SOURCING JOURNAL- September 15, 2016
By Genevieve Scarano
Cradle to Cradle’s Fashion Positive initiative just introduced a new workstream.
Fashion Positive PLUS, a membership collaborative launched Tuesday, emphasizes a volume pooling approach to increase the use of Cradle to Cradle Certified™ materials among pioneering brands, designers and suppliers. With Fashion Positive PLUS, the apparel industry will engage in circular practices and implement more sustainable materials together for a better environment.
“When you go back and think about how we started producing apparel, we didn’t know that we would have the kind of limitations that we have today,” Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute president Lewis Perkins said. “How do we shift that model that was launched and how do we celebrate abundance, yet have a positive impact?”
Cradle to Cradle is more than a nonprofit organization. According to Perkins, it emulates how nature looks to everything and how materials impact future cycles. With the nonprofit’s principles in mind, Fashion Positive is currently building a library of Cradle to Cradle Certified and circular economy-ready materials. Fashion Positive PLUS Members will jointly assess and grow the materials library to enforce sustainable practices in the apparel industry.
“An innovative material is not a verified material,” said Annie Gullingsrud, textiles and apparel sector director at Cradle to Cradle. “It’s not verified to go into the economy and back.”
Fashion Positive PLUS’ volume pooling methodology will allow members and Fashion Positive Leadership to collaborate on better apparel industry material production and usage.
First, members will identify pre-competitive foundational materials shared between PLUS Members, including dyes, chemicals, finishings, trims, base fabrics, yarns and more. Together, PLUS Members will evaluate these widespread materials for environmentally-friendly effectiveness.
Following this, members will contribute to collaborative material workstreams that will prepare the Fashion Positive Materials Collection. Cradle to Cradle Standard reviews are conducted and materials are then released to members for their own supply chains. This process allows better, more sustainable base materials to integrate quickly and efficiently into the apparel industry.
From September to December, interested parties may pledge to join Fashion Positive PLUS next year. Membership fees are categorized by revenues and all dues will go towards the collaboration for better sustainability in the apparel industry. More information about membership is available on Fashion Positive’s website.
“We are not going to be able to do it alone,” Gullingsrud said. “We are going to create the foundation and those clean and safe materials that are ready for the circular economy.”