In advance of Earth Day on April 22, Gap Inc. has highlighted bold new commitments from Gap and its athletic retail concept Athleta to accelerate the use of more sustainable fibers in apparel production within the next five years.
The company’s namesake brand Gap announced a new commitment to obtain 100 percent of its cotton from more sustainable sources by 2021. Athleta, whose assortment predominantly features technical fabrics, announced a series of sustainability goals including a commitment to use fibers that are better for the planet: by 2020, 80 percent of the brand’s apparel materials will be made with sustainable fibers.
These new commitments are the latest advancements in Gap Inc.’s journey to integrate more sustainable product innovation and fabric technology across its portfolio.
“We believe in actively protecting the planet we all share,” said Wendi Goldman, chief product officer at Gap. “With our new sustainable cotton goal, we have the opportunity to make a big impact on the global cotton community, and bring to light what’s so incredibly important to the future of garment manufacturing, what matters to us as a brand, and what matters to our customers.”
To achieve its new cotton goal, Gap will continue to partner with Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). BCI works with farmers around the world to improve cotton production for the people who cultivate it, the environment, and the cotton sector’s future. The brand sourced 3.8 million pounds of Better Cotton for Spring 2017 product. Gap’s new commitment will also include the use of other sustainable cotton such as organic, recycled and American-grown.
“For Athleta and our community, the Earth is our playground, and we believe it’s vitally important to protect it for the next generation,” said Nancy Green, president and CEO of Athleta. “With the use of more recycled and sustainable fibers, we’re working to lessen our impact on the environment and preserve the Earth’s precious natural resources. Using our business for good is central to the mission of Athleta.”
Athleta has been working to aggressively increase its use of sustainable materials over the last two years by converting materials to recycled synthetics and organic cotton. The brand will meet its new 2020 goal through a focus on partnering with fiber and manufacturing suppliers on innovative solutions. In 2016, seven million plastic water bottles were diverted from the landfill as a result of Athleta’s use of recycled polyester. Athleta’s expanded sustainability commitment also includes setting goals to use more efficient fabric dyeing and finishing techniques to save water; to help empower the women who make its clothes; and also reduce waste at the brand’s stores and HQ operations.