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This season’s wardrobe staple? Renewables.

It’s no secret to anyone that the fashion industry is one of the biggest energy users in the industrial sector. However, some manufacturers are making strategic, targeted changes to the way they consume energy both in their warehouses and factories. We cut through the cloth to bring you the trend setters that extend way beyond the seasonal shelf life.

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Nike

Once you put its trendy activewear, impressive marketing strategies and cult following aside, Nike has laced up its sneakers and has been playing the long game when it comes to renewable energy. Being no newcomer to the world of power purchase agreements (PPAs) or self-generated renewable energy, Nike has upped the ante when it comes to how much renewable energy its sources, signing a second major wind contract with Avangrid Renewables to purchase 86 MW of Texas wind power. But the real sweetener in this deal is that it means that Nike now gets 100 per cent of the energy at its North American facilities from renewable sources. The power purchased from this agreement alone is enough to power over 400,000 average American households and delivers emissions reductions that are equivalent to taking 800,000 vehicles off the road for a year.

Levi’s

It doesn’t matter if you’re a Mom, skinny, super high, mid or low-rise jean sporter, we can all agree on making our jeans work for more than just our body type – and luckily Levi’s knows a thing or two about this. Despite having been around since the 1850s when it invented the humble blue jean, the brand has consistently reaffirmed its responsibility to reduce its environmental impact as a fashion retailer. Aside from using its household name to advocate for strong climate policies, Levi’s has begun to prepare for a low-carbon future. The company currently has a Climate Action Strategy in place which aims for the following by 2025:

  1. 100 per cent renewable energy in all owned and operated facilities
  2. 90 per cent absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in all owned and operated facilities
  3. 40 per cent absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across its global supply chain.

So the next time you buy a pair of Levi’s, you can do so without guilt because this denim is trendier than ever before thanks to the help of renewable energy.

Berlin solar panels

ASOS

Founded in 2000, this British online fashion manufacturer and retailer is a haven for young adults. However, put their 850 brands aside and you’ll see that ASOS is making key changes in its business functions to lower energy usage both at its HQ and factories.

ASOS Studios – the place where they capture each garment you see online – gets 100 per cent of its energy from a solar system that produces 30,000 kWh of clean energy per year. The company has also replaced the lights in its warehouse with LED globes to reduce energy consumption and has reduced the carbon footprint from each order by 26 per cent year on year.

On the manufacturing front, the business requires all factories that it uses to declare how much energy and water they consume and how much waste they emit. From these numbers, ASOS then works directly with its suppliers to bring the numbers down – all while ensuring that employees are both paid a living wage and are working in safe conditions.

H&M

Swedish fast-fashion giant H&M has acknowledged the impact that fast-fashion is having on the environment by taking steps to reduce its environmental footprint. The fashion retailer has signed on to RE100, a global corporate leadership initiative bringing together influential businesses that are committed to using 100 per cent renewable energy to power their operations. Currently, the brand derives 96 per cent of its energy from renewable sources. From a supply chain perspective, H&M has two clear targets for its major suppliers:

  1. 100 per cent of factories being enrolled in an energy efficiency program by 2025
  2. 30 per cent of greenhouse gas reduction per product by 2025 in comparison to the 2017 baseline.

When combined with its commitment to 100 per cent renewables in its operations, these targets will enable H&M to drastically reduce its environmental impact while transitioning to a cheaper and cleaner way of keeping the lights on and the store doors open.