What has become normal for today, was once new. Through product innovation, we want to normalise sustainable fashion. We're constantly pushing the boundaries with our products. Our Cradle-to-Cradle CertifiedTM T-shirts are a testament to that.
Chrome-free leather and stopping the use of PVC's and PFCs started out as leading practice, and has since become normalised. We like to think the same will happen with circular fashion.
Europe: four innovative ways we’re making denim more sustainable
In Europe, we’ve developed new innovative denim collections. Building on our 100% BIO Cotton denim made from organic cotton, we have innovated even further. In 2015, we launched our Saving Water Programme that uses 65% less water in the final wash of the production of the denim. In 2016, more than 1.5 million pieces of denim clothing were produced to this standard. In December 2016, the first of our recycled denim ladies’ jeggings hit the stores. Made from pre-consumer waste left over from the production process, the products contain 34% recycled content certified to the Global Recycle Standard (GRS). More than 200,000 of these garments will be available. At the same time, we also launched a new men’s range that has undergone a ‘GreenScreen’ – a chemical hazard screening method developed by the NGO Clean Production Action (CPA). 40,000 products with the hangtag ‘Green of Change’ will go on sale in 2017.
Brazil: Award-winning ECO denim collection
We launched our Sustainable Denim Collection in Brazil in March 2016 after comprehensive research and engagement with the supply chain. The denim is made with Better Cotton and innovative processes that reduce water consumption by as much as 92%. The shades of jeans were carefully selected to reduce harmful chemical use as much as possible. 30% less energy was also avoided in the making of 36,000 pieces of clothing, including shirts, trousers, shorts and blouses.
Special hangtags, poster boards and social media helped drive customer engagement, with very good results – posts on Facebook and Instagram reached more than 11 million users. The collection won the ECO prize from AmCham (American Chamber of Commerce for Brazil) for its creativity in eco-denim production. AmCham is highly regarded for spotting and recognising market leading sustainability practices in Brazil. An investigation is now underway to include more fabric mills and introduce recycled fibres to increase the possibilities and product share.
China: Recycled polyester programme
Our denim innovation in China has focused on integrating recycled polyester. We ran a programme using recycled PET made from plastic bottles.