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Sustainability round-up December 2022

By Simone Preuss


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Tree Girl. Illustration: Jackie Mallon

In December, in addition to exciting industry collaborations and the announcement of upcoming trade fairs with a sustainability focus, there were studies to read again that examined, among other things, fashion's growth surpassing sustainability efforts, according to a new report by Wrap. Thus, it was more than timely when the Institut Français de la Mode (IFM) invited the industry to “rethink fashion” and maybe reboot in its annual seminar.

Vestiaire Collective co-founder Sophie Hersan pondered how Gen Z enters luxury consumerism with secondhand. Read your way through an interesting December!


US-based biological recycling company Protein Evolution, Inc (PEI) has announced a research and development collaboration with Stella McCartney to turn unused polyester and nylon fabrics into "like-new" products, providing a circular solution for the fashion industry. The goal is to demonstrate the potential of PEI's enzyme-based technology and recycle synthetic textiles and plastic waste in a low-emission, environmentally friendly process to produce virgin plastic bottles, textiles and other infinitely renewable plastic products.

The global sustainability initiative Fashion for Good has launched a pilot project testing alternatives to conventional single-use polybags. It is organising the six-month Home Compostable Polybag Project with C&A and Levi Strauss & Co, which will use the novel bags from Fashion for Good innovators Tipa Corp and Greenhope in their supply chains.

Plus-size brand Torrid has announced the launch of a resale programme with resale-as-a-service (RaaS) tech firm ThredUp.

Spanish fashion company Inditex and conservation organisation WWF have signed a three-year partnership agreement to invest in nature restoration and work on nine transformative projects in North Africa, Europe, Asia and Latin America. The two partners will focus on forest restoration and protection, watershed restoration and protection, and species and habitat conservation. A one-year scoping phase will shed light on impacts along Inditex's value chain. However, a shift from the resource-intensive fast-fashion model does not appear to be planned. This video illustrates how today's fashion trends are tomorrow's mountains of waste.

Inditex brand Zara, meanwhile, has teamed up with chemical companies BASF Home Care and I&I Solutions Europe to launch a new detergent that claims to reduce microfibre shedding from textiles by up to 80 per cent. Mountain sports expert Ortovox partnered with Reverse.supply to launch a second-life shop for used items.

Brands and retailers

In December, sustainable shoe brand Think! from Austria presented its business model in an interview while discounter Primark shared results in its latest sustainability report. Sustainability ratings company Good On You rated 4,000 brands on their progress on climate change.

German fashion giant Hugo Boss AG set up a charitable foundation that will focus on environmental protection. The Hugo Boss Stiftung gGmbH will begin its work as a full subsidiary of the Hugo Boss AG on 1st January 2023.


In January, a new trade fair aims to gather the green fashion industry back in Berlin for the start of the season: The sustainable trade fair Beyond Fashion Berlin will take place from 17 to 19 January at Atelier Gardens, the site of the former Berlin Film Studios. So far, more than 30 brands have signed up as exhibitors. The goal of the Fashion Changers Conference, which took place earlier, was to drive positive change in the fashion industry.

Copenhagen Fashion Week (CPHFW) announced that the selection of participating labels for the 2023 autumn/winter edition will be the first season in which all participating brands must meet 18 minimum sustainability standards to be part of the official programme. 29 have already done so. It also hit 35 out of 37 sustainability targets.

Zalando and Copenhagen Fashion Week also announced an all-female shortlist for their Sustainability Award at the beginning of the month.

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Sustainable Fashion