Industry Fashions Carbon-Cutting Strategies – Sourcing Journal

Fashion brands and retailers have accelerated their sustainability efforts in 2021, and experts expect these initiatives to increase in the years to come, thanks to increased pressure from the government.

A new report from Edited found that the government’s growing involvement in the environmental impact of fashion is helping push companies in the right direction. Both the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) held in Glasgow in November, and the recent UN Climate Change Report, indicated carbon reduction as a top priority for the sector, according to the analyst firm. retail. New laws and sanctions could be implemented for fashion companies to fight global warming faster.

Retailers can meet these new needs by overhauling their more carbon-intensive processes, such as sourcing and shipping. Edited reported how online luxury retailer Farfetch is taking action by launching a pre-order plan that only makes production on what has already been ordered, minimizing waste from excess inventory. Others are implementing pandemic-fueled services such as roadside pickup, BOPIS, and direct-from-store shipping to reduce the carbon emissions associated with delivery. Levi Strauss & Co. attributed much of its pandemic success to the rapid implementation of these strategies, signaling that their benefits are environmental as well as financial.

Others are reducing their footprint by adopting less harmful reusable packaging or plastic bags. Companies such as Gap Inc., Toad & Co. and Kontoor Brands, owner of Wrangler and Lee, have experimented with “light weight” or reducing the thickness and size of their plastic bags to reduce the amount of plastic used, Edited noted.

The products themselves are also becoming more sustainable, with many companies seeking material innovations to reduce environmental impact. A growing number of leaders at COP26 have added their names to the Global Methane Pledge, which aims to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030 by replacing methane-rich animal products such as leather with more responsible alternatives.

Mylo, a faux leather grown from mushroom roots, is a major contender for brands like adidas, Stella McCartney, and Lululemon, while grape leather is a popular alternative to Ganni. Piñatex, a skin-like fabric made from the waste leaves of the pineapple plant, is another natural solution that checks the ethical and aesthetic boxes.

Alternatives to cotton will also be in the spotlight, as rising cotton prices and growing concerns about sustainability have led many to seek other options. Experts have predicted that sustainable materials could become more attractive to consumers now that cotton prices are more aligned with the cost of more environmentally friendly fibers such as hemp, lyocell and Tencel.

Edited noted that, again thanks to government-led initiatives, consumers can also expect “brutally directed” marketing in the coming years from companies trying to dodge greenwashing allegations. The UK Competition and Markets Authority recently warned companies that they have until 1 January to ensure their environmental claims comply with the Green Claims Code, which guarantees brands to support sustainability labels with information clear and accurate. Likewise, new initiatives from the European Union and the US Federal Trade Commission are asking companies to quantify their marketing claims.

Increasing pressures are also driving companies to become more creative in the way they design their products. Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, owner of PVH Corp., have made great strides in 3D design, which enable them to reduce the costs and waste associated with producing physical samples. He expanded his 3D design startup, Stitch 3D, to help brands outside the conglomerate scale their digital design capabilities. In just one season, digital design processes saved PVH $ 1 million on FedEx and courier expenses, including sending fabric samples, yardage and garments.

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