Article by Marc Gunther at Greenbiz.com: http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2012/07/26/behind-scenes-sustainable-apparel-coalition?utm_source=E-News+from+GreenBiz&utm_campaign=21c7056b94-GreenBuzz-2012-27-07&utm_medium=email
The story of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition begins with a letter designed to get the attention of even a busy CEO. At the top: the logos of Walmart and Patagonia. John Fleming, who was then Walmart’s chief merchandising officer, and Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia’s founder, signed the letter, which invited chief executives of some of the world’s biggest clothing companies–fierce competitors, ordinarily — to join together to develop an index to measure the environmental impact of their products.
Their pitch, in part, read like this:
Creating a single approach for measuring sustainability in the apparel sector will do much more than accelerate meaningful social and environmental change. Standardization will enable us to maximize sustainability benefits for all buyers without investing in multiple sustainability technologies and certification processes, and ultimately empower consumers to trust claims regarding sustainably sourced apparel.
Finally, as an industry, we will benefit from the unique opportunity to shape policy and create standards for measuring sustainability before government inevitably imposes one.
…The time is right and the need is great for the apparel sector to move forward now, without further delay, in unison, with strong partners like you.
It was a risky proposition. What if it turned out that a competing company had a better sustainability story to tell? Would consumers be given access to the index? NGOs? Regulators? Most big retailers knew that they had very little visibility deep into their supply chains. Did they really want to find out, for example, that a supplier to one of their suppliers, in a factory they had never visited in China or Vietnam, exploited workers or dumped pollution into a nearby river? Any meaningful index would require companies to ask tough questions and, eventually, face demands from others to share what they had learned.
The letter went out on October 1, 2009. Less than three years later, despite those risks, the apparel industry has made major progress towards creating a global sustainability index, the Higg Index, to measure and score products, factories and companies. A first version was released today by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, the nonprofit group that developed the index.
Its vision? Nothing less than “an apparel and footwear industry that produces no unnecessary environmental harm and has a positive impact on the people and communities associated with its activities.” The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) hired an executive director, Jason Kibbey, in January, and today it has more than 60 members, representing brands, retailers and suppliers who together account for more than a third of the global apparel and footwear industry.
Patagonia: Don’t Buy Our Jackets
Patagonia (PDF)/Promo image
Not content with encouraging potential buyers to check out eBay for pre-loved products or resoling their shoes before purchasing new ones, outdoor clothier Patagonia recently took the audacious step of telling their customers simply to not to buy their jackets.
During the recent Black Friday, (America’s mad buying frenzy that somehow denotes an “official” start to Christmas shopping), Patagonia placed an advert in the New York Times, requesting of readers; “Don’t Buy This Jacket.”
We ask you to buy less and to reflect before you spend a dime on this jacket or anything else. […] Don’t buy what you don’t need. [R]eimagine a world where we take only what nature can replace.
Read full article here: http://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/patagonia-dont-buy-our-jackets.html
Check out some of the latest sustainable offerings for boys and girls heading back to school this fall.
It’s almost impossible to think about the words “back to school” without adding the word “shopping” to the other three. Back-to-school shopping is a tradition for moms and kids each August — not always a fun tradition, but still, a tradition. Kids need new school supplies, shoes for their feet that grew two sizes over the summer, and, of course, the latest fashions.
If you’re planning on adding some of the latest back-to-school fashions to your kid’s closet, you don’t always have to choose between what’s in and what’s gentler on the earth. Try some of these eco-friendly trendy fashions for the fall.
For the girls
– Have you noticed older kids wearing Sesame Street characters
on their tees? Parents thought they bought their last Elmo tee when their kid was a 4-year-old, but suddenly junior highers are sporting the fuzzy red monster again. American Apparel
has a 100 percent organic cotton
T-shirt that pays tribute to the 40th anniversary of “Sesame Street
.” The company also offers organic solid color tees to mix and match with the latest fashions.
Gray Skinny Jeans
is big this year, both traditional and colored, and gray is the most popular color of denim this fall. You Deserve
has gray skinny jeans in 100 percent organic cotton for high school girls at a great price for organic denim – $49.99. They have a striped v-neck sweater
that teens will love, too.
Blazers – Blazers have made a comeback, particularly boyfriend blazers. The best place to find eco-friendly blazers is definitely the thrift store in the boy’s or men’s departments. Let your daughter rummage through the racks of pre-owned blazers to find the one that fits her style. Chances are no one else will have the exact boyfriend blazer she has, and you’ll be able to get it for a great price.
For the boys
– Graphic tees are even more popular with the guys than with the girls. Threadless
has T-shirts for boys and teens. Search for “organic” in Theadless’ search feature, and you’ll come up with a variety of graphic tees that big and little guys will love.
Under Armour’s Catalyst Green Products
– Under Armour
is the hippest performance wear out there, and the new line of T-shirts, hoodies, caps and more are made from recycled plastic bottles. Even though they’re made for the sports’ field, boys wear Under Armour as regular fashions. Guys who have moved up to men’s sizes will love the styles that don’t look almost identical to UA’s regular line.
– Hoodies seem to be the never-ending “it” piece of clothing for guys. For the littler guys, a blue striped organic cotton hoodie from Greenedge Kids
will make them feel like they fit in the big guys. For the older boys, a hoodie made of earth-friendly hemp from The Hempest
is one of the coolest things going.
Don’t forget the feet
Even if your child doesn’t need new clothes, the chances that he’ll need new shoes when school rolls around are pretty good. All that extra sun and water that feet get over the summer seem to help kids’ feet grow extra quickly. Check out Play Outdoors
for a one-stop place to find eco-friendly kids’ shoes from Keen, Simple Shoes, SmartWood and more.
Older kids will love to choose from Planet Shoes
large selection of sneakers, sandals, boots and even vegan shoes.
Know more about back-to-school shopping? Leave us a note in the comments below.
Check out our super soft organic cotton Ts – “What your mantra?” – save $3.05 today.
Find your perfect size today. Available in Green, Blue, Brown and X-Ray Grey! save now!
A handful of people gathered at the Boulder County Recycling Center on Saturday for several hours of yoga. The event served not only as a full day of exercise, but as a way of opening dialogue and creating awareness for the needs of the Boulder County foster care program.
“The cause and the event both fit well with our interests,” participant Janna Hansen said.
She came to do yoga with her friend, Carllee Curran, who is taking yoga classes at Naropa University.
“Yoga has so much inherent meaning,” said Moriah Arnold, one of the principal organizers of the event. “Today we’re practicing karma yoga, the yoga of selfless service. It parallels what they’re doing with the foster program.” (more…)
LNJ Denim, a unit of Rs 5000 cr LNJ Bhilwara Group’s, flagship textiles company, RSWM Ltd (NSE: RSWM; BSE: 500350) Wednesday announced a new range of denims, which were in keeping with the growing demand from its local and international clients. LNJ Denim supplies Denim fashion fabrics to some of the best brands in the world across Europe and USA and they include Diesel, Gap, ZARA, Lee, Levi’s, Debenhams, Ralph Lauren, Marlboro Classic, Mustang, C&A, J Crew, Tommy Hilfiger, Ann Taylor, Gymboree, Jack & Jones, Wrangler, Polo, etc.
“By responding to the rising global demand of new denim range and bringing in concerted R&D, we have achieved an impressive growth in last one fiscal year and going ahead, we see tremendous opportunities,” said Mr AK Churiwal, Managing Director, RSWM Ltd. He added, “Rising income levels, globalised cultural amalgamation, and growth of an aspirational class glued on to good things in life have given a new impetus to the apparel industry including a shift towards ready-to-wear (RTW) garments. Denim Jeans is picking up due to all this. We are also aware that Mumbai has been at the forefront of a fashion push in the country and certain that this will continue.” (more…)
From organic cotton to Fairtrade fabric recent years have seen the high street making an effort to go green. But is it all it’s cracked up to be? Sella Oneko investigates
The high street is going green, or at least it seems to be. With organic cotton, recycled fabric and natural dyes making their way into the likes of H&M and Marks & Spencer, preserving the planet is becoming part of mainstream fashion. But could it all be too good to be true? After all, whether it’s poor working conditions or chemical dyes, critics are always having a go at the fashion industry. And the impact of fast fashion on the environment can’t be denied. From the vast amount of water and pesticides used in cotton production to the carbon footprint of transporting garments from China or Bangladesh, the high street and saving the planet don’t always go hand-in-hand.
90 per cent of clothing in the UK is imported, mainly from countries such as India and China. According to DEFRA we buy about two million tonnes of clothes every year, one fifth of which is bought from fast fashion brands such as Primark. Just to top that off, one million tonnes of clothes are thrown away every year, with 50 percent of the total ending up in a landfill. But with Primark’s profits down, consumers seem to be moving away from ultra-cheap, single-season garments. And with greater emphasis being placed on ethics and planet-friendliness by consumers, the high street is finally starting to respond. (more…)