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Athleta reaches sustainability milestone, targets remain ambitious

We all know that two of the biggest obsessions for youthful consumers are athleisure and sustainability, so it’s no surprise brands that specialise in the former are also racing to boost their activity in the latter area.

Late last week, Gap Inc’s Athleta announced that, as of its April catalogue, as many as 60% of its materials are now made with sustainable fibres.

The brand said that it “has worked aggressively to increase the sustainability in its line by sourcing materials including recycled polyester and nylon, Tencel Modal, Tencel Lyocell and organic cotton, and using more efficient fabric dyeing and finishing techniques.”

It added that recycled polyester alone has diverted the equivalent of more than 38 million plastic bottles from landfill since 2014.

And with both children and young women especially passionate about sustainability, it’s significant that sustainable materials have also carried into the Athleta Girls offer, reaching 69% of the styles in the upcoming Summer collection.

The company said that the milestone it has reached also includes an S/S 19 swimwear offer with 85% of styles made with sustainable fabrics including the launch of two new fabrics. H2Eco “saved 72,264 kilograms of waste from hitting landfills, and AquaRib, which uses Econyl, a material 100% made from regenerated nylon fibre sourced from abandoned fishing nets and other discarded nylon”.

The company’s goal for next year remains 80% of its materials being made with sustainable fibres. And there are other areas in which it’s just making a start with sustainable processes that it plans to increase radically in the next few years. For instance, currently 4% of products are made using techniques that save water and the goal is 25% by 2020.

“We believe that with growth comes even greater responsibility to lead as a force for good and protect our planet for the next generation,” said Nancy Green, CEO and President of Athleta. “At our size, we know we can make a big impact – whether diverting waste by converting our Trekkie hike collection to recycled nylon or reaching millions of women through the stories we tell in our catalog. We can show women they don’t have to compromise on performance or beauty to do right by our planet.”

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