Earth Day 50: Fashion Makes Pledges and New Products
Earth Day turned 50 on April 22. Fashion businesses observed the celebration of the eco-friendly movement with pledges to be better environmental citizens, as well as products said to be made with with less-harmful chemicals through methods that waste fewer resources.
Making a big Earth Day announcement was Gap Inc. The San Francisco-headquartered specialty store giant announced that it was undertaking new initiatives to produce more sustainable goods for its Banana Republic and Old Navy divisions.
Old Navy said that it was working to source 100 percent of its cotton from responsible partners such as those that work with the Better Cotton Initiative. The company will also cut water usage in producing jeans by 2022, in addition to becoming more transparent through unveiling Heart Earth, a campaign that outlines Old Navy's sustainability progress on its website.
Banana Republic said that by 2023 it would source 100 percent of its cotton from more-sustainable sources, such as recycled and organic cottons, such as those found through working with the Better Cotton Initiative. It also promised to reduce water impact and use cleaner chemistry by 2025. Additionally, the company announced its Better Republic campaign that emphasizes the brand's sustainability goals while introducing fresh eco-friendly products through the initiative's The Better Shop. A new partnership with online vintage seller Thrilling will afford opportunities to consumers to shop second-hand Banana Republic goods.
One of the brands unveiling new sustainable products was pioneering Italian denim brand Diesel. It introduced several new sustainable looks, called the Respectful Denim, for its Spring/Summer 2020 collection. They are produced with 40 percent water and treated with a minimal amount of chemicals, but maintains the brand’s idiosyncratic looks.
There also will be educational opportunities for Earth Day. Leading sustainability executive and educator, Derek Sabori, has started a series of online courses that will introduce—and explore in great depth—the field of sustainable fashion, he said.
Sabori developed the curriculum for the sustainable fashion certificate program at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, Calif. He also served as vice president of sustainability at top action-sports brand Volcom. His online classes, called The Underswell School of Understanding, will give information on applying sustainability to one’s business and one’s personal life. For more information, visit theunderswell.com