Brands in this issue include: Burberry (adds two new emissions targets), H&M, Ikea, Gap, Adidas, Nike, Levi Strauss, C&A, PVH, VF, Bestseller, Decathlon, Target, M&S, Tesco and OVS (named as leaders in sustainable cotton use), Nike, Global Brands Group (which creates licensed products for the likes of Calvin Klein and Juicy Couture), Asics, Under Armour, Target, Fruit of the Loom, Primark and Brooks (subjects of new report on abuses in Malaysian factories), Nike (signs UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action), Prada (to only use recycled nylon by 2021), Puma (pledges 35% reduction in carbon emissions), Scotch & Soda (launches menswear rental service), Tata Group (developing an “extreme fast fashion” supply chain in India), and more.

Recently released reports:

In general news:

  • C&A Foundations issues RFP for circular fashion initiatives and programs

  • Retailers need to embrace sustainability in Western Europe

  • Ireland becomes 15th European country to ban fur farming

  • Kenya’s love-hate relationship with Chinese traders

  • Over 100 million textiles carry CmiA label

The supply chain

  • Bangladesh: study claims 90% of female apparel workers face mental torture

  • Cambodia: unionists mull $25 wage hike

  • Kenya: Manufacturers call for labour cost cuts in EPZs

Manufacturers in this issue include: HKRITA (textile recycling in Hong Kong), Huntsman Textile Effects (showcases environmentally sustainable solutions), Lenzing (spending 1 billion euros for expansion; and is to set to become the first carbon neutral fiber producer in the world), Teemill (developed a circular production process for T-shirts), and more.

Sustainable fashion jobs: 5 new jobs listed (at Circle Economy, Kmart Australia, Marc Fisher Footwear and Nike).

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


Scotch & Soda launches menswear rental service: “Amsterdam-based fashion brand Scotch & Soda has announced the launch of ‘Scotch Select’, a new online subscription service offering unlimited access to the brand’s menswear collection” (26 Jun).

New report uncovers labor abuses in Malaysian clothing factories — and shows how brands should respond: “A just-released report by Transparentem, a non-profit dedicated to investigating apparel supply chain ethics, uncovered multiple violations at five factories that supply to well-known Western brands. Nike, Global Brands Group (which creates licensed products for the likes of Calvin Klein and Juicy Couture), Asics, Under Armour, Target, Fruit of the Loom, Primark and Brooks are among the brands directly implicated” (25 Jun).

Better Cotton Initiative hails H&M as leader in sustainable cotton use: “In terms of volumes used, the top 15 accounted for 88% of the material that was sourced last year. H&M managed number one position, with Ikea in silver medal spot and Gap taking bronze. Adidas and Nike rounded out the top five, ahead of Levi Strauss, C&A, PVH, VF, and Bestseller completing the top 10. The next five were Decathlon, Target, M&S, Tesco and OVS” (25 Jun).

Tata Trent to build its own trend-focused apparel chain like Zara: “Tata Group has been Inditex SA’s partner for Zara in India. Now, the country’s largest conglomerate is building its own apparel empire as trend-focused as Zara -- but at half the price. Trent, the retail arm of the Tata Group is building its own apparel chain. The target audience is the trend-conscious and globalised consumer but whose low average incomes means that clothing from Zara is still mostly out of reach. The brand has fine tuned its local supply chain to deliver “extreme fast fashion" which can get runway styles to customers in just 12 days, the same compressed timeline as Inditex” (25 Jun).

Burberry adds two new emissions targets to sustainability strategy: “The first target focuses on emissions from the company’s direct operations - including electricity and gas consumption at stores, offices, internal manufacturing and distribution sites - and is consistent with the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The second target relates to indirect emissions in its extended supply chain, including the impact from the sourcing of raw materials and manufacturing of finished goods” (25 Jun).

Puma pledges 35% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030: “Puma wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35% by 2030. The German sportswear brand’s target was approved by the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) - a collaboration between CDP, the UN  Global Compact Initiative, the World Resources Institute and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)” (25 Jun).

Nike signs UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action: “The Portland, Oregon-based Nike said it is now eyeing a 30 percent reduction in aggregate greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, with hopes to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. “Issues as big and complex as climate change call for us to collaborate across our industry and beyond,” said Noel Kinder, Nike’s chief sustainability officer, in a press release” (25 Jun).

Prada announces goal to only use recycled nylon by 2021: “[Prada’s] mission is to use recycled nylon by 2021, phasing out its use of virgin nylon and further expanding its bag range with a new collection called “Re-Nylon.” The new range will feature two backpacks, a shoulder bag, a belt bag, and more (six in total), all made from recycled ocean plastic known as Econyl, which transforms fishing nets, and textile fiber waste into usable fabric” (24 Jun).


Is circular fashion your schtick? “Helping build inclusivity into the circular aspirations of the apparel industry is the focus of a new request for proposals (RFP) from the C&A Foundation. There are two elements to the RFP: prototype initiatives and research programmes designed to unlock actions that put the interests of the ‘workers, employees, customers and the broader society’ front and centre of the shift to a circular fashion industry. Moves are already underway to implement circular business models – but what is the impact on those communities that rely on it?” (27 Jun).

Retailers need to embrace sustainability in Western Europe: “Western European consumers and governments are pressuring businesses to operate in a sustainable manner. Student-led protests and debates over investing 25% of the European Union’s budget to fight climate change are shining a brighter light on ethical business practices” (26 Jun).

Ireland becomes 15th European country to ban fur farming: “Agriculture Minister Michael Creed said: “While the Department has strengthened its controls over the sector in recent years, it is clear that there has been a shift in societal expectations in relation to the sector and recent veterinary evidence suggests that the farming of mink is counter to good animal welfare… Taking these considerations into account, it is considered timely to commence the phasing out of the industry in Ireland”” (26 Jun).

Letter from Africa: Kenya’s love-hate relationship with Chinese traders: “It once was unheard of for a Chinese person to be doing business in any of Kenya’s markets. But this year it is becoming a more common sight - something that is causing friction with small-scale entrepreneurs who feel that their livelihoods are being threatened. It is famous for its second-hand clothes stalls - and there is big money to be made there. The situation came to a head earlier this month when Kenya's Business Daily newspaper reported on an influx of Chinese traders who had set themselves up in Gikomba, one of the largest open-air markets in the capital, Nairobi” (25 Jun).

Over 100 million textiles carry CmiA label: “More than 100 million textiles carry the Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) label. A total of 580,000 tons of cotton were certified according to the CmiA standard in 2018. All textile companies pay license fees to the initiative to use the certified cotton. CmiA reinvests the money in the farming regions to fund e.g. the costs of certification” (24 Jun).



Study: 90% of female RMG workers face mental torture in the workplace: “Around 90% of female readymade garment (RMG) workers face various kinds of mental torture at their workplaces, according to a recent study by Nagorik Uddyog and Bangladesh Labour Rights Forum. In addition, 51% of female RMG workers face physical harassment, while 43% encounter sexual harassment, the study said” (25 Jun).

  • Most RMG workers harassed in public transports: study: “A large number of female garment workers in the country face various types of sexual and psychological harassments in their everyday life – particularly in public transports, finds a study. Despite being severely distressed, most of them do not protest the incidents fearing social stigma and losing their jobs instead of getting a solution, the study says” (26 Jun).


Unionists mull minimum wage increase for 2020: “Unionists representing the garment and footwear industry are preparing to call on the government to increase the monthly minimum wage for workers in 2020. Currently, the minimum wage for garment and footwear factory workers is set at $182. Ath Thorn, president of the Cambodian Labour Confederation, yesterday said his union has decided to propose a $25 hike” (27 Jun).


EPZ companies in Kenya push for power, labour cost cuts: “Export Processing Zones (EPZ) companies have asked the State to lower labour and electricity costs while also slashing work permit fees for expatriates to boost Kenya’s earnings from the Africa’s Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) of the US … [Kenya Export Manufacture Association (Kema) vice chairman] has also complained of high wages in Kenya that he rated at an average minimum of Sh22,000 [$215] compared to Ethiopia and Madagascar at Sh6,000 and Sh8,000 respectively” (26 Jun).


HKRITA rolls up sleeves to tackle textile recycling: “The G2G multi-step textile recycling line is housed in a 40-foot sea freight container that itself sits inside shop space at The Mills in Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong. The Mills is a lifestyle retail center housed inside a former textile mill building. The G2G process allows individuals to donate a discarded garment that can be recycled in a waterless and solvent-free process that converts it into a new blanket, scarf or other garment. (Donations by Hong Kong residents can be made via this web page.)” (26 Jun).

Teemill touts t-shirts done better: “U.K.-based Teemill developed a circular production process that turns old T-shirts into new ones. And despite operating with renewables and sustainable materials, the company has experienced exponential growth” (26 Jun).

Lenzing to spend one billion euros on expanding production: “Austrian fibres producer Lenzing plans to invest more than 1 billion euros (895.4 million pounds) in expanding production in coming years, and in a first step will build a 400 million euro facility in Thailand, it said on Wednesday … ““The expansion, that has now been approved underlines Lenzing’s commitment to improving the ecological footprint of the textile industry worldwide,” said Chief Executive Stefan Doboczky” (26 Jun).

Huntsman Textile Effects showcases environmentally sustainable solutions: “Huntsman Textile Effects showcased its technology in the areas of rain and stain protection, whitening, color fastness and breathability of fabrics for the outdoor market at the recent Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Denver. Focused on its environmentally sustainable textile solutions, Huntsman Textile Effects brought its non-fluorinated Zelan durable water repellent finishes as well as its family of High IQ intelligent effects” (25 Jun).

Indian HC upholds jail term of industry owner for causing water pollution: “The Delhi High Court has upheld a one-and-a-half-year jail term awarded to the owner of a textile printing industry for causing water pollution. The court rejected the contention of the convict that water samples were not lifted from his unit and it was not a water discharging unit” (24 Jun).

Lenzing Group to become the first carbon neutral fiber producer in the world: “The Lenzing Group will invest EUR 100 mn over the coming years to reduce carbon emissions both inside its operational boundaries (scope 1+2) and in its supply chain (scope 3). Due to its ambitious CO2 emission reduction strategy, the Lenzing Group will further contribute towards helping customers to transition their business to a lower CO2 base” (21 Jun).


[New listings or updated information marked with *]

Adidas: Manager Sea Program Operations (Portland, OR)

Adidas: Senior Manager SEA, Environment - South Asia (Jakarta/Bangkok)

Adidas: Director SEA, Field Operation - North Asia (Guangzhou)

Adidas: Manager Sustainability Materials FW (Ho Chi Minh City)

Aldi: Corporate Responsibility in Supply Chain (Salzburg)

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

Amazon: Japan Environmental Manager (Tokyo)

ASOS: Ethical Trade Assistant (Hong Kong)

Avery Dennison: Sustainability Project Engineer (Boston, MA)

BSR: HERproject Associate (Hong Kong)

BSR: Manager, Supply Chain Sustainability (New York)

C&A Foundation: Data Analyst (Gurgaon)

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

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

Canada Goose: Corporate Citizenship Department Coordinator (Toronto)

Canada Goose: Sustainability Programs Specialist (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)

Chanel: Sustainability Project Coordinator – Internship (London)

* Circle Economy: Project Manager - Dutch Circular Textiles and Apparel (Amsterdam)

* Circle Economy: Project Manager Circular Textiles and Apparel (Amsterdam)

Cotton made in Africa: Junior Project Manager for Verification Management (Hamburg)

Decathlon China: Supplier Quality Engineer (Shenzhen)

Disney: Manager, Audit Analysis, ILS (Glendale, CA)

Gap: Operations Administrator, Supplier Sustainability (Hong Kong)

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

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

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS): GOTS Public Procurement Specialist (EU) (Stuttgart)

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)

GoodWeave: Director of Communications (Washington DC)

GoodWeave: Senior Program Officer (Washington DC)

Gymshark: Sustainability Manager (Solihull)

H&M: Sustainability Developer (Yangon)

H&M: Sustainability Expert Industrial Relations and Wage (Yangon)

Hugo Boss: Internship, Sustainability Communication and Event Organization (Metzingen)

Hugo Boss: Sustainability & Innovation Manager (Metzingen)

Hugo Boss: Internship, Sustainable Supplier Management & Social Compliance (Metzingen)

IDH: Senior Program Manager Cotton (Utrech or Gurgaon)

ÏDKIDS: CSR Internship (Supplier Social Audits) (Pas-en-Artois

Impactt: Marketing Manager (London)

Impactt: Principal Consultant (London)

Impactt: Project Officer (London)

Kering: Ready to Wear Materials Research & Sustainability Specialist (Novara)

* Kmart Australia: Sustainable Materials Manager (Melbourne)

Kmart Australia: Community Relations Advisor (Melbourne)

* Marc Fisher Footwear: Production Compliance Manager (Greenwich, CT)

Marc Fisher Footwear: Compliance Coordinator (Greenwich, CT)

Miles: Area Vendor Compliance/Sustainability (Norderstedt)

Nakd: Corporate Social Responsibility Internship (Gothenburg)

Nanushka: Sustainability Manager (Budapest)

New Era Cap: Senior Manager, Global Social Compliance (Buffalo, NY)

* Nike: Project Manager, Social Community Impact APAC (Tokyo)

Nike: Director of Supplier Management - Technology and Services (Portland, OR)

Nike: Lead Global Supplier Relationship Manager (Portland, OR)

Nike: Global Supplier Relationship Manager (Portland, OR)

Nike: Community Impact Director Latam (Mexico City)

Patagonia: Head of Supply Chain Environmental Responsibility (Ventura, CA)

Pentland Brands: Corporate Responsibility Business Partner (Nottingham)

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

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

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

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

REI: Senior Administrative Assistant, Brand Stewardship & Impact (Kent, WA)

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

Samil Vina International: Compliance, CSR (Tây Ninh)

Selfridges: Senior Sustainability Manager (London)

Suitsupply: Internship (Amsterdam)

Sustainable Apparel coalition: Operations Coordinator, Europe (Amsterdam)

Sustainable Apparel Coalition: Senior Manager, Public Affairs (Amsterdam)

Sustainable Apparel Coalition: Executive Director (San Francisco)

Sustainable Apparel Coalition: Senior Manager, Higg Brand & Retail Tool (San Francisco, New York, Amsterdam, or Hong Kong)

Sustainable Apparel Coalition: Senior Manager of Higg Facility Tools (San Francisco, New York, Amsterdam, or Hong Kong)

Sustainable Apparel Coalition: Senior Manager of Verification (San Francisco, New York, Amsterdam, or Hong Kong)

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

VF: Manager, Worker Rights (Hong Kong)

VF: Specialist, Supply Chain Sustainability (Shanghai)

Wearable Collections: Drivers, Route Helpers and Market Coordinators (New York)

WSR: Director of Outreach and Communications (New York)

CONFERENCES & SEMINARS                                        

[New listings or updated information marked with *]

02 – 04 July, Frankfurt: Neonyt: “the global hub for fashion, sustainability and innovation.”

09 July, Webinar: Biosynthetics E-Learning Series Part 2: “Biosynthetics can play an important role in replacing fossil-based resources with renewable feedstock. At the same time, there are various sustainability challenges also associated with the use of renewable feedstock.”

11 July, Webinar: Alternatives Assessment’s Past, Present, & Future (safer chemical substitution): “The field of alternatives assessment is being driven by increasing policy and market demands to substitute chemicals of concern in process and products, as well as the need to help decision-makers in industry and government make smarter, safer choices about chemicals, materials and technologies used.”

22 – 23 July: New York: 2019 Sourcing & Sustainability Summit: “This is the only sourcing summit focused 100% on footwear.”

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.

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”

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.

12 – 14 November, San Jose, California: BSR Conference: Note: this link is only to sign up for updates; registration will begin in May.

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 Pexels, 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.