Textile Insight

Textile Insight May-June 2018

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STRATEGIES | SUSTAINABILITY Establishing a Wider Eco Lens Firms Look to New Approaches to Ecologically Enrich their Businesses. By Suzanne Blecher ompanies are constantly looking to find new strategies to keep sustainability innovative. While some brands are just wading into the eco-universe, others are eyeing a holistic goal for their organizations. Here are a few notable approaches that Textile Insight is seeing in the marketplace. In-House Initiatives "We take a holistic, lifecycle approach to measuring and managing product-based sustainability performance," including emphasis on using less raw materials and fewer compo- nents, along with less water and energy, according to Abel Navarrete, Columbia's VP corporate responsibility. The firm's Conspiracy III Titanium Outdry Extreme Eco trail shoe has waterproof breathable construction, superior cushioning and advanced traction; in an eco-con- scious product using recycled materials, reduced water usage and no PFC's (intentionally used). Textiles in the footwear use no water in the dying process, saving up to 15 liters of water per pair, said Navarrete. The upper is a combination 51 percent recycled synthetic textile and waterproof membrane. For the future, the exec and her team are eyeing ways to power the business and products with renewable energy, along with ways to make resources last longer through recycling. Conscious Consultancies Factory45 is an online accelerator that takes sustainable apparel com- panies from brainstorm to launch. Founder Shannon Lohr has sent 155 through her program in which "entrepreneurs are presented options for creating mindful products and then choosing the supply chain that makes that most sense for their company's values," she said, which may be using only organic materials, waterless dyes or having a supply chain in a 20-mile radius. Whereas most consultancies in apparel manu- facturing that do sourcing and supply chain set up require a retainer fee, Factory45 connects clients directly with vetted fabric suppliers, Factory45 Founder Shannon Lohr 38 • Textile Insight ~ May/June 2018 textileinsight.com

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