Banana Republic and Old Navy announce new goals to accelerate sustainable product offerings

by Textile Quotient News Desk
23 Apr 2019

Garment Suppliers to Gap Inc. require to switch over completely to sustainable raw materials

Gap Inc. has declared new commitments from Banana Republic and Old Navy to accelerate the company’s use of more sustainable materials in apparel production and reduce the environmental impacts of product manufacturing. The Earth Day announcement on April 22, marks the latest step in Gap Inc.’s journey to integrate more sustainable product innovation and technology across its portfolio, and builds on 2017 commitments made by the company’s namesake brand Gap and Athleta.

Banana Republic-Sustainable cotton and fibres by 2023:

will continue to integrate sustainability into design and manufacturing decisions to reduce the environmental impacts of each garment. The brand made the following commitments:

The brand aims to source 100 percent of its cotton from more sustainable sources, primarily sourcing through the Better Cotton Initiative, as well as through recycled and organic sources.  Additionally, at least 50 percent of all Banana Republic branded product will aim to source sustainable fibres, including: cotton through the Better Cotton Initiative, partnering with Canopy-compliant suppliers to source preferred man-made cellulosics; sourcing recycled and responsible wool from vendors that are compliant under the Responsible Wool Standard; linen and recycled polyester.

Reduce water impact and promote cleaner chemistry by 2025:

Banana Republic aims to make 50 percent of all products with techniques that save at least 20 percent water in comparison to conventional methods at mills and at laundries. This will include Banana Republic leveraging the smart denim wash program called Washwell™, which was launched by Gap brand in 2016 and reduces water usage by 20 percent or more in the product’s garment wash stage for denim products.

The brand will also focus on using cleaner chemistry in the supply chain, leveraging Gap Inc.’s Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) commitment and ongoing efforts to select more preferred chemistry options in Banana Republic’s products.

Eco-friendly denim:

In addition to adopting Washwell™ for Banana Republic’s denim products to preserve water in the garment wash process, Banana Republic will also utilize more sustainable dye methods, such as foam dye, eco-friendly finishes such as bio-softeners and laser technology, and trims made out of recycled materials, to make its denim more eco-friendly.

“Sustainability is important to our brand, to our environment and to our customer,” said Mark Breitbard, Banana Republic President and CEO. “Banana Republic is committed to using production techniques that will save and preserve water quality while creating versatile and more sustainable fabrics that our consumers have come to know and love.”

Old Navy- Sustainable cotton & water saving efforts by 2022:

Old Navy will also increase its sourcing of sustainable cotton and enhance efforts to use water-saving techniques. The brand sells 27,000 Rockstar jeans a day alone, making the scale of its sustainability goals around denim and cotton significant. The brand made the following commitments:

Old Navy aims to source 100 percent of its cotton from more sustainable sources, primarily through the Better Cotton Initiative as well as through verified, responsibly-grown cotton and recycled cotton. Additionally, 100 percent of Old Navy’s denim product aims to be made using techniques that save water, including proven wash processes. In Spring 2019, 60 percent of Old Navy’s denim was already made using Washwell™ techniques, saving 20 percent or more in the product’s garment wash stage compared to conventional techniques.

“At Old Navy, we owe it to future generations to leave our planet better than we found it. But, our work to ensure the world runs right is never done, and we want to bring our customers along on our journey,” said Jamie Gersch, CMO of Old Navy. “We’re proud to introduce Heart Earth, Old Navy’s new sustainability platform, including our goals to produce more sustainable product related to Cotton and Water by 2022.”

Gap brand and Athleta

Gap Inc.’s announcement builds on 2017 commitments made by the company’s namesake brand Gap and Athleta. As part of its Gap for Good platform for more sustainable fashion, Gap committed to obtaining 100 percent of its cotton from more sustainable sources by 2021, employing water-saving techniques, as well as empowering women through Gap Inc.’s signature life skills and education program, P.A.C.E. (Personal Advancement & Career Enhancement). The brand’s Washwell™ efforts have saved over 229 million litres of water since 2016 when compared to conventional wash methods.

In 2017, Athleta committed to making 80 percent of the brand’s apparel materials with sustainable fibres, such as recycled polyester and nylon, organic cotton, and others, by 2020. Athleta, whose assortment predominantly features technical fabrics, recently announced progress made to date.

Athleta announced last year it had earned B Corp Certification, becoming one of the largest apparel brands in the world to certify as B Corp, for its focus on social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. Incubated alongside Athleta, Gap Inc.’s newest brand, Hill City, was launched as a B Corp certified brand by integrating sustainability throughout many of its products, using high-quality renewable and recycled fibres to create performance fabrics.

More on Gap Inc.’s product sustainability commitments:

In 2018, Gap Inc. unveiled a new sustainable manufacturing goal to conserve a total of 10 billion litres of water by the end of 2020. So far, Gap Inc.-led projects have saved over 5 billion litres of water. Product innovation and efficiency improvements at fabric mills and laundries are key to achieving these water savings. A significant portion of the fibre used by Gap Inc. brands is cotton, which is one of the most water-intensive crops globally.

By the end of 2020, Gap Inc. has committed to a 50 percent absolute reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in its owned and operated facilities globally from a 2015 baseline, and to divert 80 percent of its shipping packaging waste in the U.S.


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