The Sustainability Report
Raw material transit
Commercial garment wash
Customer garment care
It helps us keep our true costs in mind when we make design and business decisions and motivates us to create better solutions. We also know it is not the whole picture, so we address important impacts like toxicity and fair labor in other programs.
Here’s our impact from last quarter:
Here is what percentage we saved this quarter compared to most clothes bought in the U.S.:
Carbon dioxide eq. (pounds) 61%
Water (gallons) 84%
Waste (metric tons) 52%
It’s not enough to just manufacture more sustainably, that’s why we invest in programs that actually replace the resources we have spent. We count the resources used for every Reformation product and invest in the environment in the form of offsets. Basically, in exchange for the emissions, water and waste our clothes used last quarter we planted trees, purchased landfill gas offsets and restored freshwater to critically dewatered rivers and wetlands in California. Kinda like Venmo, but for the Earth.
We’re committed to making beautiful clothes with a reduced environmental impact in places that treat workers well. So, when it comes to choosing where we make our clothes, we look at a number of different factors - quality, price, speed, reduced environmental impact, and working conditions for the people in the facility. Our partners share a common vision of sustainability, accountability, and transparency.
Currently, we require all our direct cut, sew & finish manufacturing partners to adhere to our Code of Conduct (basically our requirements for ethical operations) and be monitored for compliance and continuous improvement.
Here’s where our stuff is made so far in 2018:
We host tours of our factory in Los Angeles (we’ve hosted over 450 guests so far in 2018!) so you can see it IRL and meet the people who make your clothes. To save your spot, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Up to two-thirds of the sustainability impact of fashion happens at the raw materials stage - before the clothes have actually been made. Fiber selection also affects how you’re gonna wash the garment, and potentially recycle it one day - both important factors to consider when it comes to the environmental impact. That’s why we just updated our Ref standards - grouping fibers into different classifications based on their combined social and environmental impact.
We tried to make these standards as holistic as possible, taking into consideration water input, energy input, land use, eco-toxicity, greenhouse gas emissions, human toxicity, availability and price. We also looked at garment care implications, like microfiber shedding. Basically, every time you wash synthetic clothes they shed small plastic pieces called microfibers, which is leading to plastic pollution of our waterways. As a precaution, we grouped recycled synthetics by their application and machine wash frequency.
We have five categories:
Natural fibers that are rapidly renewable, plant-based and have a potential for circularity.
B–Better than most
B fibers are almost all natural or recycled fibers.
C–Could be better
Fibers in the C category are better alternatives than more commonly used fibers, but not as innovative.
D–Don’t use unless certified
D’s require certifications for raw material cultivation (i.e. organic), animal welfare, traceability or wet processing (i.e. Bluesign)
E fibers are too environmentally or socially intensive, and don’t meet our sustainability criteria. We’ll only source these fibers if they are <10% for specific fabric construction and performance.
We aim to make 75% of our products with A & B fibers by the end of 2018!