Trending: New Apparel Industry Commitments Push the New Textiles Economy Forward

Fashion and textile industry heavy hitters are heeding the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s recent call for a New Textiles Economy with the rollout of new agreements and action plans that consider the full life cycle of garments. While plastic bottles and packaging constitute a considerable portion of marine plastic pollution, a new, more alarming source of marine contamination has recently been identified: microplastics. According to research from Eunomia Research & Consulting, textiles are a major culprit, with 190,000 tons of fibers from polyester, acrylic and nylon entering the world’s marine ecosystem through washing machine wastewater each year. The seriousness of the issue has already attracted attention from big-name

NRDC Mapping Tool Links Apparel Brands to Their Suppliers’ Environmental Performance

A new mapping tool created by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and China’s Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE) is ushering in a new era for transparency in China. The IPE Green Supply Chain Map — the only of its kind in the world — openly links multinational corporations to their suppliers’ environmental performance. Based on publicly available data from the Chinese government, IPE’s database and map provide real-time data and historical trends in air

Target Taps Tech Startup to Reinvent Inspection Process, Advance Supply Chain Transparency

Technological advancements, circular design principles and innovative raw materials are rapidly transforming the apparel industry, but lack of transparency continues to present a significant obstacle to sustainable sector-wide improvement across environmental, social and governance issues. The problem is one Target is working to address in its new partnership with Inspectorio, a graduate of the company’s Target + Techstars Retail Accelerator program. The Minneapolis-based startup is reinventing the inspection process through digitalization, replacing the standard pen and paper procedure with a

Target Commits to New Climate Policy, Science-Based Target-Aligned Sustainability Goals

Following a recent commitment to source 100 percent sustainable cotton by 2020, Target has introduced a new climate policy and Science-Based Target Initiative-aligned goals aimed at reducing its carbon footprint. By 2025, the company intends to reduce its absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions below 2015 levels. To do this, Target will begin ramping up its use of renewable solar and wind power to offset energy used at its facilities, increasing the energy efficiency of heating and lighting sources in stores, actively managing its refrigerant inventory and exploring new programs. Target has also laid out a plan to tackle Scope 3 emissions generated through the manufacturing and distribution of its products, business travel, consumer

Trending: Stella McCartney, Patagonia, Target Deliver Big Wins for Ethical, Sustainable Fashion

While faced by a myriad of social and environmental challenges, the fashion and textile industries continue to edge ever-closer to a more sustainable, equitable and circular future thanks to the innovative thinking of industry leaders. Patagonia continues to push the envelope on responsible apparel. The outdoor clothing company has announced that two of its best-selling lines are now certified

Danone, Nestlé, Mondelez, PepsiCo, Walgreens Unite to Help Consumers Lead Their Healthiest Lives

The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) is on a mission to help consumers make healthier choices with the launch of a new pilot campaign in Hagerstown, Maryland. Developed in partnership with Healthy Washington County and Consumer Goods Forum retailers and manufacturers Colgate-Palmolive, Danone, General Mills, Johnson & Johnson, Campbell, Kellogg Company, Mondelez International, Nestlé

New WWF Global Platform Seeks to Create Mainstream Market for Secondary Materials

Reliance on virgin raw materials to produce products has a significant, often detrimental, impact on both ecosystems and communities. A widespread shift towards a more circular model is essential to secure a more sustainable future, yet there exist systematic barriers to the acquisition and sourcing of high-quality, secondary materials. To reduce waste and encourage the reuse of materials, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has launched the Cascading Materials Vision, a platform that seeks to enable a global system of efficient materials management. By engaging stakeholders across the private and public sectors, the

Target Launches Startup Accelerator to Amp Up Healthy, Sustainable Product Portfolio

Building on its commitment to remove harmful chemicals from its products and invest in green chemistry, retail giant Target has kicked off its first-ever Target Takeoff — a mini retail boot camp focused on supporting emerging businesses who are working to create healthier, more ethical and sustainable products. “We know our guests want better-for-you and sustainable options from diverse suppliers, and there are already so many businesses out there solving for those needs,� said Jennifer Silberman, Target’s Chief Sustainability Officer. “Target has an opportunity to use our scale and expertise to help some of those brands bring their products to market faster at a national level. Many of

EILEEN FISHER, Patagonia, Target Join Committee to Advance Sustainable Artisan Supply Chains

Nest, a New York-based nonprofit focused on creating a better life for workers in the cottage industry, has announced the formation of the Nest Artisan Advancement Steering Committee, a coalition of heavy hitters in fashion and home design committed to addressing sustainability issues impacting the global community of homeworkers

Target to Remove Harmful Chemicals from Products, Invest in Green Chemistry

Retail giant Target has announced its commitment to reducing harmful chemicals from its products and investing in green chemistry with the release of a new chemical strategy that covers its entire value chain, operations and products. The goal is to be transparent, proactive and innovative when it comes to managing chemicals and, where necessary, developing alternatives. The new steps build on the existing Sustainable Product Index released by the company in 2014 and updated in 2015 and 2016. Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families’ Mind the Store campaign has challenged the company and other retailers to develop comprehensive policies to eliminate and substitute chemicals. The company

Target Posts Chemical Policy. Will Other Retailers Follow Suit?

Target has published a new chemical strategy and policy that it says will apply across its operations and to every product it sells. The retailer also set a goal to invest up to $5 million in “green chemistry� by 2022 and challenged the industry to follow its example. “Our chemical strategy will be one of the most comprehensive in the U.S. retail industry, including all Target-owned and national brand products and operations, not just formulated products,� said Jennifer Silberman, Target chief sustainability officer, in a blog post. “It’s ambitious, but

Target Reels in 100% Sustainably Sourced Seafood

In 2011, Target set a goal for its entire fresh and frozen seafood assortment to be sustainable, traceable, or in a time-bound improvement process by the end of 2015. Through a partnership with consultancy FishWise, the retailer met the goal for 100% of its owned-brand seafood products, and 97% of its full

Target Highlights Successes, Shortcomings in Ongoing Sustainability Journey

In 2015, Target wrapped up its five-year goals and built the foundation for the future of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practice, which is to make wellness a way of life; pursue sustainability for products and business operations; champion a more inclusive society; and invest and engage in their communities. Summarizing their progress and capturing important projects and milestones, Target’s 2015 Corporate Social Responsibility Report was released this week. Click to enlarge. | Image credit: Target Of the company’s 20 goals for 2015, Target surpassed ten. Among their highlight achievements, Target: Donated $1 billion to education

Smarter Soap, Soccer Balls, Seats and Supply Chains: The 2016 SBIO Semi-Finalists, Part 2

Sustainable Brands ’16 San Diego is coming up June 6-9, and part of the fun includes this year’s competition for game-changing, purpose-driven startups — the SB Innovation Open, hosted by Target. In part two of our two-part introduction to our inspiring semi-finalists (meet the rest in part one), we meet a soccer ball manufacturer fighting poverty; a truly natural, earth-friendly soap; a clean way to extract copper, and more. This Soap Could Be Your Body’s (and the Earth’s) Berry Best Friend Michael Koh and Brian Quach, best friends from UC Berkeley, have traveled the world and witnessed an imperfect body care industry laden with toxic chemicals. Koh became familiar with

From Curator to Catalyst: Target Raises the Bar for Inclusion in Made to Matter Collection

Made to Matter — Handpicked by Target just got an upgrade: Since its inception in 2014, Target has built strong partnerships with purpose-driven brands in the wellness space to make natural, organic and sustainable products more accessible. The retail giant just announced that it has raised its standards for inclusion in the collection this year. Each brand must now meet one or more new criteria: Reduced waste and packaging, which meets the rising consumer demand for eco-friendly products that limit waste. Right

How Target Is Taking Sustainable Products Mainstream (and Working with Walmart)

For years, the answer to the question “Do people really want to buy more sustainable products?” was a profound “sort of.” Surveys consistently show that we aspire to buy responsibly, and we even say we’ll pay more for environmental or socially preferable products. But purchase intent does not always translate to real sales, and companies have often struggled to make sustainable products more mainstream.That seems to be changing. Kate Heiny, who very recently departed as the director of sustainability at Target, told the crowd at this summer’s sizable Sustainable Brands conference that: “With their words and wallets, our customers are asking for more [sustainable products].”The numbers bear this out: Within Target’s

Walmart, Target Advance Joint Supply Chain Initiative

Walmart, Target and Forum for the Future (FFTF) have established three working groups to take forward actions agreed at last year’s beauty and personal care (BPC) product sustainability summit, according to ChemicalWatch. The groups will focus on aspects of chemicals in products.Working Group 1 — Supply Chain Information SharingCo-chaired by representatives of CVS, Dow and 7th Generation, this group is focusing on a process for sharing information along the supply chain, with a particular emphasis on ingredients. It will look at how to

Valentines Can Now Show Their Love Sustainably with Locally Grown ‘Slow Flowers’

US nationwide floral directory Slow Flowers is encouraging its customers to show their love in a more thoughtful way this Valentine’s day by sourcing local American-grown bouquets.The US cut flower retail market is flourishing, with sales topping US$7-8 billion annually. However, apparently only two percent of the 224 million roses sold in 2012 were American-grown. The US flower market has been dominated for decades by 1-800 teleflorists who import their bouquets from overseas. In an attempt to change this trend and support local farmers, Slow Flowers now has a directory of roughly 500 florists committed to sourcing their flowers from the US for Valentine’s Day this year.During Valentine’s week, 80,000-120,000 boxes of flowers transit through Miami’s international airport every day; imports