What mainstream brands like Asos and Mango are doing for sustainability

PHOTO: Mango and Superga

By now, you should know it’s no surprise that in the process of making beautiful clothes, bags and shoes, there can be lots of textile waste, environmental pollution, carbon emission and other potential damages done to our Mother Earth.

In fact, the fashion industry is said to be the second largest polluter in the world (yikes!). Thankfully, there are now many ways for bettering the process, and as smart consumers, we can do our part by limiting our fashion buys, purchasing vintage clothing, supporting brands with sustainable practices, and more.

Speaking of which, more mainstream brands are beginning to realise the importance of sustainable fashion, and adopting new processes to reduce the negative impact on our environment.

Here’s how some of the mainstream brands are doing their part for sustainability, and inspiring us to shop more consciously than ever.

Mango

PHOTO: Mango

2020 is a special year for Mango as it marks its first year of joining The Fashion Pact — the green initiative launched by French President Emmanuel Macron to make fashion more eco-friendly — alongside more than 200 other brands (making up to about ⅓ of the fashion industry!).

The Spanish high street fashion label has since put its focus on using more environmentally friendly materials such as recycled polyester, announcing that it will use more sustainable fibres in its collections. It aims to use 100per cent cotton from sustainable origins within the next five years.

At the same time, Mango is replacing plastic bags with paper bags in its stores to minimise plastic consumption and promote a plastic-free shopping experience for its customers.

For more information, visit shop.Mango.com.

Uniqlo

Uniqlo may be a fast fashion label but over the years, the Japanese company has strengthened its sustainability core.

For example, fans can deposit their preloved Uniqlo pieces into the Re.Uniqlo boxes within the stores, and Uniqlo will work with the United Nations Refugee Agency to deliver them to those in disaster areas or refugee camps. 

More recently, Uniqlo has started to turn old clothes into new ones, starting with its down pieces. How? Shoppers can bring their old Uniqlo down designs to the stores for recycling, and the down and feathers will then be extracted and cleaned before being used in new down products.

To encourage more people to join this green effort, Uniqlo is giving a $10 shopping voucher for every pre-loved Uniqlo down jacket donated. Valid till January 31, 2021. 

For more information, visit Uniqlo.com/sg.

Ecco

Stylish and sustainable, Ecco’s limited edition Tannery Series 001 boasts a lineup of mood-lifting totes that are made of upcycled leather stock from the label’s innovative labs. This means that each bag is unique in its texture and colour, giving the owner a one of a kind design. 

What we also like about this collection is, of course, the bag’s classic shopper style which makes it a superb option for work and weekends. It offers ample room for storing your laptop, tablet, gym clothes, and groceries. 

Available at #B2-21, Ion Orchard, and #B2-95, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.

Superga

PHOTO: Superga

Superga is no stranger to all sneaker fans out there. In September this year, the Italian footwear label, which is well-loved by the street style set for its seasonless sneakers, launched its first-ever organic collection that’s aptly called the Superga Organic. 

It’s an eco-friendly update to Superga’s two signature styles, the 2750 and 2490, using more sustainable materials including organic cotton, natural cork for the shoe insoles, and natural rubber soles made from tree forests in our neighbouring countries Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand. 

Asos

PHOTO: Asos

In September 2020, Asos debuted its circular collection, featuring a lineup of 29 menswear and womenswear designs that observe eight conscious design principles such as adopting low waste design and manufacturing methods, as well as using the same recycled materials throughout the production. 

“What this collection shows is that you don’t need to make a choice between the circular economy and fashion,” said Vanessa Spence, head of design at Asos. “You can make sustainable products without compromising on design or price.” 

Starting from $11.99 for a recycled polyester beanie, the pieces are still available on the Asos website. A collection that’s wallet- and environmentally-friendly? That’s a double win. 

Levi’s

PHOTO: Levi

You may or may not know this: The production process of jeans uses a lot of water. The United Nations estimates that a whopping 10,000 litres of water are needed to make a pair of jeans.

Which is why Levi’s has committed to using lesser water when manufacturing its garments, aiming to manufacture 80per cent of its jeans via its water wastage reduction technique called Water

That’s not all. Hemp yarn — which is known to grow faster, use less water and create less damage to soils as compared to cotton — is also used to create soft, comfy jeans for Levi’s fans around the world. This is, again, proof of how style and sustainability can go hand in hand.

For more information, visit Levi.com.sg.

COS

The beauty of COS is the fact that so many of its designs are built on fit and function, and less so about chasing trends, making them perennial favourites that can be worn repeatedly for years.

Another plus point: The fashion brand also deliberately uses materials that are either organic or recycled, underscoring their belief in sustainable fashion. 

This year, COS goes a step further to do more good for our earth by rolling out COS Resell, which is an online resale marketplace that gives COS fans the freedom to buy and/or sell preowned COS items. Unfortunately for shoppers in Singapore, we’ll have to wait for a while more as the service is currently available in the UK and Germany only. 

For more information, visit COSstores.com.

H&M

PHOTO: H&M

Mark your calendar as H&M is launching its Conscious AW2020 collection on Dec 1. Started in 2012, the H&M Conscious collection boasts a lineup of trend transcending wardrobe staples and elevated everyday pieces made from sustainably sourced materials and wait for it, waste. 

“For [this season], we really wanted to be trailblazers – pushing the limits of creativity and sustainable fashion – by focusing on waste,” noted Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative advisor at H&M. “As a result, the pieces in this collection are crafted from truly amazing materials produced from waste.” 

From romantic evening gowns to flirty party numbers, we’d never be able to guess that the designs are in fact made using technology that transforms food crop waste into fibres that go into the pieces.

Over at the accessories department, necklaces and earrings are made from recycled metals, while the vegan leather shoes are partially made from wine by-products. 

The H&M Conscious AW2020 collection will be available on Hm.com from Dec 1, 2020. 

This article was first published in Her World Online.