Nanushka is doing its part to help the planet.
The Hungary-based fashion brand has released its first sustainability report in an effort to assure its customers that the issue is still of upmost importance to the company despite a pandemic that has derailed much of the fashion community.
“We feel it is our duty to be transparent with our customers about our operations, materials and processes,” said Peter Baldaszti, chief executive officer, and Sandra Sandor, founder and creative director of Nanushka. “That’s part of the reason why we have commissioned this sustainability report. It enables us to share our beliefs, efforts and overall approach to sustainability with the public and to hold ourselves accountable going forward. Though 2020 has been a challenging year for business, we’re pleased to say that our sustainability efforts go on uninterrupted; in fact, they go on with increased vigor and determination.”
Last year, Nanushka created a dedicated sustainability team, a more comprehensive strategy and a dedicated budget to invest in three interconnected pillars: circularity, community and earth. It also partnered with Deloitte to measure the brand’s environmental and social impact across the supply chain, gathering data from its internal operations as well as local manufacturers in Hungary.
Since then, it has continued to increase the certified sustainable materials within its collections as it moves closer to its goal of 100 percent sustainability by 2025. Current figures stand at 47 percent with men’s wear and 48 percent with women’s wear for the fall 2020 collections, up from 5 and 35 percent, respectively, in the spring season. Since fabrics account for the largest environmental impact, the sustainability team works closely with the design, development and sourcing departments to ensure the materials and production methods are as sustainable as possible for each collection.
Additionally, the company has planted 4,800 trees to offset its aviation air emissions in 2019, 500 of which were planted by employees in November of this year. The trees are also intended to contribute to restoring the ecological value of a naturally degraded area in Northern Hungary.
To enhance its circularity efforts, Nanushka has been a member of the Ellen MacArthur Make Fashion Circular program since 2018 and participates in the organization’s workshops on the subject. In addition to increasing the ratio of recycled materials it uses, the brand has increased its inventory of deadstock fabrics for upcoming collections. Some of those deadstock fabrics are also being donated to support the Green Theatre Movement in Hungary and various design schools.
Other circular initiatives include RePack, a returnable and reusable packaging option Nanushka has offered as an online shipping option since 2020; a partnership with TheRealReal to support customers’ secondhand consignments; a repair and tailoring service that has launched in its retail locations, and rental programs through Rent the Runway and HURR, the latter of which launched this month. And as reported, it has started working with Eon, the leading connected products platform, on its resort 2021 collection. When a customer purchases a Nanushka connected garment and scans a QR code, they can unlock services and amenities including styling insights, instructions for resale, sustainability credentials and services for rental peer-to-peer sharing.
“We believe in the vision of a circular economy, and we recognize our responsibility as a brand to proactively take steps toward building a circular fashion system where products and materials are utilized at their most and where connected products enhance the user experience through an increased level of transparency,” said Sandor. “We partnered with Eon, who makes this step possible with their leading connected products technology shaping a better future of consumption and production.”
Additionally, Nanushka developed a more comprehensive Code of Conduct and visited 83 percent of its manufacturers last year to ensure they meet the company’s standards. It also created seasonal job opportunities in an economically challenged area of rural Hungary through the ongoing Noha x Nanushka collaboration, educating and equipping a small group of women to produce ceramic trims for seasonal collections.
And in light of the heightened attention to the Black Lives Matter movement, the brand has launched a Design for Life Mentorship Program to support young fashion talent from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities by offering paid internships in the design department.
Looking beyond 2020, Nanushka will commit to annual reporting of the progress it is making in its sustainability program in the hope of inspiring other brands and customers to embrace the initiative in their businesses and lives.
Founded by London College of Fashion graduate Sandor in 2005, Nanushka bohemian-inspired wardrobe pieces for men and women. The brand is carried in more than 60 countries and over 300 retailers including Le Bon Marché, Selfridges and Net-a-Porter. Nanushka also has flagships in Budapest, New York and London.