The transition to sustainable materials is a make-or-break moment for our industry, and our goal is to have 100% more sustainable materials in our assortment by 2025. Our materials target forms the third part in this series, in which we present some of KappAhl’s sustainability goals in more detail.
A good deal of the materials in our products are sustainable as it is; currently that figure is 54 per cent, but it is only set to grow. Our goal is that 100% of our materials will be more sustainable by 2025. This is part of our commitment to designing fashion for a sustainable wardrobe (find out more about our sustainability goals further down).
“It’s an ambitious target, but definitely one that we think we can make,” says Lina Nyqvist, sourcing and sustainability coordinating manager for assortment and design.
“And if we just look at the progress we have made over the last few years, I’m even more convinced.”
When it comes to cotton, we’re almost there. By the end of next year all of our cotton will come from more sustainable sources – i.e. be recycled, organic or grown in line with Better Cotton’s principles.
Our denim is even closer to the finish line. By autumn 2019 – one year ahead of schedule – all of our denim will be made from more sustainable materials and using more sustainable production processes.
Better alternatives to viscose
When it comes to wood-based cellulose fibres (of which viscose is the most common), our goal is that, by 2022, more than half of these will come from more sustainable sources.
One sustainable alternative to viscose used nowadays is lyocell (Tencel).
Another material is EcoVero, which will be making its KappAhl début in stores in autumn. EcoVero looks and feels like viscose and is also made from wood-based cellulose fibres, but the raw material is sourced from more sustainably grown forests and the fibre is produced in a way that has a smaller impact on the environment.
“With EcoVero, we see an opportunity to shift much of the viscose we use to more sustainable alternatives and reach our goal by 2022,” says Nyqvist.
Synthetic fibres in focus
For synthetic materials such as polyester and polyamide, our goal is that half of these will come from recycled sources by 2022. We already use some recycled synthetic materials, but there are some challenges with regard to availability, price and quantities. With each passing season, however, we are taking one more step towards our goal.
“Recycled synthetic materials save a lot of resources compared to virgin synthetic materials. The raw materials for virgin synthetic fibres normally come from crude oil, which is not renewable and uses a lot of energy,” says Nyqvist.
Part of research projects on circularity
Sustainable materials and circular flows are crucial to our industry’s ability to transition to more sustainable operations. So what are we doing to get there?
“We are taking part in many different projects looking at different parts of the chain. For example, how we can develop better recycling methods that can be used on a large scale, to be able to sort and separate different fibres that can then be spun into new, high-quality fibres. Or how we can design for circularity from the start,” says Nyqvist, who adds:
“A pre-requisite for this is of course that usable textiles are being donated for recycling. So don’t forget to donate anything you’re planning on getting rid of – even the smallest hankie can be used.”
Fact: Our sustainability goals
Responsible Fashion is what we call our sustainability programme, the main goal of which is that everything we do will be done in a sustainable way. We are continuously taking new steps towards this goal.
To achieve this, we have a sustainability strategy that focuses on four areas:
- Design fashion for a sustainable wardrobe
- Work for a sustainable production chain
- Develop sustainable stores and a sustainable organisation
- Guide and inspire our customers to make sustainable fashion choices
We have set several goals and measurable obligations for each area. The goals and obligations are evaluated and updated once a year.
Posted by: Annakarin Thelin