The Path to Sustainability
Creating a more sustainable fashion industry begins by reassessing the materials we use to make our clothes, shoes and accessories.
For our AW21 collection, more than 45% of our cotton products used organically-grown cotton, up from 5% the previous season - and it’s a number we plan to improve. Our target is to have 100% certified organic cotton by 2025.
Choosing organic cotton yarn means that hazardous pesticides are banned, and any chemicals used meet strict biodegradability and toxicity standards. Organic cotton also uses less energy and water in the production process, resulting in less greenhouse gas emissions.
Currently, more than 10% of our polyester and nylon - found in shoes, accessories, and outerwear - comes from recycled sources. Our goal is reach 100%, replacing the use of virgin synthetics entirely.
The materials used to produce these recycled synthetics often come from familiar sources: plastic bottles, old clothes or carpeting, and even old fishing nets - saving them from landfills and incinerators. What’s more, it avoids the use of non-renewable petroleum, and large quantities of water and polluting chemicals that goes into creating virgin polyester or virgin nylon.
We aim to source all shoe leather from Leather Working Group suppliers by 2022, and all leather across the brand from LWG, I.CE.C or ISO 14001 suppliers by 2025. The Leather Working Group is a not-for-profit organisation responsible for the world’s leading environmental certification for the leather manufacturing industry.
Already, we have taken certain measures to improve: all our leather is a by-product of the meat industry; we use no leather that comes from protected animals; and, we are increasingly opting for vegetable-tanned leathers, versus those tanned with toxic dyes.
Looking ahead, we are researching the use of recycled and biodegradable leathers, first using Piñatex®, a natural leather alternative, in our SS19 collection.
We ensure our feathers and down are not from live-plucked or force-fed birds by sourcing from certified suppliers. As of our AW19 collection, we have also ensured that any down we use is a by-product of the meat industry.
Paul Smith supports the Responsible Down Standard, which seeks to ensure animal welfare and traceability of down, run by the global non-profit Textile Exchange.
We first used recycled wool in our AW20 accessories collection and continue looking for environmentally friendly alternatives.
Recycled wool is made through a mechanical process that returns used garments back to their raw fibre state before being spun into new yarn. Since the wool has already been processed once it is much less energy and water demanding, meaning recycled wool has a much lower environmental impact. Not only that, but recycled wool helps to reduce the number of discarded garments going to landfill, making recycled wool a circular system.
We also use 40% non-mulesed wool and will be increasing that proportion season-by-season, aiming to use non-mulesed wool exclusively as soon as possible. Mulesing is viewed an unethical procedure performed on a sheep to prevent flystrike.
In Addition To The Above We Are Also:
• Using certified responsible sourced wood-based fibres
• Using recycled polyester fur
• Focusing predominately on digital printing which has a lower
• Using and exploring innovative materials such as corozo nut, potato starch and vegetable-based dyes
• Increasing our use of low impact indigo washes for our denim
We will continue to research and use innovative low environmental impact materials and keep you updated on our progress!