OUR LATEST IMPACT REPORT
A lot can happen in 12 months!
Here we are in the first quarter of 2019, with so many exciting sustainability initiatives on the horizon! We’re still a long way from reaching our 2025 sustainability targets, but as we keep our eyes on 2025, it’s important to also look at what we have achieved over the past year.
In this report (which spans January to December 2018) we give you an insight into the complex challenges associated with how we do business and specifically our sustainability program. The below figures show both our victories and where we’ve fallen short and they help us identify where we need to focus resources in the future.
Measuring our impact is a crucial part of our sustainability journey. Through turning a microscope on our operations and being transparent with those who count (you guys!) we’re holding ourselves accountable and pushing ourselves further. Even though there are areas where we see much room for improvement, we are extremely proud to be measuring our impact and striving for continuous improvement.
Thank you for tuning in and taking the time to absorb all this data! Here we go...!
Our program is based on continuous improvement and is periodically reviewed and amended in order to stay true to our original vision.
Everything we claim will be independently verified by a third-party auditor in March 2019 to ensure integrity.
1. Supply Chain Transparency
A sustainable supply chain is built on traceability and accountability.
It means understanding where and how garments are made and using that information to empower our global partners to make more sustainable choices.
2018 SUPPLY CHAIN BREAKDOWN
In 2018, we partnered with 15 different suppliers (Tier 1) factories.
This represents over 2,946 employees in our direct global reach.
Here is the breakup of where our garments are made:
Ensuring the social / ethical well-being of our global family and manufacturing units has been our initial focus. We have a multifaceted system to ensure complete accountability and transparency of our supply chain.
Here is the breakdown:
Currently we have engaged these facilities, who have already locked in an audit for the upcoming quarter.
2. Sustainable Fibres
2018 was the year of fibres and fabrics. We knew that close to ⅔ of a garments impact occurs at the raw materials stages, we made this our core sustainability focus. In 2018, our production was split up as follows:
We define "sustainably sourced" through a wide range of material specific indicators that include land usage, water / energy / raw material inputs, toxicity, water / carbon / waste footprints. Recyclability and biodegradability are used to choose specific fibres and fabrics. We use a variety of accredited certification schemes to ensure we are meeting the highest international standards relating to a fibre's social and environmental impact.
We have quantified data by calculating SKU's. A SKU is defined as each style, per colourway designed, not quantity / volume produced. Calculations exclude jewellery SKUs due to the different baseline measure of materials used (fibres vs metals).
o Fibres must be derived from companies who have been audited against the Canopy Style standard and achieve the highest ranking (score of 20-35).
(3% of our production), these are still in early stages of development and were not utilised in 2018 production.
Global Recycle Standard (GRS) and Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) ensure that synthetic fibres are made from recycled material.
3. Social Advocacy
SPELL’s artisan program is aimed at supporting marginalised artisan and crafts people. It is based on the notion that people can live better lives when they have direct access to the global market.
HOW DO WE MEASURE?
All artisans are to be working via a Fair Trade certified organisation. This ensures the social criteria which is relevant to our code of conduct is being met.
Next, we examine the physical units/ number of artisans and time taken to measure advocacy impact.
We are aiming to maintain our current level of 2 artisan projects for 2019.
Every second the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is dumped in landfill or burned. This is solely due to the existing textile linear model in which we take – make - dispose. Within this model we cannot effectively address the sustainability of raw material or waste stages, therefore exposing limitations within our own program.
HOW DO WE MEASURE?
We and the rest of the fashion sector owe the planet. It has provided everything to get us to where we are today. And yet the sector has one of the largest environmental footprints for any industry globally. Simply we need to reduce our impacts and do so via a universally accepted methodology in which brands can benchmark themselves against. Making this available to consumers reveals the true cost of fashion and something we are all for.
HOW DO WE MEASURE?
When we are talking footprints, we are
talking carbon emissions, water and waste.
OUR 2018 GOAL
Source all domestic electricity from renewable energy.
Report on scope 1 & 2 carbon emissions for all domestic operations as per the Australian system; The National Carbon Offset Standard.
Define footprint methodology for broader supply chain.
Eliminate all non-biodegradable packaging related to garment orders.
All electricity for domestic operations was sourced from local, renewable resources. (Shout out to Enova our energy supplier who is doing great things in our local community, and Zero Emissions Byron for trying to get our whole community on renewables!)
CARBON EMISSIONS (SCOPE 1 AND 2)
We generated 40% of our domestic electricity via solar The remaining 56% was all sourced from local renewable resources. Therefore, no fossil fuels were used in producing electricity for any of our domestic operations.
Introduction of 100% Biodegradable LDPE garment bags
We haven’t finalised our methodology for our broader supply chain. Our aim was to find one methodology that provide facility level footprints to which we could benchmark our supply chain against the broader sector. Creating a methodology with limited scope and based broadly on assumptions that isn’t accepted by the wider sector, in our opinion, is pointless.
For 2019, this will be one of our core focuses and at this stage we are very much leaning towards the Sustainable Apparel Coalitions’ HIGG Index.
Additionally, we will be offsetting some of our footprints against a variety of domestic and international standards and programs.
Whilst our packaging is 100% biodegradable it is still derived from non-plant based materials, which we aren’t happy about. We are transitioning to 100% plant based compostable / biodegradable garment bags by July 2019.
6. Dyes & Prints
OUR 2018 GOAL
Engage consultant to help with our Restricted Substance List (RSL) strategy.
10 SKU’s to be 100% Botanically dyed
HOW WILL WE MEASURE?
It’s all about chemistry and we use the following tools:
Restricted Substance List (RSL)
Our aim is to finalise the RSL in 2019.
Additionally, we want a clear implementation plan that incorporates a verification relating to compliance.
7. Giving Back
We refer to the number of initiatives and dollars contributed.
OUR 2018 GOAL
2 Social or Environmental Initiatives
180k funds to distribute
In 2019, we will look to increase this figure by a staggering 84%!!! We are aiming to contribute 350K to philanthropic causes.
The Final Say
FULL REPORT AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
There is no greenwashing, no fluffy marketing or misleading information in this report. Sustainability data, metrics, goals, targets, victories and fails…. as it should be…. completely transparent. Despite some amazing progress, SPELL will certainly have to work hard to hit all the targets as set out in their seriously ambitious program. However, seeing such momentum and significant change (in a short period of time) I am positive the team will embrace the challenge.
Publisher: Simon Butler (Peterson Australia) & Spell Sustainability Team. January 2019
Auditor: Control Union Australia. March 2019