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New Banana Republic and Old Navy sustainability goals

US speciality apparel retailer Gap Inc has set new brand-specific targets for Banana Republic and Old Navy to accelerate the company's use of more sustainable materials in apparel production and reduce the environmental impacts of product manufacturing.

The San Francisco-based retailer says the move builds on 2017 commitments made by the company's namesake Gap brand and Athleta.

Banana Republic

At Banana Republic, the company will continue to integrate sustainability into design and manufacturing decisions to reduce the environmental impacts of each garment. It has also committed to:

Sustainable cotton and fibres by 2023: The brand aims to source 100% of its cotton from more sustainable sources, primarily sourcing through the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), as well as through recycled and organic sources. Additionally, at least 50% of all Banana Republic branded product will aim to source sustainable fibres, including: cotton through the BCI, partnering with Canopy-compliant suppliers to source preferred man-made cellulosics; sourcing recycled and responsible wool from vendors that are compliant under the Responsible Wool Standard; linen and recycled polyester.

Reduce water impact and promote cleaner chemistry by 2025: Banana Republic aims to make 50% of all products with techniques that save at least 20% water in comparison to conventional methods at mills and at laundries. This will include Banana Republic leveraging the smart denim wash programme called Washwell, which was launched by Gap brand in 2016 and reduces water usage by 20% or more in the product's garment wash stage for denim products. The brand will also focus on using cleaner chemistry in the supply chain, leveraging Gap Inc's Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) commitment and ongoing efforts to select more preferred chemistry options in Banana Republic's products.

Eco-friendly denim: In addition to adopting Washwell, Banana Republic will also utilise more sustainable dye methods, such as foam dye, eco-friendly finishes such as bio-softeners and laser technology, and trims made out of recycled materials, to make its denim more eco-friendly.

Old Navy

Meanwhile, Old Navy will also increase its sourcing of sustainable cotton and enhance efforts to use water-saving techniques. The brand sells 27,000 Rockstar jeans each day – making the scale of its sustainability goals around denim and cotton significant. In addition, the brand has made the following commitments:

Sustainable cotton by 2022: Old Navy aims to source 100% of its cotton from more sustainable sources, primarily through the Better Cotton Initiative as well as through verified, responsibly-grown cotton and recycled cotton.

Water-saving efforts by 2022: 100% of Old Navy's denim product aims to be made using techniques that save water, including proven wash processes. In spring 2019, 60% of its denim was made using Washwell techniques. In addition, the brand has also unveiled its new Heart Earth website to communicate product sustainability efforts directly to customers.

Gap Inc is currently in the midst of spinning off Old Navy into an independent publicly traded company.

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