Acne Studios

Luxury fashion brand from Stockholm



How sustainable is Acne Studios?


Fair Wear Foundation

Acne Studios is a Swedish luxury fashion brand that was founded in 1996. The company shows some promise for more sustainable practices and is already doing great in a few areas, but has significant steps to take concerning environmental performance. The company hasn’t yet calculated its entire footprint and only includes emissions for its own operations in its reporting. It does mention an ambition to track and reduce supply chain emissions, but hasn’t started this yet. There’s no absolute target to reduce its scope 3 emissions, and, for its own operations, carbon emissions have actually increased compared to the previous year. It does state that it wants to reduce emissions from its own operations by 5% for the next financial year. Acne Studios is not very transparent about these environmental factors. The company does mention that it uses the Higg Environmental Module to track environmental performance in its facilities, but doesn’t report the numbers for water and energy consumption and waste. It does report which materials it uses for its garments, but these are not very good. Cotton is used the most, wool, including mohair, cashmere, alpaca and merino, represents the second biggest part, and leather is in third place. It’s unfortunate that Acne Studios’ top three materials lack most certifications, which is especially worrisome because of the animal materials like mohair and cashmere. Because conventional cotton has a significantly higher impact on the climate and the company mostly sources this over organic, traceable cotton, its climate impact is significantly higher as well. The company does mention that it’s working on traceability and has a membership with the Leather Working Group, but current percentages are either not provided or very low. The usage of its recommended fibers amounted to only 5 percent, which is really low. Acne Studios wants to use only materials it classifies as ‘Good’ or ‘Recommended’ by 2030, and aims to increase the percentage of recycled materials. The company has a lot of steps to take in terms of other environmental factors as well, since it currently does a lot of transport by air cargo, which has a higher impact. The Swedish brand doesn’t report on what materials it uses for its packaging. Acne Studios scores points over most other luxury fashion brands because it’s a member of the Fair Wear Foundation, which independently monitors its supply chain and makes sure that labor standards are high and adhered to. It has been awarded the highest status there and is making efforts towards payment of a living wage. But then again, Acne Studios doesn’t publish a factory list, which is not transparent.

Publication date: July 25th 2020
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