Sustainability Report Q2 update

The Sustainability Report

The Sustainability Report

Big companies report their profits in quarterly earnings reports. We all should be accountable for more than just that. That’s why sustainability is at the core of everything we do.

And for our Q2 report this year, we’ve expanded our People portion to include our efforts and focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). Because racial justice is inherently linked with environmental justice, and we must prioritize both in order to further our work in sustainability.

Here’s a look at where we are in our four main areas:


We’re committed to making Reformation a great work environment and brand that reflects and respects the rich diversity of this world. 

Diversity at Ref today

There is a lot of work for us to do here, and we’re taking steps that move us closer to becoming a truly representative and inclusive organization. We’re serious about environmental sustainability, so we must also be serious about racial justice as the two are inextricably linked.

We’re committed to doing this work and dedicating the time, attention, and resources. We’re equally dedicated to tracking our progress and sharing it openly.

A living wage is defined as the minimum income necessary for a worker to attain a basic standard of living. Living wages provide the means for an individual/family to purchase goods and services like food, energy, education, housing, transportation, health care, and are key to ending cycles of poverty that have lasted for generations.

Our goal for 2020 was to have 100% of our Ref team meet or exceed living wage. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, we are focused on putting our people first, and we’re excited to announce that as of July 1, 2020, 100% of employees are earning a living wage.

→ Meet our team

We also work with incredible partners that share our values of accountability, transparency, and sustainability and make a real impact in the industry. We know we’re not perfect, but we’ll always do our best to be transparent and keep pushing for better.

We require all our direct cut, sew & finish manufacturing partners to adhere to our Code of Conduct (basically our requirements for ethical operations) to ensure fair labor conditions and fundamental labor rights like prohibiting child labor, forced labor, protecting the health and safety, and meeting or exceeding legal minimum requirements in the locales where they work.

Our suppliers participate in independent, third-party social assessments to ensure fair, safe and healthy working conditions and continuous improvement.

People SDGs—5: Gender Equality 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth 10: Reduced Inequalities 12: Responsible Consumption & Production 17: Partnerships for the goals
¹ For living wage methodologies, we’ve referenced the following: The United States living wage is defined by MIT referencing “1 adult + 0 children”.

Traceability is about knowing exactly where our stuff comes from. We want to be able to answer “who made our clothes” at every level of the supply chain to ensure positive environmental and social impacts of our stuff.

Our goal for 2020 was to reach 100% traceability into our Tier 1 & 2 suppliers—we’re half way through the year and we’ve made it.

Supply chains are fragmented and complex. So now, we’re working on going deeper at the fiber, forest, and farm level. For example, our focus will be to understand exactly from which forest the wood pulp for our viscose is harvested and from which cotton farms our ginners and yarn spinners source so we can take accountability for responsible practices all the way through our supply chain.

Fiber selection affects how you’re going to 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 have our own Ref fiber standards. 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.¹

Good news: 86% of our fabrics meet A/B ratings²

We are a proud member of the CanopyStyle Initiative to help drive positive change for our forest products and ensure that all our forest-based products come from sustainably managed forests.

Our Better Viscose in our B category is sourced from producers that are on the path to meeting (or in some cases have already met) requirements to only source from forests that are conserved, protected, and restored.

→ Learn more about Ref fiber standards

We’re passionate about working with our partner printers, dye houses and tanneries to ensure responsible use of chemicals, water and energy so that products are safe for workers, you and the environment.

Our goal for 2020 was to have 75% of our fabrics be certified clean by third-party certifications like Oeko Tex Standard 100 and Bluesign.³ Due to decreased volume from COVID-19, we were unable to meet the minimum yardage requirements to work with one of our primary certified dye houses. So our performance in this area is lower than last quarter, but we are continuing to build our relationships with certified partners and expect to see progress as our production scales back up.

Product SDGs—6: Clean Water & Sanitation 12: Responsible Consumption & Production 14: Life Below Water 15: Life on Land
¹ We published our methodology and sources so you can really dig in and understand what we include in our standards.
² Fiber performance is based on the majority fiber content in the fiber composition. Calculated for fabrics used in Q2 2020.
³ Clean chemistry statistics are calculated by unique printer and dyer count. Certifications included in this total are Oeko-Tex Standard 100, Bluesign, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Global Recycled Standard (GRS). Calculated for facilities that were used in Q2 2020.

RefScale tracks our environmental footprint by adding the pounds of carbon dioxide emitted, gallons of water used, and pounds of waste generated. Then we calculate how much Reformation saves compared to conventional clothes bought in the US. The whole equation follows the lifecycle of clothes—everything from growing textile fibers and making fabric, dyeing, transporting materials, manufacturing, packaging, shipping, garment care, and even recycling clothes when you’re done with them.¹

We offset our product footprint 100%, but always push for better materials, factories, and operations to keep our footprint as low as possible.

2020 YTD total footprint

Planet SDGs—6: Clean Water & Sanitation 7: Affordable & Clean Energy 12: Responsible Consumption & Production 13: Climate Action
¹ We publish our methodology on our website so you can really dig in and understand what we include in the calculations. 

There is actually enough clothing and textiles in existence today to meet our annual demand globally. We upped our goal to reuse or recycle 200,000 garments a year. We’re half way through the year and we’ve already exceeded our goal.

Equivalent to: 2151 metric tons of CO2, 21 million gallons of water, 169 metric tons of waste.

COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting BIPOC, the homeless community, and at-risk individuals in the LBGTQ+ community. So through the month of July we donated a mask for every mask purchased or donated on our site. We’re distributing masks to: Until We Do It, The White Mountain Apache Tribe, Los Angeles Mission Shelters, Los Angeles LGBT Center.

→ Let’s make masks

Progress SDG—12: Responsible Consumption & Production 15: Life on Land
¹ This includes RefVintage, Rent-the-Runway, and thredUP.
² CO2 equivalency comes from the EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator, water equivalency is based on the total volume of an olympic sized pool, and waste equivalency is based on the average amount of waste a garbage truck can hold.

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