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Wrangler, M&S, Anthropologie and More Mark Earth Day with New Sustainability Initiatives

List of partners signed on the Canopy commitment to protect forests.
Image courtesy Canopy

Brands have been touting their green credentials and launching new initiatives all month in the leadup to Earth Day, and those efforts have peaked now that that April 22 has arrived. Among the brands that saved their announcements for the day itself are Kering, Marks & Spencer, Wrangler, Asics and Anthropologie, all of which showcased new partnerships and initiatives today for the benefit of the planet.   

Consumer preferences are shifting as a result of increased awareness around environmental impacts, of fashion and ecommerce in particular. In fact, 51% of consumers said they would be willing to pay more for products shipped through sustainable methods, up significantly from just 15% of consumers in December 2023, according to a new survey from Radial.

The report also found that 77% of consumers said they would be willing to wait longer for packages shipped via sustainable methods, and that they prefer retailers to use packaging made from recycled materials (30%), packaging that can be repurposed or refilled (29%) and more efficient packaging designs to minimize waste (23%). The numbers are equally compelling when it comes to consumers’ willingness to spend more for products that are produced sustainably.

Here is what a number of companies are doing this Earth Day and beyond to meet the demands of consumers and the planet.

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Slate of 15 Brands Agree to Stop Sourcing from Endangered Forests

Fifteen brands, including John Lewis, Kering, C&A and Pangaia, have announced a commitment to eliminate sourcing from climate-critical “Ancient and Endangered Forests” in their textile and packaging supply chains as part of the CanopyStyle and Pack4Good initiatives from nonprofit Canopy. Other brands joining the pledge today include Groupe Beaumanoir, Zadig & Voltaire, City Threads, 2WO+1NE=2, Zeus + Dione and House of Hackney

“We are so pleased to welcome these leading fashion brands and brilliant innovators into the Canopy fold on Earth Day,” said Nicole Rycroft, Founder and Executive Director of Canopy in a statement. “There is no better time to keep forests standing and to transform today’s take-make-waste supply chains that underpin the global climate and biodiversity crises. Next gen production is the future — we’re excited to expand our community of partners working to build a better future for our planet.”

All 15 brands also have committed to investing in new, lower-impact textile and packaging solutions, such as commercial-scale textile recycling and Next Gen textiles made from agricultural residue.

“We’re committed to protecting and restoring nature, and we constantly strive to reduce and improve our packaging,” said Marija Rompani, Director of Sustainability & Ethics at the John Lewis Partnership in a statement. “Signing up to the Pack4Good initiative is a truly positive step forward on our journey to ensuring all of our paper-based packaging is from a more sustainable source.”

Anthropologie Leans into Regenerative Agriculture

Anthropologie has partnered with soil health movement Kiss the Ground to improve awareness, education and engagement around regenerative agriculture and how it contributes to a healthier planet. Additionally, Anthropologie announced plans for its first-ever regenerative cotton capsule collection, which will reimagine existing customer favorites made with third-party certified regenerative cotton. 

Anthropologie and Kiss the Ground will collaborate on pro-environment programming, and Anthropologie also has committed to an annual donation of $100,000 to Kiss the Ground. Anthropologie customers will be able to participate in the giving through roundup at checkout donations in all stores worldwide throughout the month of April. The brand will engage with their employees through training, events and volunteering opportunities, as well as host a series of in-store workshops for their customers in partnership with garden brand Terrain.

“We are incredibly inspired by the work our friends at Kiss the Ground have been doing and are in awe of their ability to inspire millions of people across the country to participate in the regenerative movement,” said Elizabeth Preis, Global Chief Marketing Officer of Anthropologie Group in a statement.

M&S Lets Customers Ship Unwanted Clothing to Charity for Free

Marks & Spencer (M&S), the UK’s largest clothing retailer is, has launched a new trial program to help customers donate their unwanted clothing and home textiles to Oxfam.

It’s estimated that UK homes contain 1.6 billion items of unworn clothing that has the potential to be used, reused or recycled, but new research conducted on behalf of M&S found that one-third of the UK doesn’t know what to do with clothes that cannot be re-worn, with three in 10 consumers admitting to disposing of unwearable clothes in the trash.

To help tackle the problem, UK consumers will be able to recycle their preloved clothing from home by ordering a pre-paid postal donation bag from the Oxfam website. The bag, which is made from 100% recycled plastic, allows for clothing to be separated into two groups — items that are wearable and those that are unwearable but too good to waste — and return them for free to Oxfam and resold, reused or recycled. Consumers can use the service to donate any item of preloved clothing from any retailer, as well as soft furnishings textile waste such as bed linen, towels, cushions, tablecloths and tea towels.

The program is being funded through the M&S’s Plan A Accelerator Fund and forms part of the ACT Project, which is being led by the UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT). The UKFT is working to develop a new framework for a UK-based automated-sorting and pre-processing facility that will recycle clothing unsuitable for resale to make new clothing.

“At M&S, we’re focused on making good quality, durable products which are made to last,” said Katharine Beacham, Head of Materials, Sustainability and Packaging at M&S in a statement.In 2008, we launched Shwopping to support customers to give a second home to their preloved clothing, and we’re now expanding [through this new] partnership with Oxfam.”

Wrangler Looks to Reduce Reliance on Raw Materials

Pieces from the second Wrangler Reborn collection.
Pieces from the second Wrangler Reborn collection. (Image courtesy Wrangler)

Denim brand Wrangler announced a number of new partnerships in its efforts to reduce denim waste and promote systemic circularity practices:

  • The brand will reimagine its most popular styles utilizing discarded denim through the second installment of the Wrangler Reborn Collection, in collaboration with European resale marketplace Beyond Retro;
  • Wrangler also is participating alongside a small selection of brands in the mission of Accelerating Circularity, a nonprofit focused on textile-to-textile recycling systems, to develop a new five-pocket jean style from upcycled denim that will be exclusively available at Walmart.com; and
  • The brand will be partnering with the Austin-based sandlot baseball club, Texas Playboys Baseball Club, to create an upcycled shade structure out of repurposed scrap denim and cardboard tubes.

“At Wrangler, we have been committed to taking the reins on sustainability throughout our 77-year heritage, especially through our dedication to durability and longevity, as denim lovers can wear their Wranglers for years on end,” said Vivian Rivetti, VP of Global Design at Wrangler in a statement. “Working hand in hand with organizations like Beyond Retro, Accelerating Circularity and the Texas Playboys gives us the opportunity to showcase the potential of upcycling within the fashion industry.”

And there’s more…

Other sustainability initiatives announced in honor of Earth Day and Month include:

The Asics Nimbus Mirai running shoe, designed to be recycled.
The Asics Nimbus Mirai running shoe, designed to be recycled. (Image courtesy Asics)
  • Footwear brand Asics launched the new Nimbus Mirai performance running shoe, which is designed to be remade at the end of its life. Created from recyclable materials, the shoe is launching with a new returns program that encourages runners to give back the shoes at the end of their use to support the circular journey;
  • Purpose-driven luxury fashion marketplace Olivela teamed up with E.L.V. Denim to host an exclusive dinner in NYC to support conservation efforts by Re:wild. Olivela, based on conscious shopping principles, features a curation of mission-driven luxury brands and donates 20% of net proceeds to its nonprofit partners, including Re:wild. Now, when customers buy a pair of E.L.V. jeans from Olivela, their purchase will directly contribute 20 hours of conservation efforts to Re:wild;
  • Perry Ellis International — parent company of Original Penguin, Perry Ellis, Ben Hogan and other brands — has expanded its partnership with CleanHub and committed to donating a large enough portion of its sales each year to recover an additional 10,000 pounds of plastic from the world’s water systems; and
  • Organic bedding brand Boll & Branch has introduced the new Origin Track platform, , offering customers full traceability for its bedding, from seed to sheet. Through the platform customers can get direct insight into every stage of their products’ production — from the farms where materials are sourced to where the cotton is spun, ginned, dyed, cut and constructed.

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