Framework for Sustainable Apparel
Sustainability in the Apparel Industry
With far-reaching change being driven from several different areas, including externally from the media, NGOs and consumers and internally through commercial performance and risk profiling, thriving businesses in the global apparel industry require innovation, careful market consideration and the integration of a solid, sustainable business model to match future ambitions.
Our team are trusted advisors to some of the most well-known clothing companies – including 4 of the top 10 most valuable apparel brands in the world. Expertise, experience and passion along the whole value chain allows us to put our clients on a strategic pathway to sustainability and success.
How we do it
- Energy and carbon management– we have a strong track record in solutions that help companies cut costs across stores, manufacturing facilities, warehouses and logistics through energy efficiency programs.
- Chemicals and material substitution– we help organizations develop and implement leading chemical management programs, hotspot substances of concern and develop substitution strategies. We have also been trained by ZDHC to implement their processes in textile factories and mills.
- Waste and resource sustainability– we have world-leading expertise in waste and resources, particularly around the risk and opportunity in plastic use, including microplastics and microfibres.
- Strategy development– with a wealth of experience in developing strategy and targets for apparel businesses; we’ll support you to identify and prioritize the environmental and social challenges specific to you and your value chain.
- Supply chain risk– we understand how complex and nuanced supply chains can be. We can assess the Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) risks of any supply chain.
- Supply chain engagement – communicating, educating and supporting suppliers is the foundation for successful implementation of any sustainability initiative or goal. Anthesis has a team in Asia who specialize in exactly this; day in, day out.
- Policies, standards and certification– our specialists have deep and detailed knowledge on how best to develop, leverage and implement anything from setting sustainable cotton policies to assessing the feasibility of recycled polyester supply.
- Reporting and assessment – as a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), we have partnered with the SAC on supporting services for their Higg Index tools. The Higg Brand Retail Module recently launched and Anthesis is uniquely placed to support this assessment in a number of ways. In addition we have decades of experience in reporting to all relevant frameworks and leading CSR reports.
Honor Cowen, Anthesis Retail Sector Lead for North America was featured in the recent CNBC special, “what Retailers like Amazon do with Unsold Inventory.” The growing quantity of unsold and returned inventory funneled directly into waste streams puts massive pressure on our already ineffective waste infrastructure. Returns in the U.S. alone create more than 5 billion pounds of waste and 15 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year.
This growing waste problem poses an opportunity for retail companies to step up and create strategies around waste reduction, garment circularity, and sustainable sourcing and supply chains. Honor cited Apple and H&M as examples of retailers taking steps to minimize their environmental impact with take back systems, energy and carbon management, and by making their supply chains more sustainable.
Other Contributions, Mentions and Publications
We valued their expertise and knowledge in chemical management which enabled us to establish appropriate criteria for clean beauty and propel us forward on our H Project Approved responsible buy icon program.
We started working with Anthesis in 2017, when they helped to write and produce our CSR report. Since then, we have collaborated on a pilot chemical management project with our key denim mills. I’ve worked with several teams and individuals within Anthesis and have been continually impressed by the quality and concerted effort they put into delivering value to our business through our sustainability programs.
Aritzia initially worked with Anthesis to set our environment baseline – which highlighted the areas to focus on in our sustainability strategy. Part of this process included using RiskHorizon™ to assess where and what the likely risks are in our raw material supply chains. We look forward to continuing collaborating with the apparel team to support our objectives.
Anthesis has been an important thought-partner for us. They’ve been so helpful in getting the vendors on board and engaged. We’ve really relied on their expertise and experience to guide us through this process.
We'd love to hear from you
Anthesis has offices in the U.S., Canada, UK, France, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Andorra, Finland, Colombia, Brazil, China, the Philippines and the Middle East.