Did you know every quarter Reformation produces a Sustainability Report? Well they do and it’s like candy to us! Knowledge is power right! It’s a scary yet fascinating time for this industry and we are learning together about the detrimental impacts of fashion on our environment (except Stella McCartney and those 90 scientist who drafted the UN Report, they seem to have been well above the curve).
From our POV, Reformation’s entire ethos is creating a fashionable brand that is operating better than average and informing their customers why their is a need for better than average. In this report they are upfront about the fact they don’t have control over everything and their is a host of influential information they’re still not privy to but they remain focused on positively impacting the process where they can. Reformation's smaller carbon footprint comes from focusing on material waste, something they have control over, through product manufacturing and and packaging.
So what practices make Reformation different?
-Lower-impact fabrics like vintage, deadstock, Tencel, flax linen, Alpaca yarn
-Domestic suppliers whenever possible
-Third-party certifications (Bluesign, Oeko-Tex) for low-impact and safe dye practices when available
-Manufacturing in their own factory or a nearby factory in LA
-Purchase of renewable energy credits for factory operations (100% wind)
-Lower-impact, 100% recycled-content & recyclable packaging
-Carbon neutral shipping program
-Lower-impact garment care labels and recommendations
The entire report was super interesting to us sustainability junkies but if you only have time to peruse one section we found the fiber section particularly eye-opening. The report states “up to two-thirds of the sustainability impact of fashion happens at the raw materials stage - before the clothes have actually been made. Fiber selection also affects how you’re gonna wash the garment, and potentially recycle it one day - both important factors to consider when it comes to the environmental impact.” We learned they categorize fabrics into 5 categories, best to worst, starting with “Allstars" and ending with “Eww, never” and by the end of this year 75% of their products will be made with the top 2 tiers of fabrics.
What was especially inspiring to us was learning about their offset strategy or “venmo for the earth” as they cleverly referred to it. They actually track of all the CO2 emissions, water and waste they cause during production (even though it is SIGNIFICANTLY less in comparison to other clothing businesses) and offset the negative impact with a positive environmental impact via planting trees, purchasing landfill gas offsets, and restoring freshwater to dewatered rivers and wetlands in California. Someone’s going to fashion heaven!