Today, Fashion Positive kicked off with its official launch partners Stella McCartney, G-Star RAW, Loomstate, Bionic Yarn and the manufacturer Saitex alongside a host of supporters including Amber Valletta, Julie Gilhart, Wendy and Eric Schmidt and Scott Mackinlay Hahn. Fashion Positive is a comprehensive program that helps fashion brands, designers and suppliers continuously improve how clothes are made. The program, funded by Schmidt Philanthropies and the DOEN Foundation, helps fashion businesses look at five categories of sustainability: material health, material reuse, renewable energy, water stewardship and social fairness. Through these Fashion Positive partnerships, the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute is creating the next generation of fashion building blocks—and the preferred suppliers of those materials—in order to bring the fashion industry into the future.
“We are excited to partner with these industry leaders who are on the cutting edge of fashion design and manufacturing,” said Lewis Perkins, senior vice president, Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. “Together, we are creating a vision within the industry that is about abundance rather than resource constraints. We want beautiful, must-have clothes made in such a way that everything and everyone along the supply chain helps create this better future.”
Fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world. The production of textiles in China alone releases three billion tons of soot into the air each year, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. There is growing demand among consumers, investors and other fashion stakeholders for sustainable products. Fashion Positive gives designers, fashion brands and suppliers a platform to transcend industry challenges such as sourcing materials, modernizing manufacturing equipment, ensuring safe and healthy working conditions and leveraging collaboration to create highly desirable and sellable apparel that is beautiful inside and out.
“I am honored to be partnering and working with the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ team on Fashion Positive as we share the belief that what will carry fashion forward is rethinking the way we make clothing and accessories,” said Amber Valletta, actress, fashion icon and social entrepreneur. “We have a shared passion that what we will create now can truly change the future through beauty, innovation and common sense.”
Industry leaders such as Stella McCartney and G-Star RAW are joining Fashion Positive’s cooperative of leadership brands to innovate materials and optimize manufacturing to meet the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ GOLD-level standard beginning in 2016. Certified materials will then be added to Fashion Positive’s Materials Library, indexing natural and synthetic materials to help other industry stakeholders source high-quality materials and to make them widely available. These leadership brands and designers will utilize the Fashion Positive Innovation Fund to identify and invest in key suppliers who will create these new materials for use by the entire fashion industry. Fashion Positive partners have also agreed to benchmark the social and environmental impact of materials and products before and after they have been certified.
Additional partners joining Fashion Positive include Under the Canopy/Portico, the new sustainable fashion brands of Michael Stars, both launching in 2015.
“Designers are uniquely responsible for the impacts and stories our products tell, both good and bad. Fashion Positive is the connective tissue empowering designers to take full accountability for the beautiful products we deliver to the world,” said Scott Mackinlay Hahn, social and environmental entrepreneur and co-founder of Loomstate and Rogan.
Fashion Positive—created by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute—employs imagination and technology to develop products and materials to transform the world of fashion. The Institute’s founders have developed a clear, proven methodology to remodel the supply-chain cycle from a negative into a positive that keeps the industry and planet resource-rich. Features include:
- Cradle to Cradle Certified™: Fashion Positive is powered by Cradle to Cradle Certified™, the most comprehensive program in the world that guides designers and manufacturers to make products in fundamentally better ways. Their certification standard guides companies to achieve the highest criteria in quality fashion and to harmonize with existing industry measurements and programs, like the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Higg Index, Environmental Profit & Loss and Natural Capital Accounting.
- Expertise: Fashion Positive connects companies with experts and a global network of accredited assessors at each step of the innovation process, from idea to finished product.
- Innovation Fund: The initiative provides funding to select brands and suppliers to develop the next generation of forward-looking materials, products and quality practices.
- Materials Library: Fashion Positive will create a resource library that will index inventive fabrics, dyes, trims, thread and more that meet the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Product Standard, making it easier for fashion brands and designers to source trusted, certified materials.
“For some time now, Bionic has been inspired by Cradle to Cradle’s forward-thinking philosophies,” said Tim Coombs, co-founder of Bionic Yarn. “We are both honored and excited to work with the Fashion Positive initiative on the integration of their philosophies into the engineering of our products.”