The latest fashion trend this season isn’t a cashmere sweater or a pair of suede boots: it’s adopting a sustainable process to help improve the state of the environment. For years the fashion industry has been a major player in environmental issues just to produce new garments and the waste that is caused when they get tossed. Retail brands and consumers alike have been showing more interest in how they can improve these issues.
While there is really no easy solution to creating 100% eco-friendly clothing, many industry leaders are changing their processes to make a difference. We broke down some of the top retailers that have decided to go green and what they are doing to make a change.
Did you know that it takes over 2,000 gallons of water to dye just one pair of jeans? Because of our depleting waterways, Levi’s has taken it upon themselves to reduce the resources they use to make their products. They created their Water<Less line to reduce the amount of water used by 96%.
It’s no secret that Levi is an iconic brand. With this environmentally conscious standpoint, they are able to influence other powerhouse retailers to join the bandwagon.
During the summer of 2019, Zara and their parent company, Inditex, released a statement outlining their plans for a sustainable future. Their goal is that all of their materials including cotton, linen and polyester used will be organic, sustainable or recycled by 2025. This plan focuses on everything from their designs to how their physical locations (i.e. stores and distribution centers) are maintained.
Along with creating more eco-friendly products, Zara provides ways for their clientele to get in on the action. Customers can help battle this global issue by dropping off used clothing, footwear and accessories to any of their stores to be recycled and repurposed.
ASOS is a fashion leader with their own brands and sellers of others. Because of their status, they are influencing many companies with their upcycling efforts. ASOS has started a program—the Sustainable Sourcing Programme— that is responsible for creating and promoting environmentally safe products.
From their designs to their packaging, they have goals of being completely eco-friendly within the next few years.
This outdoor brand is commonly associated with eco-friendly clothing. They have collections that are both Fair Trade Certified and Bluesign approved. This means that production and manufacturers are closely monitored to ensure a process that is safe for the environment, employees and customers.
Patagonia also buys and resells its own styles. Customers can get credit for bringing in their last season pieces or purchase refurbished styles at a lower cost. Not only does it use some of the most sustainable materials, Patagonia also helps customers repair their clothing to help extend their length of life.
H&M created their Conscious collection to lessen their impact on the environment. Over 50% of their pieces are crafted from recycled fibers life organic cotton and recycled polyester to be able to produce sustainable—and stylish—looks.
The other great thing that H&M has begun doing is allowing customers to recycle old styles for a discount on new ones. It doesn’t matter if it’s damaged and is no longer wearable, they make sure the pieces are upcycled for other items and aren’t wasted at the dump.
With these and other major brands in the fashion world finally taking charge of their environmental impact, many other retailers are following suit. By reducing the use of water and natural resources, companies are looking within their own processes to find new ways to help. Dona Bela is proud to be surrounded by such huge leaders in sustainable fashion. From our Signature collection to our Magnetic collection, every item we produce is handmade locally and made of upcycled textiles. Check them out and see how you can make and impact as well.