The fashion industry has a significant impact on the planet’s inhabitants and resources. As of today, it is the second most polluting industry in the world.
But fashion is powerful: it is a way to communicate, and choosing a more valuable consumption can bring a statement to the world. A "sustainable fashion garment" is a piece that is produced with the awareness of its impact, at every step of the value chain. These garments come from designers, collections or brands, and deliver values beyond the product. At Staiy, we gather them with high standards.
Staiy is able to perform an objective, fact-based of the degree of sustainability of each brand. The Staiy Evaluation is linked to our 5 Pillars of Sustainability: Water, Air, Materials, Work Conditions and Commitment.
Why do they matter?
Water is one of the key elements to life. Its cycle determines entire ecosystems’ equilibrium, access to it signifies survival. Earth’s freshwater supply only represents 1% of the total water in the globe. The fashion industry is strongly dependent on water, from harvesting to dyeing and washing. It is the second-largest consumer of the world’s water supply.
The misuse of water in fashion arises in different areas: from sourcing to discharging, processes at industry level are often not treating water with the appropriate parsimony or respect. Highly water stressing processes often increase the risks of water crisis in the exporting countries. Toxic discharges are frequent especially in the dyeing phase, releasing chemicals and polluting the nearby streams, affecting entire ecosystems both locally and far downstream. Sustainable brands choose producers that monitor their water consumption, that reuse water where possible, and opt for waterless non toxic solutions when possible.
We support brands that respect our water, for the life that depends on it. Brands that score high under the water pillar understand the plurality of stakeholders interconnected with it, and take the appropriate measures when producing. We stand with them for the attribution of the right values to our most precious resource.
The earth is surrounded by air, a mixture of extremely important gases such as oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen. Air is fundamental to living beings: a person takes about 11,000 liters of air a day. The air we breathe, though, is polluted: the levels of CO2 (carbon dioxide, the most dangerous and prevalent greenhouse gas) are at the highest ever recorded. One of the most significant consequences is on climate change, particularly global warming and its effects.
The fashion industry plays an important role in carbon emissions: it releases more carbon than international flights and maritime shipping combined, and accounts for 10% of all humanity's carbon emissions alone. Long and international supply chains are fueled by the chase of cheap labor at every step of the value chain: from harvesting, spinning, dying and crafting, clothing items fly several miles before arriving in our wardrobes. The remaining overproduced and unsold inventory is often shipped to landfills or incinerated, contributing to additional emission.
At Staiy, we dig into what each brand does to lower their emissions. From local production to renewable energies implementation, our brands that score high under the Air Pillar have significantly reduced the carbon footprint of their production when compared to the average producer. We stand with them for a better air quality worldwide.
Materials are the tangible touchpoint between the brand and the final customer. They play a key role in determining the quality, looks and durability of a clothing item, as well as the satisfaction of the end customer. The textiles that are in touch with our skin on a daily basis all have different characteristics, yet their footprint is not visible to the client. From the usage of the chemicals to how much water it took to grow, wash and dye, every step in the choice of materials has an impact.
Textiles production requires an intensive input of resources, from oil to water to energy. Choosing the right materials is important - the consequences extend to soil, freshwaters, natural resources, and overall environmental balance. The industry’s use of resources is not optimized, especially for materials - of the total fiber input used for clothing, 87% eventually ends in landfills or is incinerated, with a lost opportunity of more than USD 100 billion annually. Such inefficiencies harm the planet both economically and environmentally, and can be easily resolved at the root.
Our brands choose to produce their garments organically, with innovative materials, improving the item’s quality, its pre and post-purchase footprint, and minimizing waste and discharges. Techniques such as upcycling and recycling, together with a conscious materials choice, are what we look for in our partners. Whether organic, upcycled or created from previous waste (such as plastic bottles), our partners craft their pieces giving thought to the choice of materials. We stand with them for a conscious choice of materials, maximization of resources and sustainable innovation.
Work is at the root of the social structure, and represents the means for humans to satisfy basic needs such as food and shelter. Under the proper work conditions, populations can gain independence and empowerment, access to resources and wealth, develop and thrive.
The fashion industry has a major role in the labor market. Known to be one of the global largest low wage employers, it is also one of the most female-dominated industries in the world. For these women, development is closely linked to their conditions at work: gaining a decent pay, working under dignified conditions and having basic work security represent a chance of moving out of poverty, being able to provide children with education and to become more independent.
Safe working conditions, regulated plants, fair wages and access to empowerment and education for all workers is what we stand for. Commitment to respect human rights and effective abolition of child labor is necessary. Our brands that score high under the Workers Pillar have achieved significantly better working conditions when compared to the average producer. We stand with them for better opportunities for the workers of the fashion industry and of the world.
Good is contagious. Supporting major causes with a higher goal is a beneficial experience. When we are able to give to others, not only we do spread good: we open doors to opportunities, education, resources, independence, innovation and growth. This is key to lead the change for a better future.
The fashion industry destabilizes the world’s equilibriums in many ways: polluting wastewaters, emitting 10% of the world’s carbon emissions, opting for the wrong materials, incrementing economic disparity between classes. A times, carelessly acting. Many though are the players that recognize the bigger picture and are willing to become better producers.
Our brands not only commit to producing in a better way, they also place aside to give back to the community and environment. Contributing and donating to relevant causes and social projects, they represent sustainability in its most complete form: economical, environmental and social. We stand with them to channel worldwide efforts towards the creation of opportunities, increasing quality of life and supporting innovation in the respect of our planet.
At Staiy, we set a high bar in terms of sustainability standards.
In our Staiy Sustainability Evaluation, brands disclose their practices under each pillar, allowing for an assessment of the brand's footprint through their value chain. Beyond the evaluation, we screen the brand's certificates and compare publicly available information with declared practices to determine the transparency of a brand. Only the ones that meet the standards are accepted.
The questionnaire consists of 62 quantitative and qualitative questions in which each question is integrated with two UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and categorized into our 5 Pillars: Water, Air, Materials, Work Conditions, and Commitment.
The Sustainability Evaluation serves three functions. Firstly, it helps brands to identify their strengths and weaknesses on the 5 Pillars through their value chain. Secondly, it measures and scores in an objective manner the efforts under each Pillar, after an in-depth assessment. Thirdly, it serves the purpose of transparently and intuitively indicate to the Staiy users the sustainability efforts of each brand with the Impact Points.
Staiy aims to incentivize and guide brands on becoming a leader in environmental transparency and action towards our mission.
The Sustainability questionnaire consists of 45 quantitative questions and 17 qualitative, for a total of 62 questions. The scoring methodology utilizes a 5 point scale, where top relevant questions are assigned the most points. To ensure an objective evaluation of the answers, the majority of the scoring is performed in an automated way. The remaining answers are individually evaluated by the Sustainability Department, which follows specific guidelines on the evaluation of these open answers.
To further refine the rank of each question, we researched 2 to 3 pieces of evidence of relevancy. The facts were investigated on reliable sources, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), World Resources Institute, World Bank, Fashion Industry Pulse, Ellen Mac Arthur Foundation and many other research papers and scientific working group reports. Majority of the questions is based and adapted from well-renowned standard organizations, such as the Global Reporting Initiative, CDP and the UN Global Compact. These organizations commonly assess businesses' sustainability performance on issues such as climate change and human rights. Some of the questions were adapted to the fashion and textile sphere, as standard organizations do not specifically design their questions for these industries.
To each question, the Staiy Sustainability Evaluation links two specific SDGs' contribution. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) identify priorities and objectives for 2030 global sustainable development and aim to unite global efforts around a shared set of goals and targets. The SDGs enable companies to explore relevant indicators that can be useful in measuring and reporting an organization’s state of sustainability practices and development.
Under the Water pillar, measurements of water usage are assessed, including the percentage of water reuse and recyclability. Recycling on-site water is a highly valuable practice: doing so means diminishing the energy needed to move or pump water, reducing the fashion industry's intense water consumption. In terms of water security, we ask brands whether they have any specific active participation with suppliers, local communities, NGOs and customer awareness. In particular, we consider their cooperation with the supply chain. The questionnaire carefully analyzes the predominance of water stress and the role of companies in measuring water aspects an implementing less water-intensive practices.
In the Air pillar, we assess different areas of the operations. Measurement of the levels of energy consumption throughout operations and supply chain is among the first important factors. Any effort to reduce emissions and mitigate climate change starts from energy sourcing and efficiency, where renewable sources are valued. On the supply chain side, brands need to disclose the proportion of their freight transport, including the regions in which the production process is performed and where the product can be purchased. As yearly return items are extremely high, we also assess brands’ proportion of these. Participation in carbon offsetting initiatives is also beneficial to score well under the Air pillar.
Materials is a wide section that consists of questions to evaluate brands’ upstream and downstream, including items that are reused or recycled from raw materials, packaging and clothing. In the Materials section, two are the valued areas: sustainable production processes and innovative materials implementation. The first covers ways in which our partners minimize waste and discharge, the proportion of man-made and natural fiber, the staff training on the correct use of chemicals and the traceability of materials from their supply chain. In the second, main materials, innovative textiles implementation and collections are evaluated.
Brands have a responsibility to ensure that fundamental human rights are secured throughout the supply chain. This includes eradicating child labor, providing safe and healthy workplaces, properly remunerating employees, and ensuring fair treatment for everyone. Gender equality and fair wages are highly valued, as the fashion industry is among the largest low wage and woman employer. A clear zero-tolerance policy for gender-based violence and harassment, or the percentage of women in middle and senior management, are among the relevant factors in a brand’s evaluation. The practices used to promote economic inclusion when selecting suppliers are assessed. Building a strong economic foundation for local communities and providing men and women with decent and equal rewarding salaries is the key to scoring well under the Work Conditions pillar.
Under this section, we assess the participation of our partner brands to social projects, NGOs, profit sharing and other causes. The section contains the highest number of qualitative answers across the survey and aims to understand the motivation and practices of a brand to extend their impact beyond their current business. Brands that are committed to shaping the reality of our tomorrow are taking action already today. Commitment is the fundamental factor towards supporting today the causes that will create a better tomorrow, for us and for future generations.
This year, Staiy has teamed up with One Tree Planted: the non-profit organization leading global reforestation efforts while collaborating with local communities. In One Tree Planted we found a trusted partner, approaching in a comprehensive way the theme of sustainability. Their primary focus is on global reforestation, and the broader scope is even higher. By collaborating with individuals and businesses, our partner is dedicated to give back to the environment, create a healthier climate, support local communities, protect biodiversity and help reforestation efforts around the world.
Standing with OneTreePlanted, the Staiy community is not only contributing to reforestation efforts around the globe - it is also supporting broader purposes.
We stand with them and support their causes, united for a better tomorrow.
This year, we chose to support four projects from our partner: empowering women in Rwanda, restoring the Amazon rainforest in Peru, protecting endangered wildlife in Indonesia and providing a source for water in Kenya thanks to the local approach of its partner. You can find out more about the amazing projects we support and donate your Impact Points to plant a tree around the globe on your personal profile page.
The Staiy Sustainability Evaluation assigns Impact Points to each of the brands found on the platform. The individual points are calculated under our Five Pillars: Water, Air, Materials, Work Conditions and Commitment. When purchasing a product, our users receive the points assigned to the related brand.
Once you have collected enough, you can turn your Impact Points into a donation to a non-profit organization working for a better tomorrow. The points that Staiy provides to its users have therefore a monetary value, that can only be used for good causes.
Staiy is proud to financially support the causes that matter for the welfare of society, giving up part of its profits to extend the positive impact made on our planet.
To discover which incredible projects Staiy is supporting, find out more about OneTreePlanted, and donate your points, please visit your profile footprint page. Spread the good!