Following on from our first monthly sustainable fashion roundup, we’ve gathered five of the finest sustainability news pieces about what we wear in the age of sustainability. Here we go...
Patagonia once again proves its commitment to sustainability
The biggest news in sustainable fashion is surely the move by Patagonia’s 83-year-old founder, Yvon Chouinard, opting to “go purpose” by making Planet Earth Patagonia’s only shareholder (instead of “going public”). In a statement, Chouinard explained the evolution of Patagonia’s purpose from giving away 1% of sales, to becoming a certified B Corp to finding the company was still not doing enough to address the environmental crisis. After ruling out selling the company or going into public ownership, Patagonia will distribute a dividend to the Holdfast Collective, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting the environmental crisis and defending nature.
The Chouinard family will still retain control over the company via Patagonia Purpose Trust to ensure that the brand continues to operate with the mission and values it set out almost 50 years ago. The family, which previously earned about $100 million in profits each year, will no longer receive that money.
Second ever Sustainable Fashion Week strives to make sustainable fashion more empowering & accessible
Sustainable Fashion Week took place in September with a wide range of community events and workshops taking place across the planet, such as talks promoting “re-wear, repurpose, regenerate, and reconnect”. This year marks the second Sustainable Fashion Week but the first time it has hosted a catwalk.
Sustainable Fashion Week followed these 4 themes.
“It’s not about new trends”, founder Amelia Twine says. A big aim of the week is to reshape the sustainability narrative, and find joy and balance from making use of clothing that already exists.
Twine started SFW after setting up her own sustainable womenswear brand in 2018 but then realising that sustainable fashion often contradicted itself by being prohibitively expensive to most people.
That's true. The idea that sustainable fashion should be more affordable and accessible is one that POMP strongly concurs with.
Clothes that can grow with you for 7 years
Petit Pli, a startup that uses recycled water bottles to make clothing that grows up to 7 sizes with you (or your little ones), has been awarded a €100,000 grant and a featured placement on Amazon Launchpad after winning the 2022 European Startup of the Year award. Petit Pli was started to extend the life of garments after the founder, Ryan Mario Yasin, ordered clothes for his nephew but by the time they arrived, they were already too small!
With more than 183 million items of kids’ clothing going to landfill every year due to the rapid growth of younger humans, an innovation like this could be a game changer. And the clothes look stylish too, in their own characteristic way:
Out of thousands of entries into the free-to-enter competition, twenty were shortlisted before Petit Pli impressed the panel of judges to scoop the top prize.
Note that Petit Pli also makes a smaller range of expanding clothes for adults - especially those that are pregnant.
Kourtney Kardashian’s “sustainable” Boohoo line & backlash
Boohoo has launched a new “sustainable” collection by Kourtney Kardashian, the brand’s new sustainability ambassador. Having received a lot of backlash, it seems that fast fashion brands will have to put a bit more effort into sincere sustainability, or be accused of the dreaded greenwashing.
While the collection does contain recycled material and a few products with 100% cotton, it also contains other materials like polyurethane, which are non-recyclable and considered pollutive. Even then, the collection only makes up less than 0.1% of Boohoo’s clothing, while the other 99.9% - not sustainable in the slightest - will continue to be sold and promoted.
Kourtney Kardashian addressed the backlash, admitting she expected it because “the two just don’t go hand in hand”. She continued to say that she hopes this partnership will raise awareness and plans to push Boohoo to hold them accountable to make larger changes.
Read her caption in her Instagram post below.
Greenwashing awards are now being handed out to avoid “illegal marketing”
The Norwegian Consumer Council for 2022 has started to hand out a greenwashing award, with the inaugural title 'won' by the German retailer Zalando. One reason for their greenwashy garland was the ‘Higg’ filter on their website. The Higg index is a measurement for environmental and social impacts across the lifecycle of an apparel or footwear product. It has been widely discredited and is now a deeply controversial measure of a garment's sustainability.
The good news is that Zalando will remove the filter. The council will also report all the nominees for the award to the Consumer Authority for misleading marketing.
That was all for now - stay tuned for October’s roundup!