George, the fashion and homewares arm of the supermarket Asda, will for the first time sell products made from recycled plastic bottles and clothing, as part of a commitment to use only polyester that is sourced from recycled materials by 2025.
The products launching in the retailer’s Spring/Summer 19 range include George Home cushions and throws that have been made from recycled plastic bottles, and blouses and dresses made with fabric from recycled polyester clothing.
The move – the first for a supermarket retailer – is accompanied by commitments to sourcing only certified sustainable viscose and sustainable cotton by 2025, as well as existing commitments to 100% sustainable timber (by 2020) and palm oil (in place since 2014).
George, the second largest fashion retailer in the UK by volume, will also extend its work looking at microfibre shedding, with a full microfibre strategy to be published later this year. Asda was the first big supermarket to sign up to the Microfibre Consortium, through which it is currently performing tests to understand the extent of shedding from different fabrics.
The retailer will also help its customers to understand more about the sustainability of their garments and how to reduce the environmental impact, with increased visibility of garment care and awareness of how they can repurpose, reuse or recycle old clothing. George has a zero-tolerance policy towards incineration and donates garments that cannot be sold to charitable organisations to be repurposed.
To further increase transparency around its supply chain, George will begin to publish a list of its second tier apparel factories – those typically dyeing, printing and finishing garments – on its website, joining its existing list of first tier factories, where clothes are cut, sewn and trimmed.
In a blog post launching the new pledges, Senior Vice President for Commercial, Nick Jones, said:
“As the second largest clothing retailer in the country, we have a responsibility to do the right thing by our customers, not only on the price and quality of our goods, but also on the impact we have on the world around us.
Our George sustainability strategy builds on the work we’ve done to date and sets stretching targets and commitments to reduce the environmental and social impact of our products; because we know that, for our customers, looking after the environment is always in fashion.”