prAna to tackle excess packaging in fashion supply chain - Just Style
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prAna to tackle excess packaging in fashion supply chain

By Beth Wright 18 Aug 2020

Columbia Sportswear Company's prAna label has launched a new initiative to help brands remove plastic and virgin-forest-fibre packaging from their supply chains as part of its efforts to organise an industry-wide shift towards responsibly made options.

Columbia Sportswear Company’s prAna label has launched a new initiative to help brands remove plastic and virgin-forest-fibre packaging from their supply chains as part of its efforts to organise an industry-wide shift towards responsibly made options.

The Responsible Packaging Movement builds on prAna’s commitment to abolish plastic from its consumer packaging by 2021, as well as to put an end to the use of materials from ancient and endangered forests by 2022, and virgin forest fibres by 2025. 

It sees the brand work with non-profit organisations 5 Gyres and Canopy to share what it has learnt since it implemented its own grassroots approach to reducing plastic in its packaging in 2010.

“We’ve been working on this mission within our own walls for over ten years. But we know that in order to make the biggest impact possible, we can’t do it alone. That’s why we’ve created this space, so that our fellow like-minded brands can join in the Responsible Packaging Movement, always with full respect of antitrust and other applicable laws,” prAna says.

“By creating room for collaboration, we all have a platform to share our best practices and learn together. And by sharing what we’ve experienced here at prAna during this decade of trial and error, our hope is that it will inspire other brands and offer the necessary guidance to jumpstart their own journeys.”

Brands wishing to join the initiative must create their own responsible packaging goals that align with the aim of removing plastic packaging and virgin-forest-fibre packaging and share them with prAna’s sustainability team. While sharing these goals publicly is not a requirement, prAna says it highly encourages members to do so.

Once on board, prAna will provide support through its Responsible Packaging Guides, including distribution and packaging best practices, guidance via webinars and email communications and access to industry leaders via roundtable discussions.

US menswear brand Outerknown, Toad & Co, and Mara Hoffman are already onboard.

“Packaging has been a constant struggle for those building a sustainability framework for their companies and their own personal lives. The long-awaited Responsible Packaging Movement is instrumental in actively eliminating single-use plastic and virgin forest fibre from packaging,” brand partner Mara Hoffman says in a statement.

“Accountability is key, action critical. We hope to see many other brands and individuals join this campaign and show that this is a problem that can be addressed, and through collectivism, will be resolved for the planet, its people and all its inhabitants.”

Consumers are also encouraged to take part in the initiative by making responsible choices in order to reduce single-use plastic packaging, virgin forest fibre packaging, and excess packaging waste in their everyday lives. 

prAna announced the move with a post to Instagram.

We’ve been cooking this up for over 10 years and are excited to finally share this moment with you! Welcome to the Responsible Packaging Movement. Since 2010, we’ve made immense strides to replace harmful, outdated materials with earth-friendly alternatives. We know to make the greatest positive impact on the planet, we need to come together as brands to #ReshapePackaging. By sharing what we’ve experienced through a decade of trial and error, our hope is to give other brands support and guidance to create and activate their own responsible packaging goals. We’re asking fellow brands and our worldwide prAna community, to join us on this journey toward eliminating excess packaging waste from supply chains in a long-lasting way. Currently, @marahoffman, @outerknown, @toadandcoclothing, @5gyres, and @canopyplanet are champions for change, will you be next? Hit the link #linkinbio to learn more.

A post shared by prAna (@prana) on

A series of initiatives have launched across the industry in recent months as part of a move away from plastic packaging and greater recognition of the need to develop more sustainable alternatives.

A pilot scheme that aims to tackle the issue of plastic polybag waste in the fashion industry relaunched earlier this month after coming to a pause earlier this year due to the outbreak of coronavirus.

The Polybag Collection Scheme Pilot was initially launched in February in a partnership between recycling company First Mile and global sustainable fashion innovation platform Fashion for Good. It aims to test the ability to develop scalable recycling infrastructure in one key city region.

The initial launch of the pilot project came after the December announcement of the Circular Polybag Pilot by Fashion for Good, which works to reduce the use and impact of virgin polybags in the fashion industry by developing a fully circular solution based on recycled content.

Meanwhile prAna partner Canopy launched its Pack4Good initiative in October of last year in a bid to transform the impacts of the global packaging supply chain on forests.