Its name explains itself. Reformation, a Los Angeles-based clothing brand, aims to reform the fashion industry to be more sustainable, ethical and positively impactful. They start by sourcing sustainable fabrics and vintage garments. More than half of their clothing is made from recycled materials and turned into fabrics like Tencel and Viscose. Another 15% of their fabrics are vintage—giving a second life to previously disposed of garments.
“Something is only sustainable if it’s good for the environment, good for society and makes some good money. We happen to think those things aren’t mutually exclusive.”
In addition to using sustainable and recycled fabrics, Reformation invests in the most eco-friendly and pro-social technologies on the market to manufacture their designs. By using a system called RefScale, the brand can track their environmental footprint then calculate how Reformation’s products help to reduce their impact compared to conventional brands.
The system does this by following the lifecycle of clothes and calculating how much Reformation offsets their environmental footprint. The best part is that the brand publishes the total calculation of all the resources used, saved, and offset on each product page. This way customers know the true cost of each piece.
Reformation’s factory life revolves around five pillars of ethicality: energy-efficiency, recycling, the team, wages, and benefits. To be energy-efficient, the brand’s factories source electricity from wind power suppliers and use LED lighting and Energy-Star rated appliances with plans to switch to solar power in the near future. They recycle, compost organic wastes, and donate textile scraps, which allows them to recycle around 75% of their total garbage.
As for the human factor, Reformation’s management team is made up of three-quarters women or people from underrepresented minorities. Their workers are mostly paid above minimum wage and half of their factory workers are even paid above the LA living wage threshold (which we all know is high). Lastly, the company provides health benefits for all full-time employees.
Although their practices are rare (sadly) in the fashion industry, we have looked at several other brands with similar ethical practices in the past few weeks. So, what makes Reformation stand out? For one, their attention to detail. Not only do they practice what they preach, but they also strive to educate all consumers on how to improve the fashion industry. They even go as far as to give instructions on the most sustainable ways to do laundry on their website. (If you don’t believe me, click here.) Second, is their die-hard, don’t give a you-know-what about what others think attitude towards saving the planet one garment at a time. If you need proof, just take a look at their tagline:
“Being naked is the #1 most sustainable option. We’re #2.”