LONDON — May 17, 2022 — Alpine Group — a longstanding manufacturing partner for renowned fashion brands that include The North Face, American Eagle Outfitters, Under Armour and Sweaty Betty — becomes the first textile innovation and apparel manufacturing business globally to undertake the Future-Fit Business Benchmark. The science-based strategic management tool aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and clearly defines the destination for businesses wishing to evaluate how much more needs to be done in order to take credible action towards a future-fit society.
Announced on the occasion of Alpine Group’s 40th anniversary, the adoption of the benchmark marks a significant step forward in driving progress for an industry where consumers, investors, and employees alike are demanding more accountability, especially from brands. Alpine Group’s sustainability commitments as driven by the Benchmark highlight the critical role that textile innovation and apparel manufacturing play in driving systemic change throughout the fashion value chain.
“In the early years when I was visiting textile and dyeing mills, I had seen with my own eyes the damage the industry was doing, and no one seemed to care about sustainability then. Fixing that broken system requires collective effort,” said Ashok Mahtani, co-founder and chairman of Alpine Group. “At Alpine, we have spent the past 40 years researching and pioneering sustainable breakthroughs in materials science and manufacturing technology. Adopting the Future-Fit Business Benchmark now is our way of accelerating change by bringing the rest of the industry — brands and partners alike — on this journey with us. We do it so that our innovation and manufacturing can positively impact the entire value chain.”
In line with the Future-Fit Business Benchmark, Alpine Group is pursuing a comprehensive sustainability strategy dubbed ‘Threading the Future’ that will address three holistic areas of impact, namely Materials and Innovation; People Development and Empowerment; as well as Environmental Impact and Community Action.
Group-wide commitments across the three fronts include:
Every Thread Counts (Materials and Innovation)
• By 2023, greater than 60 percent of all polyester will come from recycled bottle or textile waste (Paradise is a signatory on the Textile Exchange rPET challenge, committing to >45% rPET by 2025)
• By 2023, 100 percent of all MMCF (man-made cellulose fiber) from wood pulp will be sourced from Canopy Green Shirt fiber manufacturers — leading global standard for sustainable MMCF manufacturers
• By 2025, 100 percent of all cotton will come from sustainable sources according to guidelines defined by the Textile Exchange’s Sustainable Cotton Challenge (Paradise is a signatory on the Textile Exchange Sustainable Cotton Challenge)
• By 2025, 25 percent of all garments will be produced with solution dyed materials to reduce overall water consumption
• By 2030, 75 percent of all man-made cellulosic fiber will be from tree-free sources — e.g., agricultural waste, bacterial cellulose
Every Action Counts (Environmental Impact and Community Action)
• All manufacturing facilities across the Group will pursue the use 100 percent renewable energy by 2030
• Set a Science-Based Target, to set a clearly defined path in reducing the Group’s scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions in line with the Paris Agreement goals
Every Person Counts (People Development and Empowerment)
• Support a minimum of 250,000 women, on top of the 50,000 per year in the next five years through our Dignity Kits program. This program uses textiles waste to create kits that alleviate period poverty
• In Egypt, drive a HERfinance partnership with HERproject, digitalizing wages within the apparel workforce and empowering production floor team members to take advantage of the benefits of digital wages and enhance financial literacy
Lewis Shuler, head of Innovation at Paradise Textiles, Alpine Group’s dedicated innovation hub, said: “The apparel industry has long been mired in debates about the sustainability problem, often sidestepping each other even as greenwashing continues unabated. What our industry needs to make fashion fit for the future is more collaboration on more solutions from all angles.” He added: “Our sustainability innovations include our work on textile-to-textile recycling technology and processes that help to minimize waste at scale, and thus, at an accessible price point. Beyond textile recycling, we are also continuing to research and push for the use of better bio-based alternatives that deliver on performance, such as corn and hemp, while also deploying advanced Physical Tracer technology that facilitates transparency and authenticity to all materials we use.”
Alpine Group’s announcement as the first textile innovation and apparel manufacturing business globally to adopt the Future-Fit Business Benchmark follows the recent launch of its ‘Factory of the Future’ as part of Alex Apparels’ state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Egypt. Set to open in late 2022, the factory is expected to provide an additional 2,000+ jobs for the local community. The Group is in the process of securing LEED Gold certification for the facility, a voluntary environmental certification system to recognize the sustainability attributes of design, construction, operation and maintenance of buildings.
Commenting on the significance of Alpine Group’s announcement for the industry at large, Dr. Geoff Kendall, co-founder and CEO of Future-Fit Foundation, said: “The transition to true sustainability is going to be long and hard for any business — and like any journey, you don’t get very far unless you know exactly where you’re going. The Future-Fit Business Benchmark defines the destination all companies need to aim for and offers guidance to steer toward it. Unfortunately, many businesses still find the idea of real transformation daunting, so settle for incremental improvement to the unsustainable status quo. That widespread lack of ambition only serves to underline the importance of Alpine Group’s commitment to Future-Fit. It’s a milestone development that stands to pave the way for the fashion industry as a whole. Hopefully other organizations will follow Alpine Group’s lead — to play their part in building a better world.”
Posted May 24, 2022
Source: Alpine Group