The road to sustainability is a long one, and Danish brand Ganni is on the fast track. In its newly published responsibility report, Ganni states that it has already achieved 30 of its 44 “Gameplan” goals originally slated for 2023 and it is confident it can achieve the remaining 14 in 2022.
Ganni founder Nicolaj Reffstrup said the company’s focus for 2022 will be devoted to climate action, circularity and supply chain accountability—areas he hopes others will prioritize as well. “By reducing our carbon footprint, adopting circular business models and taking a strong stance on supply chain accountability we can inspire change on a bigger scale,” he stated in the report.
While Ganni insists that it not be considered “sustainable,” as it says fashion “thrives off newness and consumption,” it has been successful in reducing the amount of waste it produces. In 2021, it used 5,800 pieces of its deadstock waste for upcycling projects, and partnered with fiber-to-fiber companies like Infinited Fiber Company, the maker of Infinna, a regenerated textile fiber. It also plans to launch products from that partnership in 2023.
“Ganni Repeat,” its circular rental model launched in 2019, expanded to the European, U.S. and U.K. markets, and prepared for an expansion into resale. The brand joined the likes of Boyish Jeans and Armedangels and partnered with resale-as-a-service provider Reflaunt that allows customers to resell previous Ganni purchases through a network of secondhand marketplaces. Sellers will be able to use the platform and receive their payment via bank transfer or a purchase credit with an additional 20 percent value for new Ganni purchases. The service will debut in Denmark, Norway and Sweden this month. It will pilot a secondhand concept in its Postmodern store in Copenhagen where customers can trade in their pre-loved Ganni products in exchange for a Ganni gift card. Repairs are also now offered to extend the lifecycle of its products.
To further its circularity efforts, Ganni partnered with sustainable change agency Circular.fashion in 2021 to develop criteria for designing a circular fashion product, which ensures it is designed for recyclability and longevity using responsible materials. Ganni is aiming to design 20 percent of its fall collection against the guidelines, and will publish the details of the criteria this year for others to adopt.
In March, it announced a partnership with traceability provider Provenance to provide insight into the supply chains of its “carry over denim,” or core styles that return season after season. The brand first introduced the partnership as part of its leisurewear offering in 2021. Ganni’s denim is made and sourced in Turkey, with 100 percent traceability on stages 1-4 of the supply chain—the highest level of visibility the brand has achieved on a product group to-date. Traceability is currently provided on everything from stitching facilities to yarn mills and tanneries.
The brand officially released its final apparel collection featuring virgin leather. It’s focusing on implementing new material innovations through its Fabrics of the Future initiative, which launched in 2019 to accelerate research and development of new innovative inputs. These include Vegea, made from grape leftovers from winemaking, vegetal oils and natural fibers from agriculture; Circulose by Renewcell, which is made by turning recovered worn-out cotton clothes into a dissolving pulp; and Mylo by Bolt Threads, a natural material made from the fungi mycelium.
Consumers are growing increasingly aware of Ganni’s commitment to more responsible business practices. In 2021, the brand’s Ganni.Lab, a test environment for projects that tackle fashion-related global challenges, saw a 300 percent increase in Instagram followers.
More to come
Ganni’s sustainable journey includes goals related to carbon emissions and waste reduction. At the end of 2021, the brand set a target of 50 percent reduction in GHG emissions by 2027, three years ahead of what was set in the Paris agreement. Its total carbon footprint for 2021 was 16, 605.48 t CO2 eq., which it aims to cut with strategic companywide updates, including ending its partnerships with suppliers that use coal-generated heat or energy and switching to renewable electricity in all owned and operated facilities.
In 2020, Ganni pledged to move away from the wasteful nature of the traditional fashion calendar and introduced a new drop structure of smaller, more frequent collections launched throughout the year. Though its goal was to measure the model’s impact on overproduction by evaluating the response to each drop, it proved to be more difficult than initially thought. Moving forward, the brand will report on unsold clothing quarterly.
Ganni revised its goals related to its garment takeback program. Because it’s a “relatively small entity” in the fashion industry, it was unable to source enough used clothing. It developed a goal of generating at least 5 percent of sales from responsible business models by 2025, and set up an internal incubation team to ensure its success.
The brand has faced challenges related to upcycling its remaining mono cotton deadstock but it is working to find more solutions this year. One solution—products made with Circulose—will launch this spring, and Ganni has set the goal to increase the amount of the material in products to 50 percent.
In general, Ganni is focused on reducing the amount of problematic materials in its collections, and is limiting the use of plastic in packaging and phasing out virgin leather from its footwear and accessories by 2023. By the same year, it’s working to ensure 100 percent of its cotton, viscose and polyester fiber is sourced from the most responsible solution available. It’s currently achieved 70 percent of the goal.
Wool will also either be responsible wool certified, organic certified by the global organic textile standard or recycled wool certified by the global recycled standard. Recycled polyester now makes up 82 percent of its total usage. In 2022, the brand aims to switch the remaining 18 percent over to recycled polyester.
Ganni continues to work on obtaining Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and Global Recycled Standard (GRS) certifications after it experienced some delays as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. It will be audited for both this month. Simultaneously, the brand is waiting on B Corp status, which signifies that a business is meeting high standards in social and environmental performance. It submitted its application in June 2021.
Though Ganni made major strides in supply chain transparency, it still has a ways to go. This year, it aims to trace products down to stage 5, the raw material level. It committed to publicly report on the percentage of annual revenue it spends on responsibility initiatives. It currently averages around 0.6 percent of revenue spend. In 2021, the amount decreased as a result of exceeding revenue targets for 2021, which were realized too late. The company will report quarterly versus annually moving forward to more accurately report on spend.
According to Reffstrup, the company’s responsible accomplishments are only the beginning. “Becoming the most responsible version of ourselves is an on-going journey that we are excited to continue,” he stated.