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Mango Plans to Ditch 160M Plastic Bags, Launches Active Capsule

With sustainability growing into a key business consideration, many fashion companies have been working to find more ways to lower their environmental impact.

Working toward sustainability can take many shapes. Tommy Hilfiger, Cos, Gap, Topman and Uniqlo are creating sustainable puffer coats with recycled materials. Austrian fiber manufacturer Lenzing has launched carbon-neutral fibers, produced, it said, using renewable energy. In early October, millennial-friendly brand Madewell debuted a 13-piece line made with 70 percent globally sourced recycled cashmere.

Recently, companies like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Outerknown’s sustainability efforts have involved commitments to say goodbye to plastic bags.

On Wednesday, Spanish fashion firm Mango joined them. The move, it estimated, will allow it to cease using approximately 160 million plastic bags per year.

The Barcelona-based company’s project will launch in the local production of folded garments and in the online channel, following successful pilot trials conducted in Morocco, China and Turkey. Mango plans to implement this new project for all its garments by the end of 2021.

Working with its suppliers, the high-street brand’s goal is to progressively eliminate all plastic bags it uses to distribute products throughout its supply chain.

The new bags will be made of tissue paper sourced from sustainably managed forests, where the practices adopted for felling trees are certified as compliant with the Forest Stewardship Council’s international standards.

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“We are very happy to implement these types of projects that help us advance towards a more sustainable fashion, which in turn will allow us to implement the sustainable transformation of the company,” Mango CEO Toni Ruiz said in a statement.

The project is part of Mango’s work with the Fashion Pact, which it signed onto in 2019. Created to increase the environmental sustainability of the textile and fashion sectors, the coalition counted 32 groups and brands as its members when it formed last year. Today, the coalition unites CEOs of more than 60 companies, representing more than 200 brands and one-third of the fashion industry, it claims.

Earlier this year, Mango became a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, which encourages responsible textile practices in the supply chain. The vertical retailer plans to increase the proportion of sustainable fibers in its collections and use 100 percent sustainably sourced cotton by 2025.

Mango launched an activewear capsule in October.
Mango launched a new active capsule this week. Courtesy

Meanwhile, Mango—after expanding into teen and tween fashion last month—launched its newest activewear collection Tuesday. The appropriately named Active capsule collection consists of garments and accessories created for yoga, dance, meditation, pilates and other physical and mental wellbeing sporting disciplines. It features a full wardrobe of activewear—including leggings, shorts, tops, long-sleeve crop tops, bodies, sweatshirts and jumpsuits—and accessories, such as a yoga mat bag, money belts, sneakers, bags and socks.

The new Active line comes as companies throughout the industry focus on activewear and comfortable, casual apparel that fit consumers’ shelter-in-place, work-from-home lifestyles. Last week, Madewell debuted its first-ever athleisure collection, for example. Called Make Weekends Longer, the 25-piece line offers sweatpants and sweatshirts for sizes XXS-XXL.

Also last week, Kohl’s introduced a new private-label specialty athleisure brand, FLX, to complement its slate of partnerships. FLX will debut in select stores and online beginning in March. Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass said in September though athleisure and activewear drove 20 percent of business at the company, it could grow to at least 30 percent.

Earlier this month, Mango made its TikTok debut, joining a rash of fashion brands eager to court the platform’s young base of users. Its posts will feature challenges such as #THANKGODITSFRIDAY or #THISLOOKGOTMELIKE and other exclusive content revealing anecdotes and moments from every session. The fashion firm already claims more than 25 million followers on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.