Sustainability is an imperative. This was evident in the second pandemic year. The industry must renew itself and invent. There were many collaborations, initiatives, and commitments in 2021 that will continue into 2022. Real change is now needed, with goals and strategies that are long-term and take it seriously. It is too late to make empty promises. We have again compiled the top sustainability initiatives for 2021. Which one do you prefer?

January 2021

The fashion industry will continue to push for more circularity and a smaller footprint in 2021 with biodegradable denim products and collections. Qwstion, a Swiss company that makes premium bags, is one of the younger brands to forgo traditional materials and use unusual materials, in this instance banana plants. The panel discussion on cotton was intended to dispel common myths about cotton.

February 2021

Fashion retailers and brands like H&M and Mango announced multiple sustainability initiatives in February. Second hand initiatives, resale websites, and clothing swaps are all booming in the area of resale.

March 2021

With brands working together with retailers, tech companies, and other fashion businesses, sustainability is still a’must-have’ for the fashion industry in March. They are aiming to be ahead of the rest with products made from recycled materials, sustainable innovations, and eco-retail or resale models.

April 2021

The fashion industry was continuing to push for sustainability in April. Sneaker brands such as Adidas, Asics and Mr Porter put their best foot forward by creating innovative materials that are both sustainable and easy on the environment. Designers teamed up with brands to create stunning, sustainable creations.

May 2021

In May, sustainable efforts were also plentiful as we continue from April. Even rival brands such as Adidas and Allbirds have begun to come together when it comes time to tackle circular innovations in a way that is mutually beneficial. Retailers and brands continue to offer more sustainable options to consumers. It is encouraging to see that young designers also have more options when it comes to sustainable fashion courses and information about being more eco-conscious. The number of podcasts covering the subject matter also increased, with listeners being spoilt for choice.

June 2021

The fashion industry continues to be a hot topic. Each month brings new innovations and conscious collaborations. Stella McCartney, Jen Caballos and Nasty Gal have created sustainable collections. They also characterize the month and collaborate with Canopy, LVMH, The Industry We Want and Mytheresa. Sneakers are becoming more eco-conscious.

July 2021

The fashion industry did not suffer from the heat of summer in July. There were many collaborations, whether it was in the areas of recycling, resale or sustainable collections, or even material innovation. Many brands also published their accelerated sustainability goals, or targets for plastic, carbon, and energy reduction.

August 2021

August 2021 was a strong month for sustainability initiatives in the fashion industry. There were many collaborations, such as Nike and Newlight Technologies, Heron Preston with Mercedes Benz, or fashion weeks working together. Brands and service providers offer repair services for clothes, and Mending and Upcycling are in fashion. Resale continues to boom, and there are more options available.

September 2021

September 2021 was another strong month for sustainability initiatives in the fashion industry. There were many collaborations, such as Manolo Blahnik and The Restory and Champion with The Renewal Workshop. The motto is’restore and resew to renew’. The resale market continues to grow and brands, apart from sustainable lines and collections, are eager to share their overall sustainability efforts.

October 2021

The fashion industry reaffirmed its belief in “stronger together” in October with new initiatives such as Make the Label Count and Cozec, and collaborations between brands like Recover, Polopique, Spinnova, Icebreaker, Ikea, and the H&.M Group, Mytheresa, and Vestiaire Collective. Brands and retailers such as Filippa K and Ganni, Farfetch, showed strength through product innovation, greener corporate governance, and resale initiatives.

November 2021

November was marked by significant events such as COP26, but there were also many collaboration initiatives: between brands, brands and material innovators, and between brands and platforms. The sky was the limit for this month. As many new ventures show, Resale remains hot.

December 2021

December was dominated by holiday shopping, and some restrictions due to the pandemic, but the sustainability efforts of the industry continued unaffected. These initiatives combined not only reduced the environmental impact but also made sustainability more accessible. Recycled products and platforms that facilitate sustainable or second-hand shopping were the most prominent on the product front. Companies made public their sustainability goals for the next year and were rewarded.

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