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Brief Published: 23 Jan 2018

H&M, Zara & Asos Commit to Sustainable Practices


Leading fashion players, including H&M, Adidas and luxury conglomerate Kering, have made a commitment to sustainability – announcing plans to increase sustainable design, garment collection, repurposing and the use of recycled textiles by 2020.

The move, part of an effort by the Global Fashion Agenda (GFA) to increase sustainability and circular production, will require each company to submit individual targets and publish a progress report annually. 

“We have now reviewed all 143 of the [individual] targets, and although the focus areas and level of engagement vary from company to company, they all share a common feature by taking steps to transition to a circular fashion industry,” Eva Kruse, chief executive of the GFA, told WWD. “I find that very encouraging.”

While the collection of used garments is the most common effort to be undertaken by the 2020 deadline, some brands are going further. Asos will train its teams in circular design, removing the use of non-recyclable materials, while H&M will provide money for research on top of its plans to collect 25,000 tonnes of clothing.

As consumers become increasingly savvy to the fashion industry’s environmental toll, visible sustainability efforts are a vital and smart move for brands to make. With buyers themselves leading the resourceful revolution, retailers noticeably absent from the list would do well to implement practices of their own – or risk having to explain why they haven’t.