scientists, as well as panel discussions and workshops on how to best substitute hazardous chemicals.”
20 November, Delhi: Higg FEM 3.0 training: Training by Sustainable Textile Solutions (STS) – Those interested in attending should contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com
26 November, Dhaka: Higg FEM 3.0 training: Training by Sustainable Textile Solutions (STS) – Those interested in attending should contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
03 December, Northampton, UK: Leather Training Course: “The improved understanding you will gain from this leather course will help you to avoid problems when sourcing and specifying leather products as well as providing confidence when dealing with suppliers, manufacturers, and tanners.”
11 – 12 December, Istanbul: Chemical Management - ZDHC: Training by Sustainable Textile Solutions (STS) – Those interested in attending should contact: email@example.com
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.