Since our founding in 1984, delivering Everyday Luxury to our customers has been at the heart of what we do. Quality product that endures well beyond one or two seasons is central to our business model and the right choice for our planet.
Yet we know this is no longer enough. Environmental and social issues are at a critical turning point. We all have to come together to do what we can to make a meaningful impact.
As a leader in an industry we know can make a difference, we have a responsibility to do right by people and the planet. So we’re working to extend our sustainability programs and accelerate our progress.
The challenge is that sustainability issues are complicated. It’s not always clear what the right thing to do is, and far too often we find companies greenwashing without making any real progress, or making matters worse. We feel that our community deserves better from us. So we’re doing our best to really understand the issues and share the facts with you, as transparently as possible, as we continue on this journey.
Our commitment is that we won’t do anything we don’t believe in.
We have taken an evidence-based approach to sustainability, with a focus on driving long term impact over short term trends. The steps are simple:
- UNDERSTAND our Social and Environmental impact
- IDENTIFY opportunities for improvement both short and long term
- ACTION positive and meaningful change
- BUILD a roadmap for the future
- A materiality assessment of our operations, including supply chain partners.
- A labour and human rights assessment of our global supply chain.
- An Environmental Organizational Lifecycle Assessment (OLCA) for emissions, water use and waste generation.
Here are a few of the things we've been working on:
The Textile Exchange is a global non-profit that works closely with textile industry members to drive transformation through sustainable fibres, integrity standards and responsible supply chains. Aritzia — along with 173 other brands — participated in the Textile Exchange Corporate Fiber & Material Benchmark survey. We provided information on our policies, strategies and performance regarding the use of sustainable raw materials. Our survey results landed us on Textile Exchange leadership boards, ranked amongst the top brands in the industry, for our use of 100% Responsible Down Standard (RDS) certified down.
COVID-19 has had a massive impact on millions of garment workers living in countries dependent on the textile industry. The ILO has issued a global call to action to protect workers’ income, health and employment as well as suppliers’ survival. Already aligned with the principles and actions outlined in the Statement — which includes paying for finished goods, not cancelling any orders already in production, promoting health and safety standards and emphasizing social protection for workers — we formally endorsed it. Together, we’ll continue to progress towards a more sustainable clothing industry.
Since 2017, we’ve been working to improve our packaging. To date, we’ve eliminated all plastic from our e-Comm packaging, and made it 100% recyclable. And our mailers include up to 70% recycled material. We’ll continue to increase the percentage of packaging made from recycled content and FSC paper. We’ve recently signed Canopy’s Pack4Good Commitment, a pledge to never source from ancient or endangered forest and to make all of our packaging as sustainable as possible by 2022.
Denim typically has a significant environmental impact; producing it requires heavy water and chemical use. That’s why we set out to make better denim. We launched Denim Forum in 2018, and from the start it’s been made with organic cotton, environmentally friendly TENCEL™, and a bio-based softener that’s GreenScreen® certified. We work exclusively with an experienced Italian mill committed to sustainability, and we use processes such as e-Flow and laser technologies. AS A RESULT, WE’VE REDUCED OUR WATER USE AND WE’RE USING FEWER CHEMICALS.
Across the fashion industry, individual clear plastic poly bags are a common way to transport goods from the factory to distribution centres and stores. Many believe these can’t be removed but we felt differently. After a two-year pilot, we decided these individual bags were not always necessary and we worked to reduce and eliminate them where possible. IN 2019 WE ELIMINATED AN ESTIMATED 3,500KG OF PLASTIC. We continue to expand this initiative, and where we need to protect individual products we‘re working to reduce the size of the bags and increase the amount of recycled plastic in the polybags that remain in our supply chain.
As a result of climate change, the Arctic is warming quickly, significantly impacting its marine environments and creating uncertainty for communities living in the region. It’s also opening the possibility of cargo traffic with decreased transit times in routes that were previously unnavigable in the Arctic. However, increased traffic in this sensitive ecosystem threatens greater environmental impact. That’s why we’ve signed the Arctic Shipping Corporate Pledge launched by Ocean Conservancy. THIS PLEDGE IS A VOLUNTARY COMMITMENT THAT WE WILL NOT SEND SHIPS THROUGH THE GLOBALLY SIGNIFICANT HABITATS OF THE ARCTIC.