Short Takes: Thrift, Climate Action Top A-list Priorities
On Tuesday, the global environmental nonprofit Carbon Disclosure Project revealed its 2020 list of corporate leaders on climate action, forests and water security. Among those celebrated were Burberry Group plc, the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., Hanesbrands Inc., H&M Group, Woolworths Group Ltd., Zalando SE — all earning “A” scores for the climate action category only.
Companies took the opportunity to reaffirm their commitments to climate action, many sharing statements.
“Our continued focus on environmental disclosure and transparency, as well as our setting of new science-based targets, will deepen the impact of our efforts to combat climate change in this critical decade for the planet,” said Fabrizio Freda, president and chief executive officer, the Estée Lauder Cos. “As a global corporate citizen committed to climate action, the Estée Lauder Companies is incredibly honored to see its efforts recognized in CDP’s Climate A-List.” Since November, the direct operations of the Estée Lauder Cos. have been carbon-neutral.
Fast Retailing Co., Kering and leading polyester producer Toray Industries Inc. (which counts advisory positions to the Sustainable Apparel Coalition on products and core materials) all earned an “A” rating in the water security category.
Of note, Unilever plc earned “A” scores in climate and water security. Similar to multinational corporations like Coca-Cola, which place highly in CDP’s climate action reports, oversight exists in other areas like plastic pollution. Both Coca-Cola and Unilever have placed repeatedly at the top of other less-than-satisfying annual reports like the latest 2020 “Top Global Polluters” report from Break Free From Plastic. The group consists of some 2,000 non-government organizations that directly track and expose plastic waste polluters through beach cleanups.
REFORMATION’S RENEWED CLIMATE GOALS: A climate-neutral company, Reformation is taking its climate goals up a notch with the announcement of its Climate Positive initiative for the new year.
By 2025, the brand will be “climate positive” across operations, building out its publicly available roadmap across three areas: greenhouse gas emissions reduction, resource and energy investments (or insetting) and regenerative fibers.
Coming in 2021, the brand will bring the latter to life with its first collection made from regenerative fibers. Reformation has already started sourcing regenerative fibers and seeks to scale its commitment by sourcing 10 percent of its materials from regenerative fibers by 2025.
“I think there’s always a risk in that we are committing to something that is really ambitious and in some ways untested. We may not hit the mark, but it’s worth it,” said Kathleen Talbot, chief sustainability officer and vice president of operations. “In order to respond appropriately to the climate crisis, we need to be bold.”
Reformation is focused on absolute emissions reduction across all scopes of its business. “We have assessed our scopes 1 through 3, and we offset that today by 100 percent. We will continue to drive reductions across all scopes and offset 100 percent,” Talbot said. Details are to come on the climate-positive roadmap, but it will eventually be housed publicly in one of Reformation’s quarterly reports. “Ultimately, we need everyone to act, to do more and move faster,” she added, on why the roadmap is open for dialogue with industry peers. Talbot said the roadmap draws on existing research from industry organizations like the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and Textile Exchange, as well as frameworks set out by the Science-Based Targets Initiative and Greenhouse Gas Protocol.
While in the early stages, Reformation is leaning on Apparel Impact Institute to enroll partner mills in China and Los Angeles in resource efficiency programs. The brand will also identify opportunities for energy and resource improvement as it shapes up efforts across its value chain.
SIRIANO’S THRIFT LOGO: Believing in using fashion as a powerful communicator and force for good, designer Christian Siriano was tasked with the challenge of designing the first universal symbol for used clothing on behalf of online secondhand seller ThredUp. The resulting “Thrift Logo” was revealed on Tuesday.
“I’ve always loved thrifting. It’s a great way to discover unique items and give your clothes new life while reducing fashion’s impact on the planet,” said Siriano, adding: “I hope the Thrift Logo gives consumers a way to celebrate thrift and inspires more brands to embrace reuse and make fashion more circular.”
Inherently mimicking a recycling logo with “thrifted” spelled out inside and its resemblance of a looped green clothes hanger — the symbol is meant to signal the contrast between a linear and circular clothing economy. While for the time being, the ThredUp shop is stocked with upcycled patches of the logo for $5 retail to celebrate its launch, the aim is for the Thrift Logo to serve as a brand agnostic, universal “badge of honor” for thrifters.