FRAME BETS ON ‘RESPONSIBLE LEATHER’: Whether it’s continuing the transition to more sustainable raw materials or processes, the industry is increasingly getting on board with the shift — and tapping into new sustainability data to support it.
In October 2019, Frame announced the launch of its sustainable denim line rethinking hardware, inner pockets and traditional washing techniques. Since then, the contemporary brand has been increasing its retail footprint and use of responsible fibers.
Counting Bluesign-certified silk from China, organic Pima cotton from Peru, recycled cashmere yarns from Italy among its materials used, Frame is diving into what it’s calling “responsible leather.”
“I think we go category by category — start where you can have the most impact,” said cofounder and co-creative director, Erik Torstensson. Today, about 10 percent of Frame’s product assortment is organic Pima cotton, with cotton, polyester and elastane being dominant fabrics.
Using its partner Real Grade Leather, Frame sources skins from New Zealand where legislation is strictly set for animal welfare. Because leather acts as a by-product of the meat and dairy industry, audits are in place throughout to ensure traceability and compliance.
“It should go without saying, but the brand should be a reflection of the cofounders,” Torstensson said. “Three or four years back when we found ourselves recycling our own households and offsetting our flights, we decided to take things seriously. It’s very hard to change once you’ve already started.”
The responsible leather will make its debut in two silhouettes this winter, the responsible leather sleeveless puffer that retails for $1,298 and the responsible leather wrap puffer, retailing for $1,698. Torstensson says responsible leather will be a recurring design choice in later collections.
“Our definition of sustainability is about style — not fashion. Fashion is not sustainable. Style is longevity and character. That’s what Frame is about: new twists on the classics,” he said.
“The study results further demonstrate a proactive wool industry that is continually improving its environmental and safety performance,” said Angus Ireland, The Woolmark Company’s program manager, fiber advocacy and eco-credentials.
Ireland said the “highly positive trend” can be attributed to the responsible use of insecticides by the roughly 60,000 wool producers that work with the Australian Wool Innovation, Woolmark’s parent company. Swift changes came as a result of insecticide policies and practices set into place by the Australian and New Zealand governments.
Its timing reflects an ongoing fight for positive representation among textile and fiber industries as the European Commission, for one, is looking to trial methodology with its Product Environmental Footprint pilot initiative. The wool industry is engaged with the initiative to offer up facts on its industry to inform potential regulatory requirements.
“We are a member of the Technical Secretariat for Apparel and Footwear and are actively contributing to the methodology development, with the aim of ensuring a level playing field between natural and synthetic fibers,” he said. Ireland maintains that scoring is still a work in progress. “It is clear that PEF scoring for apparel is a long way from market-ready and we’ve communicated this concern to the EC, together with our recommendation that PEF should not be mandated until the rating scheme is proven to be robust and meaningful.”
ITALIAN FASHION PRIORITIZES SUSTAINABILITY DATA: In a partnership between technology firms Higg Co., based in San Francisco, and Italian technology firm Dedagroup, Italian luxury and fashion companies will gain access to a suite of new sustainability data.
Last week at Dedagroup’s “Stealth Day” event, the company introduced its Stealth Sustainability Solution to the global fashion community and announced its membership in the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, the organization that formulates the methodology for the Higg index. Dedagroup is said to service more than 60 percent of Italian fashion and luxury brands with its Stealth fashion platform.
“Many global companies are now incorporating corporate social responsibility into their standard operations. For Dedagroup customers, this new partnership eases the process of gathering trusted sustainability data and tracking improvement progress over time,” said Dedagroup sales director Luca Tonello.
With the partnership, millions of Higg data points on materials, products and facilities can be accessed across enterprises to shape the product development and delivery process. By spring, the rollout will be complete so Italian brands like Missoni and Twinset can tap Higg data from Dedagroup’s widely used supply chain management systems.
“Customers now have the ability to factor in sustainability as a core metric when designing products and the associated manufacturing processes,” Higg Co. chief technology officer John Armstrong said.
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