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Bestseller Heads for Textile Circularity and Tells the World Who its Suppliers Are

Bestseller is joining the apparel sustainability movement—and its latest environmental efforts, including additional textile waste management and supply chain transparency, may help it pursue a more circular path.

The Danish retailer, which is also a strategic partner of the Global Fashion Agenda, an organization aimed at making the apparel industry more eco-friendly, recently announced new post-consumer textile waste benchmarks and publicly released its supplier factory list. Developed in response to the Global Fashion Agenda’s Call to Action industry sustainability plan, both initiatives will enable Bestseller to make the switch to a more circular economy and annually report on environmental progress until 2020.

Bestseller created three new strategic action points on textile waste management—a training program, consumer garment collection and increased use of recycled textile fibers. Since the action points solely focus on post-consumer textile waste management, Bestseller said the plan does not include its current use of other circular materials, including recycled polyester from PET bottles. The three action points aim to help Bestseller incorporate more circular practices in its supply chain over the next two years.

To start, the retailer’s buyers and designers will undergo a circular fashion design training module, so they can learn more about incorporating sustainable materials and minimizing apparel waste before consumers purchase garments. For consumers in selected markets, Bestseller is offering a used garment collection channel, which in partnership with other retailers, will reduce the amount of textiles discarded in landfills. Lastly, Bestseller expressed interest in using more recycled textile fibers and it will conduct a pilot with two recycled post-consumer cotton jeans styles. The sustainable denim will be included in Jack & Jones’ “never out of stock range” and Bestseller will evaluate consumer responses after the pilot concludes this year.

[Read more about apparel circularity initiatives: Fashion Positive Unveils New Innovators Hub for Apparel Circularity]

“The published action points are part of a more circular approach in Bestseller, but they cannot stand alone,” Bestseller sustainability manager Dorte Rye said. “Both Bestseller and the entire industry must learn together and be very innovative to take on the challenge on creating a more circular system for fashion.”

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In addition to boosting textile waste management, Bestseller is pledging to make its supply chain more visible. Last month, Bestseller made its supplier factory list publicly available, enabling brands, manufacturers and consumers to see where its products are produced worldwide. With the list, people can look up the names and addresses of Bestseller’s tier 1 apparel, accessories and footwear supplier factories that represent its main commercial sourcing volume. The retailer aims to publish all on-boarded tier 1 facilities this year, with an overarching goal of updating the list twice annually.

“As Bestseller does not own factories, it is imperative for us to work with our suppliers in an open and honest way. We continuously seek to create more transparency in our supply chain to address risks and promote positive change,” Rye said. “In the light of this, and to provide increased transparency, we are making supplier factory information publicly available.“