Sustainability

SUSTAINABILITY

OUR PHILOSOPHY

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.

OUR APPROACH

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:

  1. UNDERSTAND our Social and Environmental impact
  2. IDENTIFY opportunities for improvement both short and long term
  3. ACTION positive and meaningful change
  4. BUILD a roadmap for the future

UNDERSTAND OUR IMPACT We began by taking a hard look at what we’ve done over the last ten years. Sustainability Journey What we learned is that while we had made progress in some areas, there were gaps in our understanding of, and overall impact on, others. In 2017, we conducted a more comprehensive assessment of our business to benchmark our social and environmental risks and impacts. This analysis included three areas we felt we needed to look closer at:
  • 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.
THE O-LCA IMPACT The O-LCA technique quantitatively assesses environmental impacts (emissions, water use and waste) for all stages of the organization’s product and operations. This chart is illustrative of the impacts of the fashion industry as a whole. Carbon footprint We’ve also enlisted the help of PARTNERS — experts in the industry who provide guidance, benchmarks and best practices. What did all of this tell us? IDENTIFY OPPORTUNITIES AND ACTION CHANGE Results from the Assessments have provided us with a fairly clear view of our impact and the beginnings of a path forward. We have a dedicated team of sustainability experts accountable for determining our impacts, developing targets and roadmaps and partnering with all our divisions to deliver change across our business. This is actioned through the development of policies such as the Aritzia Environmental Policy, Supplier Code of Conduct and Materials Sourcing Policy and through the actions of our individual and team contributions and actions. PRODUCT From safeguarding Human Rights in our factories and decreasing water usage in our production processes to increasing the adoption of more sustainable raw materials, we’ve put meaningful effort against improving the sustainability of our products.[Learn More.] OPERATIONS Beyond our product, reducing our emissions, waste and packaging impacts within our operations is critical to the health of the planet and we’ve made exciting progress. [Learn More.] COMMUNITY We continue growing our giving program with a focus on creating opportunity for women and girls. As we progress, we are ensuring Diversity and Inclusion are central tenants for our People and our Customers, while also ensuring we support those women who need us most. [Learn More.] BUILD A ROADMAP FOR THE FUTURE We’re working on our 2025 strategy to accelerate our journey, and to be a fully sustainable business. We’ll provide updates in the coming months so please check back here soon. We’re committed to implementing real change and to transparently share our progress and areas of improvement along the way. We always value feedback, so please get in touch with us at sustainability@aritzia.com with your comments and questions.

THE LATEST

Here are a few of the things we've been working on:

CARBON NEUTRAL
Responsible Down
As of 2019, Aritzia-managed offices, stores and distribution centres are carbon neutral. This means that all carbon emitted through our operations in these spaces is offset with 100% renewable energy and VSC (Verified Carbon Standard) certified carbon offsets.

In order to achieve carbon neutrality, we’ve taken a dual approach:
  1. To compensate for the carbon emitted through our use of electricity, we’re purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) that go towards wind energy projects in Oklahoma and Manitoba.
  2. To offset the carbon emitted through our use of natural gas, we’re partnering with EcoAct to invest in Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) certified Carbon Offsets.
RESPONSIBLE DOWN
Responsible Down
RANKED BY THE TEXTILE EXCHANGE AS AN INDUSTRY LEADER IN RESPONSIBLE DOWN USE

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.
GLOBAL GARMENT INDUSTRY ACTION
Denim
OUR SUPPLIERS ARE IMMENSELY IMPORTANT TO US — WE’VE PARTNERED WITH THE INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIZATION (ILO) TO PROTECT WORKER’S RIGHTS, HEALTH AND INCOME.

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.
MORE SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING
Denim
PACKAGING IS RESOURCE HEAVY. WE’RE MAKING IT AS SUSTAINABLE AS POSSIBLE.

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 FORUM
Denim
DENIM ISN’T GREAT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT — SO WE MADE IT BETTER.

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.
POLYBAG PROGRAM
Denim
THERE’S LOTS OF PLASTIC BAGS IN FASHION — WE’VE DRAMATICALLY REDUCED OUR USE OF THEM.

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.
ARCTIC SHIPPING PLEDGE
Denim
THE ARCTIC IS WARMING — WE’RE PARTNERING WITH INDUSTRY LEADERS TO LIMIT SHIPPING IN ARCTIC MARINE ENVIRONMENTS.

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.