As daunting as it seems to have to entirely re-direct your sartorial antenna, our wardrobes – as important as they are – only make up for a very minor part of our lives as a whole.
It’s the topic on the lips of every activist, fashion editor, and now – thankfully – almost every shopper, but while we’re all busy considering how we can ensure our own wardrobes are as sustainable as possible, we rarely consider it from a brand’s perspective.
Imagine if your business, your entire livelihood and life’s work, was also shifting focus. Especially when the direction you’re now heading is so murky with conflicting advice from every angle.
We caught up with J Brand – the off-duty model’s denim of choice since its inception in the early ’00s – who have just launched their 50% sustainable spring collection. And the remaining 50%? That’ll be sorted in the next few months, as the label pledges to have the full collection produced sustainably by 2020.
Here’s what it really takes for a brand to go 100% sustainable…
On a brand’s biggest challenges during the transition
One of the biggest challenges can be understanding greener options, then learning and getting used to applying new techniques in an industry (like denim) that’s been around since the 1870s.
For J Brand, figuring out how to achieve the same high-quality look and hand/feel our customer has become accustom to was top of mind.
On the surprisingly simple changes to be made
The road to sustainability is ongoing but once we began the learning process, we were surprised how much we are and will be able to achieve simply by adopting new practices. Some improvements we’ve been able to implement in recent seasons:
1. Innovation of fabrics through laser technology
2. Eco denim uses up to 99% less water
3. Reduction of toxic chemicals like bleach
4. Fabric development scraps are upcycled and turned into insulation