From H&M to Adidas, a look at what brands are doing to be more eco-conscious this World Environment Day

Working with local garbage pickers for plastic, turning ocean plastic into running shoes and replacing tissues with cloth handkerchiefs are a few of the initiatives that are being undertaken

Rashmi Rajagopal Lobo Published :  31st May 2019 06:08 PM   |   Published :   |  31st May 2019 06:08 PM
Fashion collection

Fighting plastic pollution, cleaning up oceans and reducing the effect of fast fashion on the environment are a few issues that some of the world’s most recognised brands are heavily invested in, even as the very real problem of climate change is being swept under the carpet or brushed off by others who could really make a difference. From luxury fashion label, Prada to sportswear giant, Adidas and popular skincare brand, Innisfree, we take a close look at brands across various categories in the fashion industry and what they are doing to make the eFsharth a greener place. 

Body Shop
In a bid to do raise awareness about the effects of plastic, The Body Shop launched the Community Trade Recycled Plastic programme, the brand’s independent, verified fairtrade initiative. This will see the brand working with plastic sourced from waste pickers through Community Trade. To mark the launch of this campaign, Body Shop commissioned artist, Michael Murphy, to create a 3D installation made from recycled plastic of a female rag picker, at London’s Borough Market. This year, they are set to purchase 250 tonnes of Community Trade recycled plastic to use in close to three million 250ml haircare bottles. In addition, their stores in India have started the BBOB campaign, through which you can take back empty Body Shop shampoo, moisturiser and other bottles to the store to have them recycled. 

Over the next two decades, H&M has three main goals. By 2020, they aim to source 100 per cent sustainable cotton, by 2030, use 100 per cent recycled or other sustainably sourced materials and by 2040, the H&M group is hoping to have a climate positive value chain. For now though, their sustainable line, H&M Conscious is where much of their eco-friendly activities are concentrated. For summer 2019, their Riviera-inspired collection uses tencel, recycled polyester, sustainably-sourced cotton voile and linen blends and natural dyes derived from madder, pomegranate and turmeric. If you’ve ever shopped at H&M, you wouldn’t have missed their garment collection drive, through which you can drop off old clothes in exchange for a discount on in store purchases. The old clothes dropped off at the stores, depending on their condition, are sold as second-hand clothes, reused as products such as cleaning cloths or turned into textile fibres and used for insulation and similar purposes.

The sportswear giant has been collaborating with Parley for the Oceans, an organisation that works towards saving the oceans, since 2015. The Adidas Run For The Oceans Movement, saw them turning ocean plastic into high performance sportswear. Last year alone, they produced over five million pairs of running shoes crafted from yarn created out of post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic retrieved from the oceans. The brand is also tapping into its football partnerships, with the third kits of teams like Manchester United and Real Madrid made entirely from upcycled Parley fabric. In 2018, they also announced that they aim to make their products and packaging virgin plastic-free by 2024.

Kiko Milano
The Milan-based beauty brand, popular for its low prices and extensive shades of lipstick, eye shadow and nail polish, recently announced the launch of the Green Me collection. Hitting shelves right in time for World Environment day, it is made with 90 per cent natural ingredients. The products, which range from vegan highlighters and bronzers, matte lipsticks, lip and cheek pencils, eyeshadow palettes, mascara and more, are infused with raw materials such as organic jojoba oil, organic shea butter and organic argan oil. Besides being conscious about the products, the brand has also packaged this collection in eco-friendly cases, bottles and tubes that are crafted with recycled and recyclable material. 

Joining a list of names including Gucci, Chanel, Burberry, Versace, DKNY and Coach, Prada announced its ban on fur a few days ago, after partnering with Fur Free Alliance, a collective of 40 animal protection organisations from around the globe. The move is expected to come into effect in September this year, when the luxury brand will showcase its collection for Spring/Summer 2020.

The Korean skin care brand ‘has an issue with tissues’. In 2010, they came out with the first edition of the Eco-Handkerchief Campaign, an initiative that encourages people to replace tissue paper with reusable cloth handkerchiefs. Now in its 10th year, the campaign has a new slogan, I Play Green, I Like Me, and even includes something that looks like a tissue box, that actually holds hankies. To mark the 10th year, they will also launch a limited edition collection of make-up cleansers, lip balms and serums, 
all bearing the same prints as the handkerchiefs.