With Earth Day approaching, outdoor powerhouse The North Face revealed a series of actionable commitments to become a more sustainable company that it intends to hit by 2025.
For instance, The North Face identified how it makes products as an opportunity for the largest environmental reduction, and to make the process more eco-friendly, it confirmed that 100% of the top materials used for apparel will be recycled, regenerative or renewable by 2025. Also, the brand stated 100% of the polyester and 80% of the nylon fabrics will be made with recycled content by 2023.
Although lofty, The North Face senior manager of global sustainability Carol Shu explained to FN that it is the goal the company is closest to completing.
“We’ve been on a continual journey to create our products more responsibly and are proud of the progress we’ve made. For context, in 2010, only 6% of our synthetic materials were recycled. Ten years later, that number had increased to 57%, and by fall 2021, 72% of our synthetic materials will be recycled,” Shu told FN. “Now, we’re formally and publicly committing that 100% of our top materials will be recycled, regenerative, and/or responsibly sourced renewable by 2025 for apparel, and we have the expertise and supply chain partners to get us there.”
Additionally, The North Face stated it will accelerate the sustainability of its operations, logistics and packaging, which includes the elimination of all single-use plastic packaging by 2025.
The company also explained how it will work to scale circularity, which includes launching fully circular apparel of converted franchise styles in fall ’22 and the launch of three new initiatives with combating waste and extending the life of products in mind: Renewed Collection, Lifetime Warranty and Clothes the Loop. (Starting on Earth Day, the company will accept lightly used TNF apparel from consumers that will become part of the Renewed program.)
“In fall 2022, for the first time, The North Face will launch a collection of more than 30 styles across apparel and accessories that are designed for circularity,” Shu said. “Many brands have launched single collections, but we’re looking to scale circularity by converting franchise styles and introducing new lines.”
Lastly, The North Face will include its “Exploration Without Compromise” seal online and in-store to identify its most sustainable products. The apparel, equipment and accessories must be made with 75% or greater recycled, organic, regenerative or responsibly-sourced renewable materials by weight to earn the seal.)
“We know that products have an inherent environmental impact, but by choosing a product with lower impact, customers are driving up demand and increased supply for environmentally conscious products,” Shu said.