Sustainably made women's clothing



How sustainable is Reformation?


Reformation is a California based women’s fashion brand with sustainability in mind for everything it does. The brand is completely transparent about how it produces its products. Its reporting is a walk in the park compared to the usually dry and complex styles. It offers very elaborate explanations and motivations for why the company’s doing certain things, making them a source of inspiration for any brand really. Reformation goes the extra mile everywhere and even reports on hangers, totes, papers, pens, furniture, snacks and so forth. But its transparency standard shines brightest when looking at the Ref standards the company developed for its material sourcing. It has done the research and provides a holistic view on materials in which it takes all environmental factors, toxicity, availability and price into consideration. With this view, the company can make the best choices considering all factors for its garments. Fibers are divided amongst five categories in which conventional cotton, fur and cashmere are rated the worst, and fibers like lyocell, recycled cotton and organic hemp finish at the top. The company aims to source at least 75% from its two highest rated categories and discloses that it currently has this percentage at 70%. The transparency continues throughout its supply chain. Reformation has published its factory lists, including all relevant information. and offers complete traceability of tier 1, which consists of its garment manufacturers. The company goes even further by publishing data on mills, dyers and printers and improving traceability for its raw material processors. It expresses ambitions to completely trace every product down to the farm from which it originated. Through its partnerships with organizations like Oeko-Tex and Bluesign, it’s also managing chemicals safely. Climate impact is considerably less than its industry peers as well. The company has been completely carbon neutral for its own operations since 2015 because it offsets what it can’t prevent, but it doesn’t report on the absolute emissions that are generated in its supply chain. However, it does mention that it started to calculate the emissions of its products down to their origins, providing information about the exact impact each garment has on the environment. The total supply chain emissions are needed to back these claims up. The company makes most of its stuff in Los Angeles and has a Code of Conduct in place that covers all international labor standards. It mentions that it uses third-party auditors and has a protocol in place for when it finds that something is wrong, but doesn’t report who these third-party auditors are and what their exact findings are. Although Reformation promotes payment of a living wage, its labor rights can be improved and accredited by a third-party auditing firm that reports on the results. Its research and responsibility ethics provide a great source of inspiration for other brands. Reformation is raising the bar for the industry in a lot of areas, but can improve on a few as well.

Publication date: July 25th 2020
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