This article is written by Remake’s Sustainability Fellow, Jessie Ampofo, who filtered brands through Remake’s rigorous criteria to make it easy for shoppers to find and learn about ethical and affordable fashion.
This summer, Remake filtered 50 pioneers and emerging fashion brands through our sustainability framework to measure their adherence to environmental, social and governance goals. Those that passed will be featured in our next collection and we are excited to shortly share who they are! In the meantime, here are some highlights from the best and worst of what brands are doing to be sustainable.
A round of Applause for:
1. MUD Jeans
5. Nudie Jeans
We Need to See More From:
Fame and Partners
We sifted through womens, mens, footwear, accessories and lingerie. Of these categories, footwear brands like Po-Zu, Oliberté, and Veja are leading the game and had some of the highest Remake scores. We were happy to see so many viable sustainable options in one of the key areas of fashion. On the flip side, accessories had the lowest scores overall. In many cases, there simply was not enough data to rate the practices of the brands. It is likely that because a lot of these brands are small and emerging, they may not have the capacity to collect this data. Still, this one area we would like to see brands prioritize as they continue to grow.
In apparel, ASOS, known for it’s fast fashion empire, surprised us by having one of the best scores for sustainable women’s fashion. The Asos Eco Edit collection provides detail at both the human and environmental levels of production, including a lengthy FAQ with definitions so consumers can educate themselves on different areas of sustainability.
The most impressive brand overall was MUD Jeans in mens and womens apparel which scored an 80! MUD Jeans succeeds because they have a detailed sustainability plan that encompasses each aspect of the supply chain, rather than picking and choosing areas to succeed as some brands have done. This includes featuring detailed sustainability reports and even past factory audits on the MUD Jeans website. With MUD Jeans, consumers are fully informed about the impact their purchases have on people and the planet.
So, what did we learn?
Unfortunately, there are still brands using marketing dollars to present an eco-friendly image without providing any information to back up what they say. We found that some of the brands that heavily market themselves as sustainable or “transparent” were often the ones with little to no detail on what makes their brand sustainable. In particular, we were surprised to see Warby Parker get only a 17 despite their social good model and claiming to be a carbon neutral company. The company has a relatively high B Corps score but should be more transparent with the public about their environmental and social implementation.
Good Goals, Few Details
Overall, brands are making strides when it comes to developing sustainability goals but need to do a better job of detailing their progress and their plans for moving forward. This level of transparency would allow customers to know if brands are keeping promises and hold them accountable. Some of the most successful brands in the space featured even a single page dedicated to sustainability initiatives which includes how they measure the impact of their supply chain and brief updates to let customers know they are committed to progress. We hope to see all brands take this to heart!