60% of Athleta’s materials now made from sustainable fibers

60% of Athleta’s materials now made from sustainable fibers

May 13, 2019
Marcia González

Athleta set its first public sustainability goals in 2017, with four key targets centered on reducing its impact on the planet and supporting the women around the world who make its clothes

A year after becoming a certified B Corporation, the Gap-owned Athleta has revealed that 60% of its materials are now made with sustainable fibers. The brand has worked aggressively to increase the sustainability in its line by sourcing materials including recycled polyester and nylon, TENCEL Modal, TENCEL Lyocell, and organic cotton; and using more efficient fabric dyeing and finishing techniques.  Recycled polyester alone diverted the equivalent of more than 38 million plastic bottles from landfills since 2014. Sustainable materials have also carried into Athleta Girls, reaching 69% of the styles in the upcoming summer collection.

The milestone includes a 2019 spring/summer swimwear assortment featuring 85% of styles made from sustainable materials including the launch of two new fabrics: H2Eco, which saved 72,264kg of waste from hitting landfills, the equivalent of 2.4 humpback whales and AquaRib, which uses ECONYL, a material 100% made from regenerated nylon fiber sourced from abandoned fishing nets and other discarded nylon.

Last year, Athleta became a member of Fashion Positive PLUS initiative, to collaborate with industry leaders to identify, create, and certify inputs for circular fashion. As part of Gap Inc., the brand is also a partner of the Make Fashion Circular initiative, led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which recently launched a campaign with other retail brands and the City of New York. Between Earth Day and mid-June, participating Athleta stores in New York City will host drop off points where New Yorkers can bring clothing they no longer wear to ensure it will be diverted from landfills through recycling or repurposing.

“Building a sustainable business is a journey and we’re constantly working to improve,” explained Nancy Green, CEO and president of Athleta. “We’ve set some very aggressive goals and have made some incredible progress, but we don’t take success for granted. We still have a long way to go. The ability to impact at scale is critical to protecting the planet. Scale also means collaboration. We are happy to sit down with others in the space that might otherwise be considered competitors and get real about what it takes to move our industry toward less impact in a meaningful way.”

Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2019 will take place from Thursday 27 June to Friday 28 June, at the Kap Europa, Frankfurt Messe, Frankfurt, Germany. To register for this highly focused and solutions-driven event, please click here. For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please email peter@trans-globalevents.com

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