Fashion and luxury brands worldwide have launched various sustainable initiatives to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. This international day, dedicated to environmental reform, took place on April 22, 2020. The current pandemic has only reinforced concerns about the mistreatment of our planet, leading these brands to double their efforts in sustainability.

Stella McCartney, a pioneer in sustainable fashion, took over Piccadilly Circus in London with a giant billboard displaying the message “Every Day is Earth Day.” The billboard featured a video with supermodel Amber Valletta covered in blue camouflage paint. McCartney highlighted the positive impact COVID-19 has had on the environment, such as reduced carbon emissions and traffic.

Capri Holdings, the parent company of Versace, Michael Kors, and Jimmy Choo, released its first group-wide corporate social responsibility strategy to coincide with Earth Day’s 50th anniversary. The group aims to become 100% carbon-neutral in its direct operations and source all energy from renewable sources by the end of 2025. Other goals for 2025 include making all plastic packaging fully recyclable, compostable, or reusable, sourcing at least 95% of leather from certified tanneries, and adding traceability to the supply chain.

Vivienne Westwood collaborated with Canopy, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting forests and wildlife, to release a video featuring poet-activist Kai-Isaiah Jamal and Aidan Zamiri. The video emphasized the impact of fashion on the environment, urging viewers to consider the origins of their clothing and the materials used.

Banana Republic celebrated Earth Day with its “Better Republic” campaign. The campaign centered around eco-friendly products sold online through the vintage marketplace Thrilling. Banana Republic is committed to sustainability goals such as using 100% sustainable cotton and 50% sustainable fibers by 2023.

Wrangler announced that it had surpassed its own water-saving goals, saving 7 billion liters of water in its denim manufacturing processes since 2008. Lee Jeans also revealed plans to power all of its owned and operated facilities with renewable energy by 2025 and source 100% sustainably-grown or recycled cotton by the same year.

Young and dynamic brands like Pangaia, Riley Studio, and Horizon Athletic are at the forefront of sustainable fashion. Pangaia developed new T-shirts made from peppermint seaweed fibers and puffer jackets filled with FLWRDWN, a cruelty-free alternative to goose feathers. Riley Studio uses recycled materials from ethical partners and even uses bio-based plastic alternatives in their neck labels. Horizon Athletic has created active and swimwear ranges made from econyl, a recycled fiber made of abandoned fishing nets.

To mark Earth Day, Woolmark collaborated with artist Timo Helgert to create images of re-wildings in London, New York, and Shanghai, showcasing nature reclaiming these cities. As COVID-19 has forced us to distance ourselves from nature, it has also highlighted our love for the natural world. Timberland summed up this sentiment with a video prose poem, expressing our longing for nature and promising to treat it better when we can return to it.

The 50th anniversary of Earth Day has served as a reminder for the fashion industry to become more sustainable in its practices. These initiatives demonstrate that fashion and luxury brands are committed to protecting the environment and creating a more eco-friendly future.

Useful Links:
Earth Day
Fashion Revolution