Gary Comer was a philanthropist to the community and a prominent figure in the climate change movement in his own right. Lands' End continues to honor his vision in a variety of Lands' Friendly ways. From eschewing fast fashion to taking fresh steps towards a more sustainable future, here are just a few of the ways Lands’ End is committed to improving the planet.
There’s a reason it’s called “fast.” In essence, clothes deemed fast fashion are produced at a rapid pace to keep up with consumer demand to specific trends. These are the inexpensive clothes you spot in bulk at brick-and-mortar and digital retailers shortly after the trend appears on the runways. Lands’ End clothing is the very opposite of fast fashion. Every piece, from tunic tops to jersey dresses, is constructed with high-quality materials built to stand the test of time.
By contrast, fast fashion may be stylish, but these pieces have a limited shelf life — in more ways than one. Because they’re produced in a hurry, they’re made with subpar materials that aren’t designed to last for very long. Not only is production time quick, but so is the rate at which they’re worn and then discarded. Because trends are so fleeting, it’s not long before these garments are overlooked in favor of the next big trend to hit fast fashion. The cycle continues over and over again, contributing to more harmful impacts on the environment.
From an environmental perspective, fast fashion can do tremendous harm to the environment. The UN Environment Programme reports that fashion is responsible for some 20% of wastewater production in the world and releases about half a million tons of synthetic material into the ocean. This intrinsic link to an increase in global carbon emissions is sobering, especially given that it’s even more than what’s produced by maritime delivery and international flights combined.
Then there’s the question of fabrics used to design everything from women's dresses to blouses. A study found that fiber production alone is responsible for 15% of the fashion industry’s impact on global pollution. That has a direct impact on natural ecosystems, depleting resources like groundwater and fossil fuel energy over time. Synthetics like nylon and polyester can take centuries to biodegrade, and a report even found that some 35% of microplastics in the ocean are derived from laundering synthetic fabrics.
Is Lands’ End ethical and eco-friendly? In a word: yes — with plans for a bigger and brighter future for this beautiful planet. Those goals grow from the habits we practice today and the goals we’ve set for years to come. By 2022, we aim to produce 30% of products with water-conserving finishing processes. By 2025, our goal is to source 100% sustainable cotton, 100% of recycled polyester fibers, and to use 100% sustainable labels and packages. Even today, you'll find swimsuits, tote bags, and other high-quality items produced from recycled materials.
To be environmentally or eco-friendly, one must be making daily choices to use less and to reuse more. We know the slogan: reduce, reuse, recycle. It's the mantra we tell ourselves each and every day so that we can avoid landfills and encourage a more thoughtful and greener planet. Even small steps on an individual level can have a significant impact. As it goes, if individuals can make positive change, then the same ought to be true of businesses. That’s why Lands’ End sustainability practices are ever-changing as new climate concerns arise and effective solutions become clearer. It's also why you'll find an extensive range of environmentally-friendly products here, from outdoor furniture to clothing to accessories.
Durable clothing is far better for the environment than the fast-fashion trends that consume the textile industry. Lands' End sees it this way: If you're going to be consistent, be the best at being consistent. Flannels shirts and jeans rarely go out of style.
Poorly made clothing pollutes landfills, negatively impacts fresh water sources, and wastes resources. It makes more sense to buy clothes that are worth the money you pay for them, especially since you want to be a sustainable shopper.
In order to be a green company, those green habits have to be routine. When you want to be healthy yourself, you can't just go out and run a marathon, then go back to eating cheese puffs on the daily. Each and every day is a step forward, and luckily when the company got started in 1963 it was already way ahead in putting its greenest foot forward. The best companies for the environment are willing to produce change directly in their communities. Sure, donating a big chunk of change can make a difference, but when you have executives rolling up their sleeves to clean up the lakes or actively take part in the work culture, that says a boat load more than just a signature on a check. Eco friendly practice makes perfect.