Ordinary fashion takes an extraordinary leap toward reducing our collective carbon footprints.
American clothing giant Gap has committed to using less water and better materials in its latest collection, its most sustainable to date. The “Generation Good” range features classic basics for adults, teens, kids, and babies. As well as being made of organic or recycled fabrics, the brand promises initiatives that support its workers.
“Gap was founded with the mission to do more than sell clothes,” Mary Alderete, global head of Gap marketing, said in a statement. “Generation Good reflects this ideal that we can all be our true selves and move things forward by being a force for good. It takes a collective to change the world and that’s exactly what Generation Good is up to.”
Capsule for the Climate
Highlights of the collection include the “Golden Oak” bodysuit for babies which uses recycled thread and a water-based screen print. In terms of menswear, the “Gen Good Chrome Blue” tee has all the quality you’d expect but uses 50% less water in garment washing. Equally, the best-selling true skinny fit jeans in dark indigo use no harmful PP sprays or stone-washing. They are also made with 13% recycled polyester and 10% post-consumer waste recycled cotton in a factory supported by the Gap Inc. P.A.C.E program. This empowers female garment workers through career and life skill education. Even the zipper tape is made with 100% post-consumer waste recycled polyester without rivets, making recycling easier.
“We obsess over fabric, details, and quality,” the Gap news release stated. “Each piece lasts a lifetime, whether it’s in your closet or someone else’s. We take pride in sourcing and reducing.”
Gap’s Sustainability Commitments
The “Generation Good” collection builds on sustainable fashion commitments already established by Gap. The company is hugely reliant on cotton. Yet this crop is one of the most water-intensive to grow, often in areas where people have difficulty accessing clean water due to pollution and droughts. Since 2016, Gap has been working with the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). The BCI develops and promotes good farm practices. It also reduces water and chemical use to protect both working conditions and biodiversity. For the past two years, the brand has used 5% recycled cotton in denim, and 100% organic cotton in kids and baby styles. The new target is to derive 100% of its cotton from more sustainable sources by 2025.
“We’re proud to support innovations that protect natural resources and foster cleaner, safer communities for families around the world,” said Keith White, Gap Inc.’s Executive Vice President of Global Sustainability. “Sourcing cotton in a way that reduces water use and damage to the climate is about creating a healthy environment for our children and future generations.”
To counter the fact that a single pair of jeans uses an average of 1,600 gallons of water throughout its full life cycle, 91% of Gap denim is part of its water-saving Washwell™ program. This represents a huge success for the company – the original 2021 goal was for 75%.
The Washwell™ program includes denim wash technology and techniques that save at least 20% when compared to conventional wash methods. Since 2016, product made with the Washwell™ process has saved over one billion liters of water. To further their sustainability credentials, the company has teamed up with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. As part of the Jeans Redesign challenge, Gap has created 5 designs that are 100% derived from natural fibres, and “made to be made again.”
Shop the “Generation Good” collection here.