Fashion Sustainability in Progress: Zara

By Anuja

This is the 3rd article in a bimonthly series where we will look at the most selling brands in the fashion industry in the year 2016-17. Interbrand, a global brand consultancy, reported Best Global Brands of 2017. Ten luxury and apparel companies made their mark in the top 100. Each blog post would probe into these companies for environmental and social performance by highlighting their progress. Stay tuned for this bimonthly series looking into their sustainability efforts.


Ranking on Best Global Brands of 2017: Zara is at 24 out of 100.


Fashion Transparency Index Final Score: 76-100% Only three companies have scored in this range. Levi Strauss & Co scored highest with 77. They are doing more than most other brands to communicate publicly about their supply chain practices. They seem to have many robust systems in place for tracking, tracing, monitoring and improving labour and environmental practices across the supply chain. The other two companies to score a top rating are H&M and Inditex both come in just one percentage point behind Levi's at 76%. However all the companies in this section still have a long way to go towards being fully transparent. POSITIVE STEPS TAKEN: All areas ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: More 

stakeholder engagement; better tracing of products down to sources of raw material; and even more transparent communications with the public.


Third party verification of report: Yes.  SGS ICS Ibérica, S.A.


Reporting Standard: This Report has been prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards: Comprehensive Option. Organizations have the choice between “in accordance – core” and “in accordance – comprehensive”, depending on the comprehensiveness of the disclosures made.


Insights from the its sustainability report:


Inditex is present in 94 markets -45 of them online- in all five continents, with more than 7,000 stores. Zara is one of their brands. In 2016, the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) named Inditex the most sustainable retail company in its industry, awarding it the gold medal with a total of 97 points out of 100 in a environmental category. Inditex’s supply chain comprises over 6,900 factories which employ over 1.5 million people.




Inditex has invested €40 million in social programmes worldwide in the last year.


Supply chain


●      Inditex has a Code of Conduct for Manufacturers and Suppliers that is binding for its entire supply chain, which establishes standards such as the prohibition of child labour, prohibition of forced labour or freedom of association, among others.

●      Inditex not only verifies that all the workers in the factories with which it collaborates have the same opportunities and working conditions regardless of gender, but that the factories also conduct programmes for women’s empowerment.

●      A project was launched in China in collaboration with Ethical Trading Initiative and other industry brands for the development of training and awareness materials to ensure that the wages and benefits of workers are complied.

●      In 2016 a pilot project was started in Turkey with a factory of 250 workers. In this initial phase, analyses have been carried out to understand the possible causes of gender discrimination in this country. With the findings obtained, the second phase of the programme will be launched in 2017 with the aim of improving the quality of life and working conditions of working women and achieving a full awareness by the factories’ managers.

●      During 2016, Sakhi Project was conducted which is structured in two parts: Sakhi Health and Sakhi Gender Equity. Both cover two fundamental aspects of the situation of women in the Asian country: health and the prevention of situations of harassment or abuse.

●      As part of Inditex's women empowerment projects in southeast India, on specific actions against Sumangali, an abusive work practice that is deeply rooted in the region’s rural culture, Inditex regularly performs specific audits to verify that its suppliers in India do not use the Sumangali system in their facilities.

●      In 2016, programmes were established for internal migrants in China, focused on ensuring that they understand and receive the social benefits to which they are entitled.


Programmes and standards

●      Clear to Wear & Safe to Wear:  These are health and safety standards for products by the Inditex Group, of obligatory application for all of garments and incorporating the most strict and up-to-date legislation in this area.

●      Picking Programme; This is an inspection and analysis instrument designed by Inditex and adapted to its production and logistic model. Its objective is to ensure that all items that we sell comply with product health and safety standards.

●      Ready to Manufacture (RtM): a code of good manufacturing practices for textile and leather products for facilities that undertake wet processes (dyeing, washing, tanneries and printing) and that guarantees compliance with the demanding health standards of Inditex.

●      Green to Wear: This is a standard that guarantees that production processes are environmentally responsible, including criteria for evaluation and control of the supply chain.

●      Inditex supports the Partnership for Cleaner Textile in Bangladesh (PaCT). This initiative works in collaboration with the World Bank in order to improve competitiveness of the textile sector through adopting the better practice in the management of water, energy and chemical substances. 

●      In 2016 Inditex joined is the Clean by Design (CBD) programme, together with the Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC), to promote sustainability in textile production in China.


Training & employee engagement


●      Within the framework of the UK Modern Slavery Act of 2015 and the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010, activities were carried out to sensitize and train internal teams on the prohibition of forced labour. Those are part of regular training in Human Rights that the Inditex purchasing team receives. In 2016, 64 buyers were specifically trained in the prohibition of forced labour.

●      729 buyers trained in responsible purchasing practices.

●      164 new employees trained in sustainability.

●      112 employees of subsidiaries trained in sustainability.

●      India: 5,951 schoolchildren have been trained in their rights.

●      India: 36 employment agencies have been trained in awareness to prevent abusive practices.

●      India: 327 volunteers have been trained to prevent abusive employment practices.

●      Turkey: Raising awareness in a factory with 250 workers.

●      China, Turkey: 18 members of the sustainability team trained in Occupational Health and Safety.

●      In 2016, the EHSA Centre of the University of Ling’nan in Guangzhou (China), specializing in environment and occupational health and safety, gave various trainings to the China sustainability team in: - Legislation on Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety - Ergonomics and occupational health and safety management systems - Electrical and machinery safety.

●      In 2016, Inditex’s Turkish sustainability team took part in advanced technical training, given by mechanical engineers linked to the Fair Labour Association Turkey.

●      In 2016, training of suppliers in aspects such as freedom of association and collective bargaining, traceability, improvement of workers’ conditions based on changes in factory production management systems, health and safety, children’s rights or systems of self-monitoring of the supply chain by the supplier was noteworthy.




●      Inditex is the only company in its sector that provides this information to a union and facilitates union access to all suppliers, which is a sign of commitment to transparency and respect for freedom of association and collective bargaining.

●      The Australian Fashion Report 2016 shows the valuation of different retailers in several aspects, including transparency. The report places Inditex in category 'A', the highest level, achieved by only seven of the 87 companies evaluated worldwide.

●      In 2016 important advances were made in raw material traceability, with new initiatives specifically aimed at the traceability of cotton. In this regard, a pilot programme has been launched involving 50 strategic suppliers in five countries with the aim of gaining visibility and more knowledge about the production processes involved, from cotton growing to fabric manufacture.

●      Different programmes and initiatives were developed with suppliers of raw materials (including cotton) to trace production and to cooperate with renowned international organizations such as Better Cotton Initiative, Textile Exchange or Organic Cotton Accelerator (OCA), a multisectoral initiative created to promote the prosperity of the organic cotton sector.


Waste and resource conservation


●      Zara became the first Inditex brand to eliminate physical receipts in its stores and for orders placed on in Spain in 2016. It is also introducing this initiative in the United States and the United Kingdom. This new paperless system will be gradually expanded to all other brands and markets in 2017.

●      Inditex maintains a long term strategy to integrate the vision of a circular economy into their business model. For this reason, projects were developed for the end of the product’s life cycle, such as Closing the Loop, which reaches employees and customers through the installation of containers for collecting garments. 100% implemented in Zara stores in Spain, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Holland and Denmark.

●      Inditex has partnered with MIT-MISTI (International Science and Technology Initiatives) in order to conduct research to improve recycling of textile fibres from used garments. The aim is to reduce the impact on natural resources and promote circular economy.

●      Green to Pack programme aims to reduce the consumption of raw materials in packaging and to improve shipment density, increasing the amount of products transported in each shipment. Additionally, the use of more sustainable materials in packaging was encouraged, improving reuse and subsequent separation and recycling.

●      In order to lengthen the useful life of garments, a project was developed for the reuse or recycling of garments in partnership with the third sector, recycling companies and textile manufacturers.

●      Inditex incorporates recycled polyester, wool and cotton in its garments, fibres where manufacturing consumes less water, energy and natural resources than the production of new fibres. Moreover, the Group has initiated new lines of research to improve the recycling of textile fibres together with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). And through the collaboration with Austrian company Lenzing, in 2016, Refibra™Lyocell was developed, from cotton waste generated by Inditex and wood originated from forests that are managed sustainably.

●      All paper products (bags, labels, office paper, etc.) and furnishings used in activities are certified under the PEFC or FSC standards, guaranteeing that the entire process of forestry management is carried out in a sustainable and accountable way.




●      To enable customers to quickly identify the products that stand out as environmentally friendly, some Inditex brands have launched specific collections of more sustainable products. Zara identifies these products with the Join Life label, whereas in Oysho, the use of raw materials such as organic cotton, TENCEL®Lyocell or recycled materials is recognised from the Wear the Change label.

●      In 2016, the brand made progress with the commercialisation of these products, launching specific collections of these garments in all sections. In total, Zara put 42.3 million Join Life items on sale this year, representing over 5% of the entire brand collection over the year.


Energy efficiency


●      The sustainability and energy efficiency measures implemented in stores contribute savings of 20% in the case of electricity, and 40% in water consumption compared to conventional stores.

●      Clean energy sources supply 30% of worldwide energy consumption - 520 million KWh of electricity used at facilities comes from renewable sources - 89% of the electricity consumed in Spain is renewable. The use of clean electricity in facilities has grown by a factor of 10 since 2013.

●      In 2016, 520 million kWh of renewable energy was procured for offices, logistic centres and stores. This combined with the renewable generation, tri-generation and co-generation at facilities means that 30% of the energy consumed is clean, avoiding emissions derived from the production of energy using fossil fuels.

●      Increased the use of electricity from renewable sources in facilities tenfold since 2013. In Spain, where the Inditex Group is headquartered, 89% of the electricity consumed comes from renewable sources.


Sustainable procurement


●      729 buyers have received in 2016 the socalled PrINciples training, which continues in 2017 with the IN Practice workshops, designed ad hoc for the Inditex purchasing teams. Thanks to this, the purchase from suppliers with the highest social ratings (A or B), in 2016 accounted for 95% of the total, which shows how the purchase has been oriented correctly in favour of suppliers with a highest degree of sustainability compliance

●      In the development of garments, focus is on incorporating textiles that allow reduction in environmental impact and to protect biodiversity, such as organic cotton, which does not require fertilisers or chemical pesticides, or TENCEL®Lyocell, a fiber originated from wood from forests that are managed in a sustainable way

●      Since 2013, Inditex has been a member of the Fur Free Retailer Programme by the Fur Free Alliance. Also, in 2015, it definitively rejected the production and sale of angora wool after an agreement with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).




●      Prevention programmes such as Clear to Wear standard and the programme The List By Inditex were updated in 2016, increasing the number of chemical substances regulated by these initiatives.

●      Commitment to reach Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC commitment) allows contribution to the sustainability of water. In 2016, led the work team of the ZDHC initiative in order to improve the management of wastewater, publishing the Wastewater Guidelines as a result.

●      Complete elimination of the use of PFCs in items, studying and promoting the adoption of safe alternatives.

●      Implementation of the clean factory strategy for the elimination of the use of APEOS, chemical substances mainly used in the removal of oil stains.

●      Since 2014, compliance was verified with PFC Free policy so that all of products are free from perfluorocarbons (PFCs), compounds used in the waterproof and water repelling finishes. Given that this is of obligatory compliance in supply chain, in 2016 160 direct suppliers were provided alternative sustainable solutions for these unwanted substances.

●      The List by Inditex; A pioneering global programme to improve the quality of the chemical products used in the manufacturing of textile and leather products.

●      Through manufacturing and product analyses audits and later classification, improvements in the use of these chemical substances are implemented with two objectives: Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (environmental) and Clear to Wear (product).


Zara in the news:


●      Zara and Forever 21 have a dirty little secret


Anuja Sawant

Environment & Sustainability, EPt


Twitter: @anujasaw

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Fashion Sustainability in Progress:H&M

By Anuja



This is the 2nd article in a bimonthly series where we will look at the most selling brands in the fashion industry in the year 2016-17. Interbrand, a global brand consultancy, reported Best Global Brands of 2017. Ten luxury and apparel companies made their mark in the top 100. Each blog post would probe into these companies for environmental and social performance by highlighting their progress. Stay tuned for this bimonthly series looking into their sustainability efforts.


Ranking on Best Global Brands of 2017: H&M is at 23 out of 100.


Fashion Transparency Index Final Score: 41-50% Brands scoring over 40% are those who are most likely to be publishing more detailed supplier lists, some will be publishing processing facilities as well as manufacturers — in addition to detailed information about their policies, procedures, social and environmental goals, supplier assessment and remediation processes and general assessment findings. These brands are also more likely to be addressing the Spotlight Issues such as living wages, collective bargaining and/ or circular resources.


Third party verification of report: Yes. Ernst & Young AB.


Reporting Standard: This report is prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards: Core Option. Organizations have the choice between “in accordance – core” and “in accordance – comprehensive”, depending on the comprehensiveness of the disclosures made.


Insights from the its sustainability report:


Waste and resource conservation:


●      Collaborated with Cradle-to-Cradle Products Innovation Institute to help support industry-wide demand and supply of sustainable materials.

●      The Global Change Award innovation challenge, initiated by the H&M Foundation in 2015 aims to find new ideas to help close the loop on textiles. Each year, an expert panel annually selects five winners that share a grant of EUR 1 million and gain access to a one-year innovation accelerator provided by the H&M Foundation, Accenture and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

●      Clever Care Label: In 2016, we have also launched an extended garment care information page online. This information helps customers care for their clothes in a way that makes them last longer, including making simple repairs and washing less.

●      Conscious Exclusive, C/O Cheap Monday Capsule Collection, and Closed Loop 2016 collections are an example of how our design can be used to expand a product’s lifespan or allow for reuse and recyclability.

●      Together with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, they have developed a tool to assess the circularity of our non-commercial goods, such as store interiors. The tool will be used from 2017 onwards and aims to increase the sustainability of the non-commercial goods we buy. The tool will also support their dialogue with suppliers, helping increase awareness of circularity in their products and processes.

●      H&M Foundation and The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) have entered a four-year partnership to develop the required technologies to recycle blended textiles into new fabrics and yarns.

●      Developed incentives for our customers to create positive behavioural change through the H&M Club and for those who recycle their clothes via their garment collection programme.

●      Collaborated with the innovation company Worn Again saw some promising technologies in development for textile-to-textile recycling.

●      In 2016, H&M commissioned a Life Cycle Assessment study to understand the impact of closing the loop by recycling cotton. The study showed that by using recycled cotton fibre instead of virgin cotton fibre, we can reduce climate and water impacts by 80–90% for the stages up to when the fibre is ready for spinning. Unfortunately, it is not currently possible to use more than 20% recycled cotton from collected garments in a product (because of quality issues), but they are investing in technology to overcome this challenge.


Sustainability performance


●      Collaborated with Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) to build a Higg Index tool to measure the sustainability performance of apparel and footwear. The Higg Index measures environmental, social and labour impacts, presents a score and identifies areas for improvement. It was one of the first global fashion companies to roll out the facility module of the Higg Index to all of its first tier factories, followed by second tier factories that represent 56% of the H&M group’s total business volume. Over the last few years, they have developed a supplier assessment programme called the SIPP – the Sustainable Impact Partnership Programme. This is based on the Higg Index facility module as well as their own KPIs (for now).




●      In 2016, the H&M group collaborated with Control Union on a pilot traceability system for organic cotton and viscose. It is a web-based system that allows suppliers to record incoming and outgoing shipments and provide transaction records and a QR code for each one. Selected suppliers from all tiers were trained to use the system for this pilot, which enabled fibre to garment traceability. The pilot was a success and they now plan to scale up the system to cover the entire viscose supply chain over the next few years.


Sustainable procurement


●      H&M is the biggest user of responsibly sourced down.

●      H&M is the second largest user of recycled polyester in the world.

●      H&M is the world’s biggest user of Better Cotton.

●      96% of electricity used in their own operations comes from renewable sources.

●      The H&M group works with indirectly with mills - 1,826 first tier factories of which 508 are based in EMEA and 1,318 in Southeast Asia. It works directly with organisations such as Solidaridad and the Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) to help mills improve their performance. In doing so, it has integrated fabric and yarn mills that are involved in making about 56% of its products into their supplier assessment system.

●      H&M is the second largest user of Tencel®Lyocell (also known as Lyocell). Lyocell is produced in a closed loop system and has a lower environmental impact than other man-made cellulosic fibres. Tencel® is a brand owned by fibre manufacturer, Lenzing. The generic name for the material is Lyocell. The H&M group considers only Tencel® manufactured by Lenzing as a conscious material.

●      In 2016, H&M helped develop the Responsible Wool Standard in a project led by the Textile Exchange. It is now working to get RWS-certified wool into their supply chain.




●      CO:LAB, an internal investment team makes investments in sustainable fashion, innovative business models and technology enablers, and looks for companies with a strategic match to our business.

●      Invested in Sellpy, a Swedish start-up that offers an on-demand service to help people sell items they no longer use, to help them develop and scale their sustainable retail concept – a new and exciting way to shop that aligns well with our own business concept of fashion and quality at the best price in a sustainable way.




●      The H&M group was one of the founding partners of the Organic Cotton Accelerator (OCA) which was launched in 2016. The OCA is a foundation created to accelerate the organic cotton market and find solutions to issues that the industry is facing.

●      They also launched its new Conscious Beauty range of organically produced products for skin, hair and body in March 2016.


Training & employee engagement


●      H&M regularly trains their design and buying office on sustainable material use. They have a specific Conscious Material Course that covers both the why and the how of their work with materials approved as ‘conscious’, as well as a company strategy for sustainable material use.

●      In 2016, a team of H&M group chemists has undergone training in Green Screen hazard assessment, a robust and transparent scientific method of identifying chemicals of high concern and suggesting safer alternatives.

●      In 2016, H&M we ran a Hazardous Substances Control training pilot for 93 suppliers in China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, India and Turkey. They compared the assessment results before and after the training and saw a significant improvement in areas relating to chemical risk identification and chemical monitoring through technical information.


Environmental performance assessment


●      The environmental emission evaluator (E cube/ BVE3) is a measurement and monitoring tool from Bureau Veritas that was launched in 2016. It helps suppliers assess their performance and proactively improve their chemical usage and discharge performance. In 2016, H&M started a pilot project at 29 suppliers in China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Pakistan and Turkey to test the online version of this tool.

●      H&M received an “AVANT-GARDE” grading in Greenpeace detox assessment in 2016, which means that they are a detox-committed company that is ahead in the field leading the industry towards a toxic-free future with credible timelines, concrete actions and on-the ground implementation.




●      The H&M group became part of the ChemSec business group in 2016 – a collaboration between companies to inspire the industry to use fewer toxic chemicals.


H&M in the news:


●      H&M Struggles Repairing a Battered Reputation in South Africa

Anuja Sawant

Environment & Sustainability, EPt


Twitter: @anujasaw

FB Page:

The Race for Sustainable Fashion

by Shakiea Eaddy

We all know that a crucial and intimate part of a thriving industry is competition. Innovation is a race, engagement, a contest.

In the arena of sustainable fashion Europe as a region is ahead and thriving, other countries like Africa are following suit, and America is dead last.

Why is the state of the sustainable fashion industry in the United States this way? Is America interested in this race, and is there room for these changes in the American economy? In this article I'd like to pay attention to the details as to why Europe, Africa, and other countries are ready for these changes, and America isn't.

In theory, the three pinnacles of change in industry are mindset, or ethics. There is also legislation, or changes in the legal structure of an industry, and Economy, or monetary investments.

To see the changes in mindset of the participants of the fashion industry, let's look at the attitude of the region of Europe as a whole toward creating a cohesion between sustainability and fashion. With the endorsement of the European Union, an inter-industry alliance was formed by 180,000 companies who agreed to the commitment of the prevention of the releasing of microfibers, and microplastics into the aquatic environment. Microfibers are barely detectable strands of synthetic fibers from polyesters, nylons, and other plastic materials. These particles are so tiny, that they can travel through sewage systems into our oceans. Making it easy for shellfish and other small organisms to consume them. Unlike cotton, wool, or other natural fibers, they are harmful to the stability, and life of our aquatic life. This is a great show in effort exemplifying the mindset of the people of Europe and the countries of the European Union, as innovators and business owner who are doing their due diligence in changing perspective on fashion, and the responsibility the industry has in protecting the environment.

Looking at some legislative efforts we can recognize the United Kingdom as the first to ban fur farming in 2000, followed by Austria in 2004. The Netherlands banned Mink Farming in 2012, followed by Slovenia in 2013.  Most recently, the Czech Republic in 2017, and Germany implemented stricter regulations in 2017. Sweden phased out fox farming by entering stricter animal welfare requirements to allow them more rights and freedom while in captivity, making it economically unviable for business. Japan in 2016 closed its last fur farm, and India in 2017, adopted an import ban of mink, chinchilla, and fur skins. Yet, major economic countries like China and the United States are slow to act. In China there are no legal ramifications for abusing animals on farms and the United States has no Federal laws in place, only state laws, which regulate other aspects of human and animal interaction. Although China, has presented the notion of taking their role as a major textile waste producer on a global scale seriously, by implementing sustainable retroaction to their textile industry, in their 5-year plan toward social and economic development. 

Now to the business of things; economic investments, according to the Fashion Industry Index, 42 out of 100 fashion brands in 2017 began disclosing their supplier information in the United States. This act supports transparency and works toward fostering educating consumers. In the United Kingdom, an industry organization named, Sustainable Clothing Action Plan or SCAP, has over eighty organizational members, making a pledge to meet industry led targets through the commitment to improve sustainable clothing across its life cycle by working collaboratively with industry, government and the third sector (charities, and organizations) by reducing resource use of carbon, water, and waste. An Indian organization, named Restart Fashion is working to bring together designers who make clothing from post consumed products. In Africa Mozambican twins Nelly and Nelson, use recycled materials in their fashion line. Studio 189 is also an African organization created to promote and help curate African brands throughout the world, it is headquartered in Ghana.

As you can see the leaders in each pinnacle of change is in fact European countries, and Europe as a whole. Their concerted efforts as representatives of the European Union are great in effort and sizeable in effectiveness. They are making strides in changing the mindset of the consumer as well as the producer or manufacturer. They are doing great work in legalizing the banning and use of animal products, which frees up space and opportunity for innovation and creation to go into the burgeoning market of sustainable fashion. In the realm of economics, small business owners, as well as bug brands are taking the initiative to invest into the concept of clean, ethical fashion.

This race is not over, but so far Europe is surely leading the future of Sustainable Fashion, and we believe the future of Sustainable Fashion is bright!


Shakiea Eaddy

Environmentalist Advocate


Grass n Greens  


Sources and Further Readings


Why Ethical is Empowering Women?

by Mona

The discussion about ethical in a society with a large number of challenges has a relationship between different causes. However, sustainability could stand out for many reasons such as: social, environmental and economical. As long as we are responsible, we might ask the question. Who is responsible for what, how and where? We could be responsible for the future of many women that have lack of education, or they are facing sexual harassment, sexual discrimination and other discriminations. Empower women behind ethical. I love the idea and I always loved it. Therefore, combining ethical and empowering women; what an amazing opportunity to offer women the right of growth and independency.    

I started ‘’ Fleur Éthique ‘’ toward this mission to empower women and to express my ethical style, I simply felt that a voice inside of me should be heard, inspire and empower women. There are many ways that leads to the path:  

Ethical for me, is that beyond the materials and the fabrics there are conditions of employees which have to be paid and well treated. This could be a way to empower women who don’t have access to equal education. Most of women choose working in worst conditions, in a horrible environment just to gain their day. At the end of the story, they are not well paid. Instead of unhappiness and hunger at least, we could offer women good environment conditions, well paid, education. Also, it could be an opportunity to overcome poverty.

Behind our luxury clothes, nice looks and styles. Who knows that the woman who made your piece of clothing facing all kind of discrimination? Let’s not imagine the situation and be positive in order to make the change.

On the other hand, there is another way to express women empowerment is the vision of the brand. The brand could communicate women confidence, courage, achieving the same capabilities, and many more ideas. The only thing left is the initiative. There are many brands that are already on the right path such as:


Not only brands, but also bloggers, NGO’s, communities, movements etc but everyone could contribute in order to empower the woman, the one that made your clothes.

I was really impressed by the stories of these brands; I wish if all the brands will walk on the right path and aspire for humanity with style. It doesn’t matter if it costs money, what really matter that it does not cost a life.  


 ‘’ Beyond the style there is a human, a woman who made your clothes ‘’.


                  - Fleur Éthique -


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Fashion Sustainability in Progress: Louis Vuitton and Dior

by Anuja

This is the first article in a bimonthly series where we will look at the most selling brands in the fashion industry in the year 2016-17. Interbrand, a global brand consultancy, reported Best Global Brands of 2017. Ten luxury and apparel companies made their mark in the top 100. Each blog post would probe into these companies for environmental and social performance by highlighting their progress. Stay tuned for this bimonthly series looking into their sustainability efforts.


Ranking on Best Global Brands of 2017: LOUIS VUITTON is at 19 and DIOR is at 95 out of 100.


Fashion Transparency Index Final Score: 11-20% Brands scoring between 11-20% are likely to be publishing a majority of policies, some procedures and information about their supplier assessment and remediation processes. Total scores were out of 250 possible points, which we have converted into percentages. Fashion Revolution choses to publish percentages rather than each brands' individual scores because they felt it encourages readers to focus on emerging patterns rather than exact details.


Third party verification of report: Yes. ERNST & YOUNG et Associés.


Reporting Standard: The information set out in its document also reflects the guidelines in Version 4.0 of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).


LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, better known as LVMH, is a European multinational luxury goods conglomerate, native of France and headquartered in Paris.  LVMH was one of the first groups to set up its own Environment Department – in 1992, the year of the Earth Summit in Rio. In 2017, the Group’s Environment Department will celebrate its 25th anniversary. Louis Vuitton and Dior are a part of this same group.


Insights from the its sustainability report:


Training and Employee Engagement


●      LIFE 2020 (LIFE (LVMH Initiatives For the Environment)) launched in 2016.

●      It’s Environment Academy trains employees on eco-design.

●      It’s online materials library introduces designers and developers over 300 “ecofriendly” materials.

●      Introduction of LVMH Store Environment Awards event.


Environmental Expenditure


●      In 2016, the total amount of the Group’s purely environmental expenditure was €23.8 million, including: €13.5 million in operating expenses, and €10.3 million in investments. Louis Vuitton is set to increase its environmental budget by 50% between 2016 and 2017 compared with 2016, and has decided to make significant investments in eco-design, in the environmental responsibility of its procurement chain and in managing CO2 emissions relating to the transportation of its products.


Environmental performance measurement


●      LVMH launched the second version of Edibox in 2016. This is an Internet tool developed in-house that calculates the environmental performance index (EPI) of packaging, as well as the CO2 impact of packaging materials.




●      Louis Vuitton has been involved in saving bees by supporting scientists and local voluntary organizations for several years.


Waste and resource conservation


●      New Krug box launched, a new packaging range for customers in Louis Vuitton stores, which is made out of FSC-certified paper that includes over 40% of recycled fibers.

●      To recover a portion of its waste, LVMH uses the CEDRE (Environmental Center for Environmentally-Friendly Packaging Elimination and Recycling) platform. CEDRE treated and recycled 2,023 metric tons of extremely diverse waste in 2016. Louis Vuitton, sent packaged items to the platform, including out-of-date alcohol based products, advertising materials and testers used in the stores, as well as empty packaging returned by customers, etc. Furthermore, Louis Vuitton used the platform to recycle textiles.

●      “Refills” are a way for LVMH to extend the lifespan of its products. For instance, Parfums Christian Dior has been developing this concept for many years. They began by applying it to its premium ranges. Nowadays, 80% of the serums and creams that it launches are refillable. This factor is reflected in the saving of 600,000 liters of water and about 11.6 metric tons of waste every year for the Capture Totale cream alone. Parfums Christian Dior pursued this initiative in 2016, when it marketed its new DreamSkin Perfect Skin Cushion cream in refillable packaging.

●      Louis Vuitton teams use digital models and 3-D printing, from the design stage to the industrial manufacture of the products. By offering the opportunity to view the many different possible arrays of colors and materials in a realistic manner, these tools fine-tune the preselection of the models to be prototyped and enable savings on materials.


Renewable Energy


●      Louis Vuitton uses geothermal power, for heating and cooling the staff’s common rooms and offices and intends to roll out an innovative heat recovery system at one of its sites. In Poland, Parfums Christian Dior chose LED lighting to light its new boutique that was opened in Warsaw in 2016.


Sustainable Procurement


●      Parfums Christian Dior’s formulae contain over 60% of plant-based ingredients. The Maison ensures that its procurement is sustainable in order to protect this essential asset.


Louis Vuitton and Dior in the news:


●      Luxury brands, like Louis Vuitton and Dior continue to produce fur clothing for wealthy women

●      Animal rights group Peta buys stake in Louis Vuitton owner to pressure firm to stop using crocodile skin


Anuja Sawant

Environment & Sustainability, EPt


Twitter: @anujasaw

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When you alternate Creativity and Responsible Innovation

by Mona

I create, you create and we create in a constant way seeking for a new fashion trend, a new fashion idea. For me creativity is a concept above creating; it is a whole idea of imagination.  You imagine, you create and you innovate. Sustainability stands out for many societal challenges. Also, it is a creative process in order to create the fashion trend or idea. We often follow the new fashion trend. However, how about when we question our creativity when we innovate?  

Taking into account that we live in a society concerned with social and environmental sustainability; it make sense to reproach the creativity in the slow fashion movement. Who said that sustainable is not creative?  

When it is about to alternate creativity and responsible innovation, therefore, reproaching the fashion industry as long as we know that in order to require success we need a high level of creativity. 

For instance, you would like to take an outfit for a creative Instagram feed. You take the first one, you might not like it. You take the second one, you might not like it. You take the third one you might not like it, three tentative in vain. It is not at the right level of your imagination. The better option would be to take too many then select the one that matches with your expectations. However, the tentative might fail.

In the context of innovation: let’s discuss the innovation of a product. It would be the first design, the second, the third at the end the last tentative that matches with your expectations, Also, the customers expectation. There are many steps in order to make that design: The material (which eco friendly material selected), the style, the creative touch. So it is a whole to think about in order to make the ONE.

As a designer having all the processes in hand, by this way satisfying the need of the eco customer is relevant.  Therefore, not only it exceeds the needs but also it makes the difference.

How you get there?

First: Knowing about the concept of responsible innovation and apply it in your creative context.

Second: Creativity, talent and passion have no limits. You stand out for the environment and you stand out for the difference. 

Finally: Alternate creativity in your innovation.

I try to simplify the concept of responsible innovation for you in order to achieve your higher potential in the slow fashion movement. It is obvious above your talent; you need to make it as a whole package of learning, knowledge in order to alternate your creativity with responsibility.     





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The Solar Textile Industry: "Smart Clothing"

by Shakiea Eaddy

With technology becoming easier to create, and cheaper to manufacture. With Baby boomers adept knowledge of industry, and Millennials entering into business, marketing, and industry with bourgeoning creativity, both aligned with a mindset to solve problems of mankind in this information age, the concept of clothing, and fashion are slowly but surely changing. Since the early 2000’s, fashion designers, had begun to integrate solar technology into clothing of utility like raincoats and work out gear, for the ability to stay warm in colder climates, and to be able to charging portable devices using the energy of the sun. The way that this technology is created is by weaving and integrating solar cells. Solar cells in it’s basic state collect the sun’s ray’s into energy, and are usually found in things like satellites, solar panels, and solar calculators. These cells are called photovoltaic cells, short for photo means light, and voltaic meaning electricity. I consider this integration of solar energy into clothing is extremely sustainable. It's conservative, forward thinking, and innovative.


Taking this technology and incredible innovations a few steps further is the conception created by Miguel A. Modestino,, Sophia Haussener, Daniela Blanco, Adlai Katzenberg and Saurab Tembhurne, winners of the H&M Winning Ideas of Global Change Award in 2016. This concept, takes the idea of solar harvesting of energy in fashion to a very practical, and technologically corrective, standard. This concept is centered around collecting the suns energy, but more importantly it also traps carbon and greenhouse gases that are emitted into our atmosphere. This technology will integrate fibers and nylons into clothing that are composed of water, plant waste, and solar energy, that will allow them to basically ingest our carbon emissions. Their idea won a 250,000 dollar grant to develop, alongside a year long accelerator program initiative.


In a NPR Science Friday interview with the director of the Nano Tech Institute in Dallas Texas, Dr. Ray Bauchman, details an approach to this concept. He explains, the process of webbing carbon nanotubes into material which are durable, but sensitively lightweight, so you would use powders that are contrived of a mixture of magnesium, and borax, which creates semiconductors and coat the carbon fibers, creating material that is essentially a battery operated mechanism. This concept could produce material for clothing, furniture, and even the automobile industry. 

Uses for Solar Fashion are multiline, such as allowing the solar technology to keep us warmer, and using less material in the actual coat. Crafting clothing that is self cleaning, or self drying, allowing us to use non renewable energy. Creating clothing that can regulate body temperature. Investing in clothing that actually reverses the process of climate change.

This introduction or application is a huge merge or collaborations of several industries. The fashion industry, the textile industry, the garment industry, the Science and physics community, the engineering community, and countless others. This sect of fashion will be a multifaceted effort to align the fashion industry with a moral obligation to actually use its influence in society to make it a better one, through solvable solutions. The fashion industry could reinvent it’s impact on our environment with the pursuance of concepts similar to these.


Shakiea Eaddy

Environmentalist Advocate


Grass n Greens  



Are you a Responsible Innovator?

by Mona

I often follow my heart when about choosing items; I look most of the time for credibility of the brand, story, and ethical values. Also, I require knowledge to differentiate so I exactly followed my heart for this article.

When you are a conscious person, you need knowledge, learning new things make us take conscious choices and you need that knowledge in order to realize the negative circumstances of our consumerism. I believe that without this knowledge we wouldn’t measure the impacts.

We usually talk about sustainability; you know that responsible innovation shares the same concept of sustainability? In order to be sustainable, it requires inclusion of stakeholders who support your idea or your brand in order to face the societal challenges. In addition to understand sustainability, an understanding of innovation environment might be interesting.

Responsible innovation is a new concept that is developed by policy makers, and scientists. It is important to identify innovation practices and processes if you are an innovator as long as a   creator is an innovator. 

There are several reasons why to explore responsible innovation in the fashion industry? I found out that a designer, the creator and the innovator should know about this concept from concept to practice in order to stand out for responsiveness.   

First the pollution caused by the clothing materials, with responsible innovation we could limit the pollution impacts and achieve zero waste by the tool of anticipation by which one of the strategies is to predict and to measure the possible implications of the innovation that is to be developed called anticipation.

Second, global responsible actions where the entire value chain is taken into account, the consumption of energy resources such as water and electricity. 

I think the fashion industry create, innovate constantly. Thus, the inclusion of responsiveness and most importantly the consciousness and a better understanding of this concept might be vital in order to predict a better environmental future for the industry.

Though, it is a large concept and we could apply it in any context. Curiosity is one quality of an innovator make sure that you know about it. There are many books, scholars, articles related to the topic to explore it.  However, how would you know that you are a responsible innovator?


- A deep understanding of the concept and apply it to your business context ;

- An active engagement of stakeholders for the purpose which means engage with the stakeholders and the public and find out solutions for environmental challenges ;

- Discussion that lead to Decision-making. Alternate innovation possibilities with decision making strategy ;

- The most important one is responsiveness.


By this way, we could gather all the knowledge that we need to understand each concept then apply it according to its context. 


‘’ Implementing a responsible innovation strategy correctly opens up new opportunities, effectively becoming a catalyst for creativity and providing major leverage to achieve innovation and performance within a responsible framework ‘’

-       Xavier Pavie -Victor Scholten-Daphné Carthy


 "The more you know, the more you learn, the more you do better ‘’

 -  Fleur Éthique  -


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Fashion Sustainability in Progress: A Series

by Anuja

When most people think of fashion brands, they immediately think of what fashion stands for them as an individual or an organization. For a fashion designer, it may be making patterns, prototypes, and the works. For a fashion blogger, it may be minimalistic fashion. For a consumer, it may be fashion trends. The truth is, most people don’t care about ethics when it comes to fashion, and probably not even the environment. If only they knew who makes their clothes, how they make and ship it to them, perspectives would change.


 “The horrendously low prices that farmers get for their produce is a symptom of a society with warped priorities; we do not want to pay adequately to someone who keeps us alive, but we are willing to pay through our noses for branded shoes and gadgets. And in relation to the latter, we don’t even care what the actual factory worker gets.”


Lack of information about these brands, how they produce and supply their products, how transparent they are about their operations keeps consumers in a state of ignorance. This is changing with the emergence of the slow fashion revolution. The Fashion Transparency Index ranks the levels of transparency of 100 of the biggest global fashion companies. It makes it easy for consumers and businesses to make informed decisions, it has saved lives and also protected our environment.


Fast fashion brands are adapting to the transparency and business risks by being more resourceful, ethical, and technologically advanced. But, what exactly are they doing? To answer that, we are bringing you a series of blog posts. We will look at the most selling brands in the fashion industry in the year 2016-17. Interbrand, a global brand consultancy, reported Best Global Brands of 2017. Ten luxury and apparel companies made their mark in the top 100. Each blog post would probe into these companies for environmental and social  performance by highlighting their progress. Stay tuned for a bimonthly series looking into their sustainability efforts.


Stay tuned!


Anuja Sawant

Environment & Sustainability, EPt


Twitter: @anujasaw

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Orange Fiber: a revolutionary fabric from Sicilian oranges

by Martina Favaro

Sometimes an intuition can lead to a great project. Innovation, sustainability and quality to make the world a better place: these are the ingredients of the idea of two young Italian women, Adriana and Enrica. Their dream comes true by pioneering an innovative process to extract cellulose from citrus juice by-product, transforming it into a refined, high-quality fabric. Their project brings together two pillars from the Italian heritage, textiles and food, and responds to the need of innovation and sustainability in the fashion industry.

The idea

In 2014 Adriana Santanocito was a student of Fashion Design at AFOL Moda – Milano, specializing in textiles, materials and new fashion technology. She knew about the huge amount of citrus juice byproduct, the so-called “pastazzo,” thrown away everyday in her Sicily and proposed a sustainable fabric from citrus byproducts for her thesis. She shared her idea with her Sicilian roommate, Enrica Arena, so they started Orange Fiber, with the collaboration of Politecnico di Milano.

Orange Fiber is now a reality: it's the world’s first and only brand to produce a new and sustainable product from citrus juice byproducts, transforming them into beautiful materials reducing waste as well as pollution. It's surely one of the most  interesting approach to sustainable fashion in the world, an example of creativity for the safeguard of the planet to be proud of.

Orange Fiber for a better world

In Italy every year, more than 700.000 tons of citrus waste are produced and no one before had developed an alternative to disposal.

This enormous amount of waste caused many problems in the past leading to illegal disposal or to the closing of some factories due to the high costs of disposal practices. Orange Fiber is the answer to this problems as well as to the ever-increasing number of consumers demanding sustainable materials and to fashion brands seeking green innovation.

Orange Fiber solution, to extract a raw material from an industrial by-product, not rival to food, could be the answer to the increasing need of cellulose for textile. Their green production of cellulosic fabrics preserves natural resources, does not dispose an industrial waste and does not use natural resources.

Compared to existing man-made fibers from cellulose, either from wood or from hemp and bamboo, Orange Fiber does not require dedicated yields alternative to food consumption or dwilling on natural resources, but reuses a waste thus saving land, water, fertilizers and environmental pollution.

The fabric features

When used in its purest form, the resulting 100% citrus textile features a silk-like cellulose yarn  hand-feel, lightweight.

It can be opaque or shiny according to production needs. It can be blend with other materials, like cotton and silk, and colored and printed as traditional fabrics (inkjet printing and natural colors included).

The Capsule Collection Ferragamo

The very first fashion collection made with the exclusive, high quality Orange Fiber fabric has been launched during the Earth Day 2017 on April 22nd by Salvatore Ferragamo. The Florentine Maison has been the first luxury fashion label to trust in this project, sharing the ethical values underneath it and seeing in it both a challenge and an opportunity.

From this collaboration originates a Capsule Collection for the SS/2017 made up of shirts, dresses, pants and foulards in a silk- like twill, characterized by essential lines and cut, granting naturalness and comfort.

The project is catching more and more the interest and the appreciation of Fashion System, as shown by the current negotiation with FTL Venture Inc, the global venture capital fund founded by Miroslava Duma.

The company has also recently been awarded 150.000 € as the winner of Global Change Award – H&M Foundation: Orange Fiber project has been selected as one of the five winners by the expert jury on over 2,700 projects coming from 112 different countries.

Among the other awards we can remember the "Technology & Innovation Award at Green Carpet Fashion Awards, Italia 2017".

Martina Favaro | Pink Bubbles

Contatto telefonico: +39 3312971212

XXIV maggio 8 | 06023 | Gualdo Tadino (PG) 

How to Enjoy a Cruelty-Free Winter

by Luisa Kearney

Stroll into your average high street store during the winter season and you are likely to meet a number of controversial types of clothing materials. Materials such as wool, leather, fur and suede are incredibly popular and widely available during the winter months. A simple winter hat with a fluffy pom-pom may contain traces of real animal fur. If you want to avoid innocently buying into unethical fashion, consequently supporting cruelty then you need to pay attention to what you are buying and how to identify the differences between animal skins and their ethical alternatives.


Identifying the Difference between Real Fur and Faux Fur

Worryingly, avoiding real fur with the intention of buying a faux alternative is not as simple as looking out for a big label stating ‘faux fur’. Unfortunately, some items made from imitation fur can contain traces of real animal fur, which is unfair on the side of the manufacturer if the consumer is making a conscious effort to avoid real fur! Not many years ago, faux fur was easily identified simply by giving the garment a quick look over and feeling the quality of the material. Just as little as 5 years ago, vegan fur was coarse, dry and by no means as soft as real fur. Nowadays, vegan fur is often softer and fluffier than real fur, which has helped to inspire many keen fur-wearers to switch to wearing faux fur. Real fur is possibly one of the most barbarically obtained animal skins, due to the fact that the animals are often skinned alive and left to die afterwards. So with that said, you will probably want to avoid buying real fur at all costs, so here are some ways in which you can determine whether you’re looking at real animal fur or a vegan/cruelty-free version:

·       As mentioned above, real fur is no longer noticeably softer than faux fur alternatives. These days it is often vegan fur that is softer than real animal fur so don’t let this confuse you.

·       Similarly, don’t let the colour of the fur fool you. Faux fur can easily be dyed and comes in a range of colours and shades. So don’t judge purely on its colour.

·       Look at the ends of the fur. Usually real fur tapers to a fine point at the ends, whereas faux fur is choppier and the ends are not so neatly defined.

·       If possible (very carefully) burn a few small strands of the fur. Faux fur will have a chemical smell, but if it smells like burning human hair then it is real animal fur.

·       Look carefully at the label on the garment. Sometimes hidden in the small print on a label, you will see that the item is made from e.g. 75% polyester and 25% mink (or another animal) fur.


Vegan Alternatives to Animal Leather

At this time of year, items such as leather riding boots and leather jackets are highly popular choices to add to our winter outfits. Unfortunately real leather is not an ethically sourced material, but don’t panic – there are a number of fantastic ethical and sustainable alternatives to leather, such as:

·       Leatherette

·       Cork

·       Mushroom Skin

·       Pineapple Skin Leather


Popular Materials and Fibres that are NOT Cruelty-Free

·       Bunting

·       Cashmere

·       Cerecloth

·       Doeskin

·       Duffle

·       Felt

·       Fleece

·       Horsehair

·       Leather

·       Mohair

·       Silk

·       Suede Leather

·       Tweed

·       Wool


Popular Materials and Fibres that are Cruelty-Free and Ethical

·       Acrylic

·       Canvas

·       Chino

·       Cork

·       Cotton

·       Denim

·       Elastane

·       Flannelette

·       Leatherette

·       Linen

·       Lint

·       Microfiber

·       Moleskin

·       Nylon

·       Polyester

·       Towelling

·       Velcro

·       Velour

·       Viscose

Code of Ethics in Sustainable Fashion

by Shakiea Eaddy

After a mid-week visit to the Museum of Modern Art, and witnessing the "Is Fashion Modern" exhibit by Paola Antonelli and Michelle Millar Fisher, I came across an extensive wall display of a thorough look at the relationship between fashion, industry, labor, economics, and its impact on our world.

 This display stems from an incentive of the United Nations campaign, "17 Ways to Transform Our World".

Starting with No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health, Quality Education, Gender Equality, Clean Water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean Energy, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible consumption and production, Climate Action, Life Below Water, Life on Land, Peace Justice and Strong Institutions, and Partnership for the completion of these goals.

The display at the Musuem of Modern Fashion recognizes that the Fashion Industry is one of the most wasteful industries in the developed world, and prioritizes the necessity in spreading the message that consumers as well as companies, and manufacture's must have accountableness when interacting in this industry.

MOMA examines each iconic fashionable item that made a impact on the trends throughout the decades while analyzing the overall outcome of the items negative sustainable impact on production practices, and ultimately the Earth. The display also showed the progress and retroactive steps taken by the fashion industry to reduce that items negative impact on the environment, making small steps toward achieving a sustainable fashion market in and out.


This display impressed me, not to mention gave me hope in knowing that these goals are achievable, and a fully sustainable fashion industry can become a reality, with organized initiative. 

 This, I thought, is the type of evaluative work that we as a community of designers, consumers, activist, and journalist need to start doing to begin shaping the fashion market, so that sustainable fashion, does not become segregated from the fashion industry as a whole.


With this said, let's began with a code of Ethics for the sustainable fashion industry.


The pillars of The Sustainable Clothing Industry should revolve around these five principles.


Designers, producers, and manufactures must sustain commitment to the protection of natural resources. They should have conscious awareness of the environment and appreciate its place in the function of the health of the planet.  Conserving energy and natural resources must be an integral practice.


This includes the use of materials that doesn't exploit or inflict senseless murder of living beings.

Some of those eco-friendly materials include.

Fabrics - Hemp, Bamboo, Soy Cashmere, Soy Fabric, Raffia, Cellulose Fibers, Lyocell, Acetate, Organic Cotton, Modal, Cypro, Tencel, Acrylic, Nylon, Polyester, Jute, Bysuss, Coir (Coconut Fiber), Corn Fiber, Kapok (Seapods of Kapok tree), Kenaf, Lotus Flower Fabric, Nettle Fabric, Pineapple Fibers, Abaca (Banana Fibers), Sisal (Agave Plant).

Safe and sustainable animal materials to use would be Wool, Alpaca, Mohair (Hair from the Angora Goat), Fish Skin Leather, Chitin Fibers (Substances found in shells and crustaceans), Camel Wool, Peacock Feather Fabrics.

Recycling is a direct way to make a positive impact on the fashion industry. Producers of fashion must make it a regular practice to use recycled material or clothing from older seasons to create new items. Investments must be made to upgrade the technology used to recycle material and fabric, to lower the cost. We see now that many materials can be recycled and made into new material such as recycled polyester from plastic bottles known as rPet, which is post-consumer recycled plastic soda and water bottles, food containers, unusable second quality polyester fabrics and worn out polyester garments. Thrift shops must be destigmatized, and consumers must recognize the need to be conservative when it comes to shopping.


The way in which these items are manufactured must give license to artisans who handcraft, repurpose or upcycle items. This will reinvigorate the respect of artisanship, and denounce poorly made clothing, that is often pushed onto consumers by the fast fashion industry.

Producers must avoid using harmful pollutants or chemicals in their manufacturing practices, and monitor their waste removal procedures.  As it harms the environment when it interacts with our drinking water, soil, and air quality, natural environments, and animal's habitats. 


Producers and manufactures’ must be making concerting efforts to countering global slavery, poor child labor standards and regulations. They should also be committed to Fair Trade, and expanding the practice thereof with other brands and creating a harmonious ethical trade industry. The upliftment and boosting of the economies of third world countries should be essential, as well as the dedication to the cause to allowing women to prosper and be entrepreneurial globally.

Charity + Philanthropic

The Fashion industry must demonstrate it's ability to go make more change in the global world. Cyclical consumerism must not be projected on the worlds' population, instead the industry must exercise the practice of charitable incentive. Giving back to organizations, and combining the mission of the company with charitable efforts. They can incorporate charity into their business models.


With these principles, we can begin to transform the fashion industry starting inside and out.


Shakiea Eaddy

Environmentalist Advocate


Grass n Greens  



How to build a Sustainable Fashion Brand strategy with Values?

by Mona

Outfits, looks and styles; we love that. Who behind these designs? Who are the workers behind this brand that we love? Who are the creators who designed this item that we expose to the world? It is an item that makes us warm, expressing ourselves, being confident, going for a date, or attending an event etc in order to feel good. It is simply a feeling that we tend to satisfy. Though, are the workers satisfied? Is our planet satisfied?   

A bunch of questions, interactions which sustainability covers ; before all these outfits, looks, and styles there is a strategy, a business idea, a passion, a talent. However, if we combine talent, passion and responsibility we would think about a sustainable strategy before the creation of outfits, looks and styles.  

What is a sustainable strategy? It is simply to express your passion responsibly. You would think about all along the process from the conception to the creation. It is a responsible road which leads to a responsible strategy.  

For designers who are adopting these methods they think about all along the process. It starts from conception to market launch. The concept is simple; it is often mentioned on websites that a business has values which its commits to in the execution plan if they are sustainably committed.  

For instance, let’s say a luxury fashion brand would commit to social corporate responsibility as a value will help them to put actions according to that. Fair trade which fair prices are paid to the producers; workers have great conditions at work place. Empowering women, women develop skills in suing if they have lack of education, charity and so on. 

First of all, building strong values could help the right path to sustainability. The success of a sustainable strategy may therefore be measured in terms of its degree of its responsibility. It is all about responsibility. 

These are the following values examples that could be adopted in order to measure the degree of responsibility: 

• Corporate social responsibility ;

• Responsible innovation (is a large concept, but it could be a value. It is defined by the European Commission as a transparent and interactive process by means of which social actors and innovators must interact and work together in line with given opportunities, to ensure that societal ethical stakes are preserved ) ;

• Commitment ; 

• Ethical ; 

• Eco-Friendly ;

• Transparence;


Moreover, an adequate understanding of these values is building in general a sustainable strategy. Thus, a deep understanding of which value corresponding for a specific fashion brand might be interesting. 

There are too many that the brand could commit too. However, these examples depend on the condition of the brand to choose the right values corresponding with its responsibility in general.  

The goal of these values is to improve sustainability, the environment and social being. Thus the value added is commitment to the path. All the actions, outfits, looks and styles will follow in the creation process.  

Let’s empower ethical and commit. 


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The Future of Secondhand Fashion Market

by Anuja

Used fashion items go by several names - pre-owned, like-new, worn, secondhand, thrifted, resale, used vintage or antique. However, one word that says that they are more than just use items is love. Preloved items tell us a story and all the memories its owner created along with it. However, not all can let go of these memories so easily. Many of us still keep our wedding dress, for instance. Some of us even buy souvenir items to create memories.


In the midst of this emotional existence, some of us decide to either sell or donate. We do this either with the intention to help someone, earn some money in return, be frugal, or to be a part of the conscious consumerism movement. This resolution has given birth to a new era in markets like thrift stores, augmented marketplaces, off-price retailers, and rental/peer-to-peer marketplaces. These markets allow the fashion industry to be a part of a circular economy or a sharing economy. Such a type of economy helps protect our environment by conserving and reusing resources, keeping these resources out of landfills and preventing waste.


Augmented marketplaces are the new thing. Companies in this market have raised hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital in recent years. The secondhand market has seen some volatility with some going defunct soon after securing millions of dollars. The other mentioned markets are seeing old but new players trying to catch up with the growth of the resale industry, especially new companies in the P2P markets who also have managed to raise a lot of cash.


Type of Marketplace

What is it?

How long has the market existed for?

Is it an online or an offline market?


Augmented marketplace

Where sellers wouldn't normally part with and hawk their goods unless they had someone to do it for them.

This is a relatively new marketplace and is facilitated by growth of online shopping.

Online only.

ThredUP, The RealReal, Vestiaire Collective, Rebelle, Vide Dressing, Cudoni, EditSecondhand, High Fashion Society, Collector Square, Swap, Tradesy, Material World, SnobSwap, Fashion Rerun, Style Tribute, Portero

Off-price retailers

Are retailers who provide high quality goods at cheap prices.

This market has sprung out of the need to compete with new secondhand clothing markets like augmented marketplaces specifically created to sell secondhand clothing.

This is an online as well as offline market.

Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Macy, Nordstrom Rack

Peer-to-peer or P2P marketplace

An online platform that connects people in need of a product (temporarily) with people who have that product, but are not using it.

Relatively old market.

This is an online as well as as an offline market.

Ebay, Poshmark, Letgo, Vinted, Hardly ever worn it, Grailed, Etsy, Boro It

Thrift Stores

A shop that sells used clothes, among other things in order to raise money for a charity.


This is an offline as well as an online market.

Goodwill, Oxfam, Salvation Army



ThredUP, world’s largest online marketplace to buy and sell women’s and kids’ secondhand clothes, has stayed ahead of the competition probably owing to its business model that involves a sliding scale - for example if your goods sell for $15 or less you get 10% of the sale price but 80% if your goods sell for more than $300. It also published mind blowing statistics on the secondhand clothing industry, in its 2017 Annual Resale Report.  Here are few of the many stats that they’ve researched and published:


  1. The resale industry is a whooping $18 billion industry, online and offline.
  2. The resale industry is expected to grow to $33 billion in 2021.
  3. Millenials are 2.4 times likely to be motivated by eco-conscious factors when shopping secondhand. Millenials are 75% likely to be motivated by the environment. 84% prefer socially conscious brands that align with their values.
  4. Average American throws away 70 lbs of clothing every year. If all that clothing were recycled or reused, it would save 6 million items from ending up in landfill per year. ThredUP alone has upcycled 14 million items.
  5. ThredUP has saved 128 million lbs of CO2, equivalent to powering 8111 households for an entire year.
  6. ThredUP has saved 10 billion gallons of water, equivalents to 15,784 olympic sized swimming pools.


Statistics show that there is now a high sense of awareness within consumers of the consequences of buying more and more fashion items. Consumers now want to buy products that are produced with the environment, people, resources, health, and biodiversity in mind. But, does it really make a difference? What’s truly going to make a difference is when we challenge the entire fashion industry and our governments to address the root cause of these consequences, and encourage sustainable production and not just sustainable consumption.


Would you rather recycle or reuse a fashion item that has been produced sustainably or one that isn’t?


Would love to hear from you


Do you like buying secondhand fashion items or do you feel like they are the ghosts of the previous owner?


Do you rent fashion items?


Are you an online or an offline buyer of secondhand fashion items?


Do you have memories attached to a secondhand fashion item that was handed over to you?



References that have not been linked inline:




Anuja Sawant

Environment & Sustainability, EPt


Twitter: @anujasaw

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Redefining possibilities

by Roberto Campos

The reason why a fast food chain restaurant can offer a 1 euro burger wherever you may be but getting clean, potable water to places that may need it seems sometimes impossible is the same reason why China had an incredible fast paced industrialization and growth after Apple decided to build the iPhone there; chains of production and transportation. I am not going into detail about the economics or the pros and cons of such large scale cogs that make the world market turn round, instead I will over-generalize certain points I think are the main focus when talking about sustainability, and specifically in the fashion industry.

Industry brings money and places are often charmed by the influx of low-skilled production jobs, which on their own are charmed by the cheap labour. The problem comes in when there is no care for the community or the place. The short term benefits of urbanization and wealth have proven to be quickly outweighed by pollution, extremely poor safety regulations, an emphasis on speed and quantity and not a long term commitment; and just like land that gets overworked at some point it dries and the fertility seems to be gone. Workers demand more in terms of income, benefits, laws and regulations get stricter and the industry that so suddenly came in moves on to find another place to colonize as it may seem. We have seen this time and time again. Yet it is hard to place the blame on one thing alone.

The speed at which the industry must move derives by the speed us as consumers demand product. Fast fashion being a frontrunner in this with stores that switch around a lot of their inventory every two weeks. We want the next trendy item and we want it to be affordable, we want that cheeseburger and it better be a euro.

From consumers to providers there lies an incredibly long amount of intermediaries ranging from transport companies with tankers, port employees, retail workers, factory workers, communities that get built around these industrial towns, farmers and land owners, countries and taxation, bankers and lawyers who struggle to make sense of everything so that you can get that white tee for 5 bucks no questions asked; so much depends on it sometimes it seems like the cliche’d phrase of “it might just be too big to fail” seems to apply.

I would like to point out an important part of the chain that sometimes gets relegated to a different sector, which people might consider to be somewhat separate, and that would be designers. Technology and fashion have always been connected; the use of denim for work attire, or the use of materials to make clothes waterproof may be a good example. Before plastics we’re a thing we would cover leather with beeswax for example, but how affordable is that for today’s market? We can also leap to today and see what sports brands are doing with sneakers and their incredible push towards materials engineering; a quest for comfort and durability at a point where it can be mass produced at a price point where people find it worth their money.

Luxury will always be there, so a good pair of leather shoes built by human hands will have an artisanal value, but I would argue that the care put into quality means something that will stand use and wear, not a cheap leather item that is in itself nothing but designed to be replaced after a season. So leaving that alone for now, let’s talk a bit about technology.

Does technology need to be priced as much as luxury is? Do a fabric that can offer durability, comfort, or even thermal properties need to be more expensive than something that came from half way around the world in a container? Unfortunately mostly yes. For the industry to cannibalize itself there will always be a reason to keep the machine working. Or will the bubble ever burst as perhaps the housing industry did? Unlikely.

I am not trying to say that we as consumer have the power to influence a sudden change. We can compare it to the zero kilometer movement in the food industry, but even then people will pay a markup for locally grown, locally sourced vegetables and fruits. Neither I am saying the economical system needs to be reworked for anything to change, every system has and will always have its flaws.

So what exactly am I trying to say with this seemingly pointless rant you might be asking yourself right about now, and that’s a fair point, because I do not have all the answers and I believe no one does. I do have some suggestions and do feel free to disagree with me, but as long as I made you think of your own then I believe this has been worth every keystroke.

The west going in crisis where over-qualified people can’t find a job is a place that needs to get some investment on. Not for production perhaps but for development. Whereas in other industrial revolutions so much effort was put into the development of technology it has now been focused entirely on phones that we throw out every couple of years and the likes. We can see how this can work with companies like Tesla and finding solutions for energy sources, or how a private company tries to make affordable space exploration when the dream seem to have been lost in past generations. We are easily distracted and information comes so often and so quickly that our perception has been shifted into small pockets of issues we as a whole pay attention to and then move on. Impossible with funding from Google and Bill Gates has developed a burger paddy that imitates meat as much as they could with plants, not for vegetarians, but to proof meat eaters that there can be another way, All of this thanks to designers and engineers and people with white coats; people that sometimes don’t get the pay they should get in a world where ideas are privatized and owned by employers.

Some may say open-sourcing certain things might make the market adjust itself. If a new textile can be developed by students in MIT and companies could use their chain of production to create and sell something more environmentally and socially friendly that would benefit us all.

What I am trying to come down to is that ultimately all it takes it for someone to care and to make someone else care, not with frustration and the hashtag of the week, but with empathy. For consumers to buy smart, spend what you can but spend on something that is worth it and be an informed consumer. For designers to be interested in talking to engineers and for decision makers to convince the backers that sometimes, if they actually care we as consumers will too. Let’s make technology in fashion not such a luxury anymore. 



Roberto Campos



How to Be More Sustainable in 5 Easy Steps

by Luisa

For many of us, we hear the term ‘sustainable fashion’, we learn a little about what it entails and we are eager to start being better and being more sustainable. The only issue is - how and where do you start? 


Search the internet on how to start supporting ethical fashion and in typical internet style (excuse the pun) you’ll find the usual combination of: highly valuable information, a mixture of controversial opinions, followed by a few misleading facts and some completely worthless reading! The most common debate is the “do you start again, throw out what you have and buy all new, sustainable fashion items? Or do you act sustainably and use what you have until the time comes when you will subsequently replace it with sustainable alternatives? The choice depends on you, but the most rational option would be the latter.


The art of supporting sustainable fashion involves supporting ethical brands, buying items of clothing made using eco-friendly fabrics and manufacturing processes, as well as preventing textile waste! We can all start being more sustainable today without rushing out to buy from ethical, eco-friendly brands! Here’s how to be more sustainable in 5 easy steps!

1. Learn what colours suit you so that you don’t buy the wrong colour that you’ll hate forever and never wear.

2. Learn what styles and textures suit your natural body shape and silhouette. Dress for the body shape and physical features you have rather than what you want, and you’ll always dress well!

3. Consider what you really need from your wardrobe: a small but tailored capsule collection of items that suit you perfectly and can be effortlessly mixed and matched without any thought? Or a more complex wardrobe of vintage garments, on-trend pieces, a huge range of accessories, as well as essential classic pieces? Unless require a wealthy collection for work purposes, I’m sure that most of you would feel better having a neat and stylish wardrobe full of quality items that never fail to flatter your shape and skin colouring. In this case it would be better for you to create a capsule wardrobe of items that you can effortlessly throw together to achieve a stylish outfit! This doesn’t have to mean you have a limited choice or always have to look the same. Take a look here at my 29 items to a perfectly stylish wardrobe checklist here – all of these items can be mixed and matched with little effort but guarantee you look fabulous all the same!

4. Don’t rule out using thrift stores! Here’s why… Second hand shops, charity shops, vintage boutiques, thrift stores. There are so many ways in which to refer to clothing outlets selling pre-owned items. What’s most important is what they represent – reusing clothing thereby preventing textile waste! Not everybody is keen on the idea of wearing items of clothing that once belonged to somebody else, so here’s a little food for thought. In some cases the items you pick up in thrift stores have actually been worn far less than brand new items you purchase from high street stores. In many cases, second hand clothing stores are full of items that were mistake purchases and have only been worn a couple of times or never at all! On the other hand, high street stores receive huge volumes of daily shopper traffic ranging from ‘the teen that just wants to try on items after school’ to ‘the keen shopper that’s going to try, buy, and possibly return everything’. My point is that more times than not, the items you buy on the high street have been worn/tried on more times by lots more people than something you might find in a second hand shop. Additionally, there are some quality items on offer in thrift stores, available at a fraction of their normal retail price. 

Don’t forget that when conducting a thorough ‘wardrobe weeding’ session, offloading your unwanted fashion items to a charity shop/pre-owned fashion store is also a good idea. It eliminates waste and puts your old goods to better use!

5. DIY. Upcycle. Revamp what you already have!

You’d be surprised at just how many more years you could get out of an old shirt with a button missing (Fix: sew on a new one), or a plain t-shirt that bores you (Fix: sew on sequins, fancy buttons, add a brooch). There are lots of easy DIY fashion tutorials on Pinterest, Youtube, as well as on my own site. You’d be amazed at how quick and easy it is to completely transform your old clothing in the matter of minutes! 

Finally, if you’re missing shopping and are in need of a little inspiration on how to revamp clothing you already own, take a trip to the mall for ‘research’ purposes only! Enjoy browsing round the carefully curated collections on display, but instead of taking an armful of hangers over to the counter, take out your camera phone and take pictures of garment details, styles and fits that appeal to you. Quite often, the items you see on shop displays are very easy and affordable to replicate at home. Take for example, a t-shirt with button details along the shoulder line. The extra detail makes the garment look expensive but sewing a couple of buttons onto a t-shirt couldn’t be simpler and is something anybody could do at home! 


Supporting sustainable fashion and being more sustainable is highly creative and incredibly rewarding. Once you start implementing these 5 easy steps, you’d be amazed at how enjoyable your journey becomes!


Luisa Kearney

Online Personal Stylist


Are Luxury Fashion Brands Sustainable?

by Mona

Are you a lover of elegance? We all choose outfits to look the way we would like to express ourselves. Besides the beauty we look for elegance that’s why we often invest a lot to be elegant. What if I tell you that ethical is elegant. Speaking about elegance the first question that comes to my mind are luxury fashion brands sustainable? You might probably tell me, well, it costs because of the quality of the materials and that’s why they are luxurious or because of the uniqueness of the design. 

The fact that the uniqueness of the design and the approach used by these fashion brands such as: Gucci, Hermès, Prada, Chanel, Versace and many more applying one of the aspects of sustainability which is quality material and it lasts rather than no quality. Quality over quantity; what about Corporate Social Responsibility? Even some fashion brands like Hermès they hire a designer for each product.  Sustainable fashion might be the future for luxury brands and even sustainability is at the heart of their business model like for Marks & Spencer.  For instance, Stella MCCARTNEY is the world’s first and only vegetarian luxury brand. They do not think that any animal should give their life for the sake of fashion. Also, they commit to sustainability in their business as described in their official website. 

Indeed, I love the fact when it is clearly communicated on the official website of the brand. For some fashion luxurious brands, it is so hard to see clearly responsible communication. That’s the first step a luxurious brand should think about. If there is no information meaning either they have their own niche of consumers or they do not prioritize communicating sustainability or either they prioritize the uniqueness of the design and the collection. I think the best option would be to ask them, send emails if they do really care before buying if it is unclear.  

Obviously sustainability covers many points that a luxurious fashion brand should communicate. Besides the luxury and the quality they should emphasize ethical trade, responsible business model, future sustainable plans, corporate social responsibility all these aspects matters in order to build a trust with the eco-friendly consumer. 

The answer to this question is mixed either there is a clear communication about sustainability like for these Brands: Stella MCCARTNEY, EDUNE, Tome, Eileen Fisher, G-STAR Raw. Also, it depends on how the strategy of the Brand is described including the mission, the vision and the values. 

For most of known luxurious brands, they highlight la ‘’ Haute couture ‘’ rather than ‘’ sustainability’’. Also, you might find ‘’corporate responsibility ‘’ in the menu. I guess it is not enough. 

Nowadays, things are changing hoping that the luxurious fashion brands would highlight ‘’sustainability ‘’ rather than ‘’ Haute couture”.  

‘’ There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger & unhappiness ‘’ -Gandhi- 


Written by Mona, Fleur Ethique : my mission is to inspire ethical and to empower women through the eyes of my style. Ethical is elegant. 



Fleur Éthique

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What is Sustainable Fashion?

by Luisa Kearney

We often hear about sustainable fashion and we’re told that it’s the future of fashion but what exactly does it mean? There are so many terms to describe ethical and eco-friendly fashion but they don’t all share the same meaning or mode of production. So let’s take a look at what it means to live and dress sustainably.


Sustainable fashion is a term used to describe fashion items and their raw materials that have been grown, sought and produced in an environmentally-friendly way. Producing any kind of clothing takes its toll on the earth’s resources, but the sustainable fashion industry tries to find other eco-friendly alternatives where possible.  



All of us have to wear clothes. Many of us enjoy the process of shopping, styling and wearing clothes. None of us want their fashion habits to have a negative impact on our planet! 


Before we go any further, it is wise to familiarise yourself with the below listed terms, describing different aspects of ethical fashion. 


Popular Terms Used to Describe “Friendly-Fashion”


• Slow Fashion 

You’ve heard the term “fast fashion”: fast-moving clothing retailers that produce fashion items in the masses, which are often manufactured under poor working conditions in other countries. Slow fashion promotes the belief of “buying less but buying better”. Buy garments that you’re going to wear. Invest in items you love. Wear the items you buy. Don’t waste your money on clothing that may fall apart after a couple of wears. 

• Ethical Fashion 

Ethical fashion signifies ethical manufacturing, textile sourcing and working conditions. This means that no living beings (human or animal) were harmed or mistreated while obtaining the materials, during production or at any other stage. 

• Vegan Fashion

Fashion items made from materials that are not obtained from animals, i.e. no fur, leather, wool, silk, suede, etc. Vegan fashion guarantees that no animals were harmed or killed for the sake of manufacturing fashion products. 

• Cruelty-free Fashion

Cruelty-free fashion usually refers to products which do not involve testing products on animals or unethically obtaining skins and other materials from animals. In the world of cosmetics however, cruelty-free can mean that the product and its ingredients haven’t been tested on animals, but it may not necessarily be suitable for vegans – take cruelty-free honey lip balm for example. 

• Sustainable Fashion 

Sustainable fashion involves using recycled materials or producing new fashion items using dyes and manufacturing processes that cause as little harm as possible to the environment. Other types of sustainable fashion involve swapping clothing, buying pre-owned items, upcycling what you already own, or buying less and wearing it more. 

• Eco-friendly Fashion 

Fashion products that are manufactured in a way that is most economical for the earth’s resources and the environment. Eco-fashion manufacturing uses special dyes and fabric fibres sourced from natural, recyclable materials.


Would you run your kitchen tap and allow 7000 litres of water to just pour down the drain? It sounds like a huge waste doesn’t it?! It takes 7000 litres of water to make a single pair of jeans. Every time you discard of an unwanted fashion item that you’ve purchased on a whim, you are essentially throwing away thousands of litres of water! This is one of the many reasons why supporting sustainable fashion brands and being more sustainable in your daily life has such a major, positive impact on the planet. Typical clothing production using non-sustainable materials and processes is harmful to the environment for a number of reasons. The heavy use of bleach and harmful dyes (especially when dealing with animal skins) is not only damaging and potentially toxic, but also requires thousands of litres of water in order to carry out the dying stage. With such a huge choice of high quality natural fabrics and vegan leather available on the market, it is easier than ever to dress stylishly and ethically! 


Easy Ways to Start Living More Sustainably Today


• Be conscious of what you buy. Buy items that you love, that suit you perfectly, and that you know you will wear over and over. 

• The “30 Wears” question: last year I participated in a campaign called “30 Wears” – a challenge that encouraged people to wear each fashion garment that they buy at least 30 times before disposing of it. So, next time you shop ask yourself whether you could imagine yourself wearing the item you’ve just picked up at least 30 times.

• Take a good look at items in your wardrobe and see how you can upcycle them to make them more wearable. Sewing on a couple of sequins or accessorising in another way can instantly transform the overall look of a garment.

• Aim to buy from ethical and sustainable fashion brands. Every item of clothing has a story, so why not make sure its story is a positive and environmentally-friendly journey.

• Set aside 30 minutes per week to plan out your outfits that you plan to wear that week. Not only will this save you heaps of time and stress each morning, it will also allow you to see what exactly you have lying in your wardrobe which will help you to make good use of it by planning a way in which you can wear it. 

• Learn what kind of styles, colours and fits suit your personal physical characteristics, enabling you to make more informed decisions when shopping for clothes because you won’t waste time or money on items that you know will not suit you. 

• Wear what you buy! Textile waste is a huge issue across the world, so the insignificant act of making good use of the clothing you own and preventing textile waste can improve this problem in an enormous way!


Luisa Kearney

Online Personal Stylist


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