Earth Day turned 50 on April 22. Fashion businesses observed the celebration of the environmental movement with pledges to be better environmental citizens, as well as products said to be made with with less harmful chemicals and wasting fewer resources.
Making a big Earth Day announcement was Gap Inc. The San Francisco-headquartered specialty store giant announced that it was undertaking new initiatives to produce more sustainable goods for its Banana Republic and its Old Navy divisions.
Old Navy said that it was working to source 100 percent of its cotton sources such as Better Cotton Initiative and cut water usage in producing jeans by 2022. Old Navy also is unveiling Heart Earth, where it will exhibit its sustainability progress on its Heart Earth website.
Banana Republic said that by 2023 it would source 100 percent of its cotton from more sustainable sources, such as recycled and organic cottons and through the Better Cotton Initiative. It also promised to reduce water impact and use cleaner chemistry by 2025.
One of the brands unveiling new sustainable products was pioneering Italian denim brand Diesel. It introduced several new sustainable looks, called the Respectful Denim, for its Spring/Summer 2020 collection. They are produced with 40 percent water and treated with a minimal amount of chemicals, but maintains the brand’s idiosyncratic looks.
There also will be educational opportunities for Earth Day. A leading sustainability executive and educator, Derek Sabori, has started a series of online courses that will introduce – and go into depth -into the field of sustainable fashion, he said.
Sabori developed the curriculum for the sustainable fashion certificate program at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, Calif. He also served as Vice President of sustainability at top action sports brand Volcom. His online classes, called The Underswell School of Understanding, will give information on applying sustainability to one’s business and one’s personal life. For more information, visit theunderswell.com