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Stories About Apparel/Fashion/Textiles

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Exit from High Street: Why the Quest for Engagement on Sustainable Fashion Is All About 'Style'
Exit from High Street: Why the Quest for Engagement on Sustainable Fashion Is All About 'Style'

STAKEHOLDER TRENDS AND INSIGHTS - How do we make sustainable fashion … fashionable?That was the question that launched the sustainable fashion consumer research project with Mistra Future Fashion conducted by professors Lucia Reisch, Wencke Gwozdz, and me. While it sounds like a relatively straightforward question, the answer was decidedly less so. When it comes to sustainability, fashion it is out of style.

Closed-Loop Fabric Producers Still Ironing Out Wrinkles in Circular Textile Supply Chain
Closed-Loop Fabric Producers Still Ironing Out Wrinkles in Circular Textile Supply Chain

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Interest is growing in new synthetic fabrics and textiles made from waste materials that have the potential to be used again and again. Designed from the outset to work within closed-loop supply cycles, Returnity and Econyl are perhaps the two best-known examples of branded products in this field. The level of innovation that is built into these regenerative fabrics is impressive – they outline a wealth of environmental benefits and savings. In the case of Econyl, there is a clear social value driver in terms of delivering a more community-minded, inclusive business model.

tonlé's Creative Approach Showing Fashion Industry How Zero Waste Is Really Done
tonlé's Creative Approach Showing Fashion Industry How Zero Waste Is Really Done

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Cambodian fashion brand tonlé is revolutionizing the textile industry not only with its ethical business model, but also a creative approach to zero-waste.

Inditex Bans Use of Angora, Donating Leftover Stock to Syrian Refugees
Inditex Bans Use of Angora, Donating Leftover Stock to Syrian Refugees

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Inditex, one of the world's biggest fashion firms, has banned the sale of angora wool after activists highlighted the cruel treatment of rabbits by farms in China.The parent company of Zara, Massimo Dutti and Bershka said it would stop selling angora garments in all of its 6,400 shops after facing months of pressure from animal rights campaigners.A PETA campaign against angora wool showed videos of live angora rabbits screaming while fur is pulled from their skins on ten Chinese farms. The video also showed rabbits being stretched on boards and cut as their fur is hacked off.

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What Can You Do to Create Positive Change in the Fashion Industry?
What Can You Do to Create Positive Change in the Fashion Industry?

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - “What does it mean to be ‘eco’ or ‘green’ today? We need to redefine that. We need to modernize the fashion industry. This is where we need to be in the 21st century — all products need to be created with thought.”This statement was made by actress, fashion icon and social entrepreneur Amber Valletta at the public launch for Fashion Positive in New York on November 14, 2014. The occasion was the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute’s Innovation Celebration and the audience was a room full of the next-generation thinkers of sustainability, fashion icons, industry leaders and vision makers.

Documentary Looks at Innovations, Sustainable Practices in Fashion That Could Become 'The Next Black'
Documentary Looks at Innovations, Sustainable Practices in Fashion That Could Become 'The Next Black'

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - The Next Black, a documentary that explores how out-of-the-box thinking and more conscious design are shaping the future of our clothes, had its first screening in Brooklyn earlier this week. The event kicked off a weeklong exhibit at the BF+DA about the growing intimacy between technology and fashion.

Norwegian Reality Series Shows Fashionistas the Dark Side of 'Dead Cheap Fashion'
Norwegian Reality Series Shows Fashionistas the Dark Side of 'Dead Cheap Fashion'

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - What happens when you send three young fashionistas to a Cambodian sweatshop for a month? Aftenposten, Norway’s biggest newspaper, answered this question with a five-part, online reality TV series.In “Sweatshop: Dead Cheap Fashion,” fashion-conscious Norwegians Anniken Jorgensen, Frida Ottesen and Ludvig Hambro fly to Phnom Penh, where they work with and interview people that work in the type of facility that produces clothes for some of their favorite brands. The three step fully into the life of the average textile worker, sleeping on concrete, living on $3 a day and sewing for eight hours a day.

Two Birds Apparel Bring Sustainable Fashion Home to Canada
Two Birds Apparel Bring Sustainable Fashion Home to Canada

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - If you ask Daniel and Tiffany Andrew — the husband-and-wife team behind Canadian men’s fashion brand Two Birds Apparel — what sustainability means to them, they’d say local, ethical supply chains and environmentally friendly materials, which is exactly what their brand encapsulates.Launched in 2013 in Toronto, Ontario, and now headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Two Birds is fairly new to the stage, but is trying to diverge from the status quo by sourcing, manufacturing and distributing all of their clothing domestically.

REI, adidas, Timberland and More Commit to Sourcing Down Responsibly
REI, adidas, Timberland and More Commit to Sourcing Down Responsibly

SUPPLY CHAIN - Six more global brands have committed to the Textile Exchange’s Responsible Down Standard (RDS). The adidas Group, Black Diamond, Kathmandu, NAU, REI and Timberland have agreed to bring certified, responsible down to the marketplace.

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New Global Traceable Down Standard Addresses Animal Welfare, Supply Chain Traceability from Farm to Factory
New Global Traceable Down Standard Addresses Animal Welfare, Supply Chain Traceability from Farm to Factory

COLLABORATION - In 2013, after years of efforts to develop the highest standard for animal welfare in the industry, outdoor goods retailer and manufacturer Patagonia published its 100% Traceable Down Standard to provide a roadmap for other brands to meet the same high bar and prevent needless animal suffering. Patagonia says it is the only company to date to have fully implemented this rigorous standard, which it achieved in 2014.

VWR Tackling Single-Use Garment Waste with New Recycling Program
VWR Tackling Single-Use Garment Waste with New Recycling Program

WASTE NOT - VWR, provider of laboratory products, services and solutions, has launched a new recycling initiative that allows U.S. customers to recycle a variety of single-use garments.Through "Gown Up, Give Back”, VWR hopes to help reduce the millions of pounds of single-use garments sent to the landfill each year. The plastic waste from these garments is recycled into resin that is used to make permanent infrastructure, including composite decking, railroad ties and drainage pipes. The recycling program provides a waste collection, shipment and recycling solution for most single-use garments as long as they are free from contamination and purchased from VWR.

United Colors of Benetton, UN Women Engaging Millennials to 'End Violence Against Women Now!'
United Colors of Benetton, UN Women Engaging Millennials to 'End Violence Against Women Now!'

MARKETING AND COMMS - A group of angry-looking men surround a woman seated alone in the desert, and proceed to "stone" her … with flower petals, in a striking (no pun intended) new campaign by United Colors of Benetton in support of UN Women (the United Nations agency that promotes gender equality and empowerment of women), launched to commemorate the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25).

The North Face Introduces Locally Grown, Designed, Sewn 'Backyard Hoodie'
The North Face Introduces Locally Grown, Designed, Sewn 'Backyard Hoodie'

SUPPLY CHAIN - Outdoor apparel, equipment and footwear maker The North Face today unveiled the Backyard Hoodie, the newest addition to its portfolio of environmentally conscious products. In collaboration with Fibershed (which supports the creation of local textile cultures that enhance ecological balance), Sally Fox at Foxfibre®, and the Sustainable Cotton Project, The North Face designed The Backyard Hoodie with the goal of sourcing and manufacturing a product within 150 miles of its headquarters in Alameda, California.

Trending: This Week in Sustainable Textiles — Featuring Archroma, I:CO and Zero Waste Scotland
Trending: This Week in Sustainable Textiles — Featuring Archroma, I:CO and Zero Waste Scotland

SUPPLY CHAIN - On Monday, Archroma, a global producer of textile dyes and specialty chemicals, launched a new range of products created from agricultural waste. In addition, the company is utilizing the latest in communications technology to enable transparency of the supply chain to consumers.

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Report: Global Market for Conservation Investing Grows to $23 Billion
Report: Global Market for Conservation Investing Grows to $23 Billion

NEW METRICS - Conservation impact investing totaled approximately $23 billion in the five-year period from 2009 to 2013, according to a new report by EKO Asset Management Partners and The Nature Conservancy’s NatureVest division.During the same period, private investments accounted for almost $2 billion of this market — an amount that is growing at an average of 26 percent annually, and is expected to reach more than $5.6 billion by 2018.

Timberland, Omni United Launch First Tire-to-Shoe Lifecycle Brand
Timberland, Omni United Launch First Tire-to-Shoe Lifecycle Brand

PRODUCTS AND DESIGN - Timberland has announced a collaboration with tire manufacturer and distributor Omni United to create the first tires ever purposely designed to be recycled into footwear outsoles after their journey on the road is complete. Timberland Tires represent a new model in tire innovation: a sustainable, tire-to-shoe lifecycle. The tires will be made in the U.S. (using both domestic and imported materials) and feature a rubber formulation that is appropriate for the recycling of the tires at the end of their useful life into shoes, rather than alternatives such as being used for tire-derived fuel or ending up in landfills.

Squeezing the Water Out of Our Jeans
Squeezing the Water Out of Our Jeans

PRODUCTS AND DESIGN - Doing the right thing is rarely easy. It means asking tough questions, taking bold risks and making important changes. And since our company began 161 years ago, we’ve been committed to doing exactly that — on behalf of our employees, consumers, workers and the planet.Today, one of the biggest initiatives at Levi Strauss & Co. is sustainability. And if we hadn’t asked ourselves the difficult questions, we never would have landed on and launched our most sustainable, innovative and influential product offering to date: Levi’s Water<Less.

The North Face, H&M, Eddie Bauer Commit to More Responsible Down
The North Face, H&M, Eddie Bauer Commit to More Responsible Down

SUPPLY CHAIN - The North Face, H&M, Eddie Bauer and several other leading international fashion, bedding and outdoor brands have adopted a third-party certification standard that can be applied to any waterfowl-based supply chain to help ensure humane treatment of animals from gosling to end product.

Sustainable Materials at Scale: 100% Recycled Denali Fleece Prevents Waste on Multiple Fronts
Sustainable Materials at Scale: 100% Recycled Denali Fleece Prevents Waste on Multiple Fronts

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Here at The North Face, we believe in making great outdoor gear in a sustainable and responsible way. That’s why we’ve set out to change the way outdoor apparel is made. We’ve set a bold goal to have 100 percent of our polyester (or 80 percent of all of the fabric we use for apparel) come from recycled content — from thousands of plastic bottles — by 2016. Repurposing plastic waste helps reduce carbon emissions and avoids using more open space for landfills.

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Lyf Shoes' Cradle-to-Cradle Creations Out to Revolutionize 'Dirty' Industry
Lyf Shoes' Cradle-to-Cradle Creations Out to Revolutionize 'Dirty' Industry

THE NEXT ECONOMY - Sustainable footwear is a hotbed of innovation right now for many apparel and lifestyle brands, who are looking to blend ever-smarter manufacturing efficiencies with material optimization techniques. But one enterprising startup is looking to take this to the next level — calling itself a “disruptive digital manufacturing revolution,” Lyf Shoes is looking to capture a slice of the market by handing the creative process back to the consumer.

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