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Sustainability News in Retail

Sustainability News in Retail

Apr 3, 2023 at 9:55am

Completely Retail Marketplace looks at the latest Sustainability News from the world of retail.

Globally, consumers choose to buy from brands that commit to sustainability. Nowadays, going green is about more than just conserving energy or asking customers to recycle their shopping bags. Sustainability allows brands to better connect with their customers and do their bit for the planet.

Read the below Snapshot blog post to gain further insight into the latest sustainability news in retail.

Sustainability news in Retail

Harold Tillman signs a deal to turn unused clothes into fuel

A deal was recently signed between Hydrogen Utopia and the Ethical Fashion group, co-founder, and former British fashion council boss Harold Tillman. The agreement is to turn old unused clothing into fuel. The intention behind this collaboration is for fashion to become ‘part of the solution and not the problem’. HUI’S technology will help to put the fashion industry at the forefront of the ‘fibre to fuel’ solution.

The partnership between Tillman and Hydrogen Utopia International (HUI), whose technology turns various fabrics into carbon-free fuels, aims to transform the sector.

The Ethical fashion group represents 60,000 various fashion businesses in 140 different countries. Some brands represented include Gucci owner Kering and Vivienne Westwood, with other sustainable providers worldwide.

HUI has stated in a recent interview that this venture aims to allow suppliers, manufacturers and retailers to do something about the impact created by clothing items. Mainly with items that contain non-recyclable plastics like polyester and polyamides.

Being the world’s second biggest polluter, the fashion industry produces around 92m tonnes of textile waste daily. This new technology will allow brands to access HUI machines roughly the size of a small house. In addition, they are making the option to reuse old clothing as fuel easily accessible.

Tillman has said that he is hopeful that the ability to recycle the plastics used in clothing will cut the huge amounts being sent to landfills or incinerated.

Hydrogen Utopia chief executive Aleksandra Binkowska stated in an interview: “It is a huge honour to win the support of Harold Tillman. Consumers are dressing in plastic, often without knowing it, by buying over one trillion items of clothing a year that is destined to end up in incinerators or landfill sites.”

“Our fashion pollution solution will give manufacturers access for the first time to technology that turns these items into road-fuel quality hydrogen fuel that will power the next generation of carbon-free vehicles.”

Sustainability News in Retail

Lidl’s Vegan alternatives are expected to replace animal-based products

To focus more on its sustainability, Lidl is looking to slowly cut back on its animal-based products and increase its plant-based options. This aligns with Lidl’s commitment to increase its plant-based range through 2025 and beyond.

It’s been said that this aggressive initiative comes from Lidl identifying the need for food security for the increasing global population. Lidl chief buyer Christoph Graf said there is “no alternative” to reducing meat options in Lidl as there is “no second planet”.

Graf carried on saying that this initiative will allow people more access to cost-effective alternative proteins. Since launching two years ago, Lidl’s own-brand plant-based range ‘Vemendo’ has extended to over 50 private label products and continues to grow.

Lidl plans on releasing a sustainability report later this year, with the information focused on the critical differences between animal and plant-based foods.

Lidl corporate engagement director Stephanie Jaczniakowska-McGirr stated in an interview: “Lidl has taken a bold and necessary step to help consumers transition to a more plant-based diet. Animal agriculture is responsible for 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and shifting to plant-based diets is an effective way to reduce those emissions.”

“We urge other retailers to follow in the footsteps of Lidl and actively increase their plant-based offerings to support the growing number of people following flexitarian, vegetarian and vegan diets.”

Yoox is launching a pre-owned category on its marketplace to promote circular fashion

The fashion marketplace dedicated to luxury fashion is now launching a pre-loved category to its portfolio. The move comes as no surprise with most luxury fashion retailers now offering a pre-owned or repairs option.

Yoox stated in a recent interview that its pre-owned area has been created to give new life to apparel and accessories, a space dedicated to a selection of second-hand styles, to promote circularity and reduce environmental and social impact.

Managing director of Yoox,Valentina Visconti Prasca, stated in an interview with  Pambianco: “At Yoox, sustainability has always been one of our core values and continues to be our guiding star as we strive to become an increasingly responsible destination,”

“We know that it is an increasingly decisive element that influences the purchasing behavior of our customers, who are concerned with how their purchases affect the world around them. Pre-owned Yoox is not only an opportunity for customers to buy special limited edition and vintage pieces from their favorite designers, it also empowers them to give pre-owned products a second life.”

The pre-owned service is available in almost 30 European countries and has launched in association with a campaign called Endless Love.  Over 200 pre-loved fashion items can be found on its marketplace currently. These items are mostly from authenticated luxury brands through resale partners including Reflaunt.

Primark launches new repair initiatives

The newly integrated repair initiatives have been designed to help ensure that clothes can stand the test of time by allowing for longer usage. The fashion retailer has recently stated that it wants to take a closer look at the relationship between price and consumer behaviour on durability.

Primark is embarking on new initiatives, including working with WRAP to establish a new durability standard. Furthermore, they are commencing with research examining the relationship between price and consumer behaviour on durability.

Another initiative involves scaling Primark’s free clothing repair workshops following a successful 12-month pilot programme. All new initiatives have been implemented to support Primark’s aims to increase circularity and align its long-term sustainability strategy called ‘Primark cares’.

One of the more significant projects that Primark is embarking on is how it can introduce a recognised standard for durability across the fashion industry. This would assure consumers that what they buy will last, no matter their budget. This forms part of Primark’s commitment to strengthen the durability of its clothes by 2025.

As part of the initiatives mentioned above, the fashion retail giant has partnered with the environmental and behaviour change experts Hubbub. They have also commissioned the University of Leeds School of Design to conduct independent research to test the durability of a range of Primark clothing along with consumer washing and care habits.

Other than the intensive research being carried out, Primark is looking to expand on its successful repair workshop programme.

The sessions cover basic repair skills that range from sewing on buttons and zips to mending tears and customisation lessons. To increase the reach of these repair skills and tips, Primark has created an online customer hub featuring easy-to-follow repair videos covering everything from basic stitching to sewing on buttons and zips. The tutorials are going to be made available across all its social channels.

Primark Cares director Lynne Walker stated in a recent interview: “We believe passionately that more sustainable fashion should be affordable for all. Whatever your budget, you should be able to trust that the clothes you buy meet a certain standard and can go the distance. This has never been more important for our customers.”

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