Creating truly sustainable fashion means addressing the full life cycle of our garments, from raw materials to end-of-life—and back again. In addition to investing in circularity, we have a strategy to reduce, recycle and eliminate packaging waste.
Unnecessary and problematic is defined according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as: (1) Not reusable, not recyclable or not compostable is considered problematic, (2) Contains hazardous chemicals that pose risk to human/env health, (3) Can be avoided while maintaining utility, (4) Hinders or disrupts recyclability or compostability of other items, (5) High likelihood of being littered
Our work on circularity is organized into four pillars:
We have a responsibility to help prevent and properly care for global waste—particularly unnecessary and problematic plastics—which impacts the environment and adds unnecessary costs to our business.
We prioritize addressing plastic waste in the critical areas that account for 70 percent of our single-use plastic inventory: hangers, polybags, shopping bags and e-commerce mailers. Our cross-functional task force is working to find solutions for these high-impact categories, and we also invest in innovative packaging design, product labeling and recycling programs.
We continue to test solutions that take into account the fact that only a handful of U.S. municipalities can recycle soft plastics. These solutions include better communication with store employees about recycling opportunities at their location, creating in-store marketing materials and working with vendors to reduce the size of polybags shipped to stores.
We increased the recycled content of our e-commerce mailers from 35 to 50 percent and are using life cycle assessments to understand the impacts and performance of alternatives. In addition, we are collaborating through a cross-brand working group organized by The Fashion Pact to research and develop paper-based alternatives to polybags.
Old Navy has spearheaded several waste initiatives, which include expanding its hanger recycling program to about 65 percent of its stores, removing all apparel hang tags and replacing virgin plastic with recycled yarns and label tape. In addition, Old Navy has a goal to eliminate plastic shoppers in U.S. and Canada stores by 2023.
We perform life cycle assessments (LCAs) to understand environmental impacts across product life cycles—from design, to sourcing, to manufacturing, all the way to a customer’s closet. We use these to evaluate indicators such as product carbon emissions, chemicals, and water usage so that we can engage our supply chain, internal teams, and customers to help reduce the environmental impacts of our products at all stages.
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