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RATINGEN – Fashion retailer Esprit has committed to using only sustainable cotton, including Better Cotton and organic cotton, in its products by 2021. The company outlined the pledge in its latest, far-reaching sustainability report in which it also commits to use 100 per cent biodegradable or synthetic down in its garments and to have half of all the wool used in its products certified to the Responsible Wool Standard. The business also said 30 per cent of synthetic fibres it uses will be made from more sustainable sources, including recycled polyester. Achieving the commitments above will require some major progress for Esprit – at present, just 18 per cent of the cotton it uses is sustainable while less than one per cent of the down it uses is biodegradable or recyclable.

Anders Kristiansen, Group CEO of Esprit, said: “I am proud to share our progress, as we work toward a fashion system that is built around respect for human beings and care for our environment. Applying a circular lens to our activities requires us to rethink many of our assumptions and expectations – which is why it has the potential to transform the way we think about fashion. We firmly believe this is the right direction and have applied this philosophy to all levels of our business operations. We are convinced that we will transform our business and continue to demonstrate leadership in the fashion industry.”

In what is its fourth sustainability report, Esprit explains how it has applied this philosophy of circular fashion to all levels of its business operations. It outlines how it is re-examining the way it approaches design, material selection, manufacturing, and distribution, and building or aligning with new streams to support care, collection, resale, recycling, and reutilization. Esprit has defined concrete goals for the use of sustainable materials, elimination of hazardous chemicals, and design for circularity.

Collaboration with international partners plays a central role in achieving a circular fashion system. Apart from the Greenpeace Detox Commitment and the integration of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals into its sustainability framework, Esprit joined the Global Fashion Agenda 2020 Circular Fashion System Commitment this year.

On the social side, Esprit committed to the Global Framework Agreement with IndustriALL to support workers’ freedom of association and is also an active member of the Act on Living wage, a collaborative approach working toward living wages in apparel exporting countries.


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