While Victoria's Secret and Nike are reportedly ignoring commitments they took towards the environment, Swedish brand Fjällräven is showing the fashion industry just how sustainable a clothing retailer can be.
Although a majority of the products on its website are already created using eco-friendly materials, each of Fjällräven's newly relaunched special edition Re-Kånken backpacks are made of recycled polyester sourced from 11 plastic water bottles.
"We are constantly seeking ways to reduce the negative impact we have on nature, animals and humans," Henrik Andersson, the brand's head of innovation and design," said in an interview. "When developing the Re-Kånken we went to great lengths to ensure the use of chemicals, water and energy was at a minimum."
Taking the backpack one sustainable step further, the material is also coated with a PFC-treatment so that it's eco-friendly, but also weather resistant. Lastly, to get the bright colors, Fjällräven uses a SpinDye technique that uses less water, chemicals and energy than traditional dye processes use.
"Our goal is to make products with the highest durability and with a certain timelessness to ensure our customers keep and use them for a long time," Andersson said.
As he explained, fashion often has a negative effect on the environment because, so often, products with "short life-cycles" are often not recyclable. (You know, those poorly-made tees you bought at Forever 21 and wore once before having to toss.)
This is why organizations like Greenpeace have started campaigns to encourage brands to adopt practices that limit the amount of hazardous materials put into waterways and promote the use of safe removal practices.
"Our goal is to make products with the highest durability and with a certain timelessness to ensure our customers keep and use them."
As Greenpeace's "Detox My Fashion" campaign writes on its website, "Fashion brands, in particular, can play an important role in transforming the sector because of the influence they have on suppliers and trends."
If only the fast fashion brands that are a part of "Detox My Fashion" were as committed to the environment as Fjällräven is.