Other sustainable practices
We put sustainability at the core of everything we do. We invest in green building infrastructure to minimize our waste, water, and energy footprints. By providing on-the-job training and opportunities for growth, we also invest in the people who make this revolution possible.
The Sustainability Report
Big companies report their profits in quarterly earnings reports. We think companies should be accountable for more than just profits. That’s why we send you guys our quarterly sustainability report so we can track our progress together. Sign up for our newsletters to get these in your email, or read our 2016 report here and 2017 report here.
At Reformation we think about all the costs in creating fashion—not just the price tag. RefScale tracks our environmental footprint by adding up the pounds of carbon dioxide emitted and gallons of water we use, and pounds of waste we generate. Then we calculate how Reformation’s products help reduce these impacts compared with most clothes bought in the US. We share this information on every product page of our website and tell you exactly what impact each garment has on the environment. This way we all get to see the total cost of fashion so you can make empowered choices, and we can keep creating better solutions when it comes to making clothes.
How it works
It’s all about math, and we’re super into it. The whole equation follows the lifecycle of clothes—everything from growing textile fibers and making fabric, dyeing, moving materials, manufacturing, packaging, shipping, garment care, and even recycling clothes when you’re done with them.
It's not enough just to manufacture sustainably, we also invest in programs that replace the resources we've spent, which is where offsets come in. We've partnered with the Brazilian Rosewood Amazon Conservation Project and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) Water Restoration Program to help put back some of the resources we used. Basically, in exchange for the emissions, water and waste our clothes used last quarter, we protected 1,000 acres of the Amazon Rainforest from deforestation, contributed 27 million gallons of freshwater to critically dewatered rivers and wetlands in California, and purchased landfill gas offsets. Kinda like Venmo, but for the Earth.
We also publish the totals for all the resources we used, saved, and offset. We can’t wait to see how all those little costs add up and actually make a big difference in the RefScale. Read all about the details and methodology here..
We source electricity offsets from 100% wind power suppliers and use LED lighting and Energy Star-rated appliances in our offices.
We recycle, compost organic wastes, and recycle or donate our textile scraps whenever possible. Zero waste is our goal. Right now, we recycle about 75% of all our garbage. Our goal is to reach over 85%. Every little thing adds up.
Over three-quarters of Reformation’s management team are women (roar!) or people from underrepresented populations.
We provide health benefits to all full-time employees including our manufacturing team. We’ve even made getting to work part of our mission by offering Metro passes to our entire HQ team to encourage more use of public transportation.
By only selling clothes online and in our own stores, we avoid traditional retail markups. Also, we build our stores with the most sustainable stuff we can find so we make the least impact possible.
On average, e-commerce uses about 30% less energy than traditional retail. Good news because the majority of our customers use our online site to make purchases (we’re all for never getting out of bed either). We also calculate the carbon footprint of our web server and your screen’s energy demand while browsing the Ref website. And yes, we offset that too!
Hangers & totes
Typical hangers are made of plastic or metal and have the lifespan of only 3 months. We use recycled paper hangers to lessen the demand for new materials and to keep junk from landfills. Americans toss 102 billion plastic bags a year. We opt for reusable totes because they lighten the load. Plus they’re way cuter.
It’s our mission to design innovative and eco stores. We incorporate materials like LED fixtures, rammed earth, recycled fabric insulation, and other stuff to make our stores as sustainable as possible. We also calculate the construction footprint, and offset our store builds 100%.
Reformation is committed to minimizing our environmental impact and achieving fair, safe and healthy working conditions throughout our supply chain. We seek to partner with suppliers who share a common vision of sustainability, accountability and transparency. We currently require that suppliers meet our standards for: social responsibility, safe & non-toxic, and better materials.
To keep our supply chain as sustainable as possible, we make sure our suppliers take social and environmental standards seriously. By sourcing locally when possible, and screening all of our suppliers, we minimize environmental impacts and ensure there’s no unfair or unsafe labor that goes into making our clothes.
We always try to source our materials locally and domestically first. Over 80% of our cutting and sewing is done in Los Angeles and we manufacture the majority of our products in our own factory (depending on the season and the styles we're making that week). All other garments are produced by responsible manufacturing partners here in the U.S. or abroad using our same sustainable standards and materials.
Right now, the majority of our knit fabric comes from the US. The remaining is purchased from overseas suppliers. This happens when we’re unable to find anybody to make these fabrics domestically because fabric-weaving equipment for delicate wovens left the U.S. a few decades ago. Our goal is to one day bring this know-how back—both internally and domestically.
The dyeing stage in textile manufacturing not only uses a lot of energy and water, but it also introduces the fabric to chemicals found in inks and pigments. Advanced technologies allow for water recycling and chemical re-use, and we are starting to test these out. Please reach out to us if you have any ideas for good partners! We currently try and work with dye houses and printers that have the the following systems.
With an A+ grade in textile dyeing, Bluesign certified dyeing facilities only use safe input chemicals, monitor their air and water emissions and ensure worker safety so that the dyed fabric is safe for the end user, workers and the environment. As of 2017, all of Reformation silk and velvet is Bluesign certified.
100 Similar to Bluesign, Oekotex also checks for presence of hazardous chemicals in the dyed fabric. It checks for carcinogens, azo dyes and other chemical limits in accordance to the European REACH standards.
A business uses a ton of stuff. To manage our impact, we adopted Environmentally Preferred Purchasing policies across all our operations for things like office and cleaning supplies, shipping materials, and manufacturing equipment. We prioritize products with recycled-content, and opt for solutions that are recyclable or biodegradable.
Paper & pens
Americans trash 105 billion pens per year, most of them made of plastic. We purchase 100% recycled-content paper and pens made from recycled tires.
Non-toxic, biodegradeable cleaning products
We source reclaimed or reused furniture and dishware.
We offer organic snacks in the kitchen.
Our packaging is plastic-free and made from 100% recycled paper products and compostable bio-based films. Plus our tape and hangers use bio-based, non-toxic adhesives. Our garment bags are made from 30% recycled plastic and always get reused. It’s the best we could find, but we want it to be better. If anybody wants to work with us to develop even more magical packaging solutions, let’s chat.
Service & community
We think it’s pretty cool when you have a positive impact on your community so we offer incentives for our employees to lend a hand to their community. Some causes are best served simply by donating some cash money, so we do that too when it makes sense.
We provide our staff with one paid day off per month to volunteer. We offer company-wide service days several times a year, and regularly highlight volunteer opportunities to make giving back a little more doable. This year, we organized a beach clean-up at Playa Del Rey and spent a day volunteering with Kiss the Ground, a non-profit organization that focuses on regenerative agriculture.
We celebrate staff birthdays by donating to TreePeople, an organization that supports urban forests in LA by planting a tree in their name.
We also give back through sustainability-focused collaborations like our Earth Day sweatshirts whose sales went to support TreePeople, and our No Red Carpet Needed Collection of which 25% of the revenue went to support sustainable education at the MUSE School, CA. In 2017, we created Action Tees—for each tee purchased, we donated $30 to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, or EDF.