Environmental Footprint

Why is this important to Showpo?

We know that the fast fashion model poses substantial risks to the environment and we endeavour to make better choices wherever possible to reduce our negative impact. We’re not looking to make broad statements here that won’t move the needle, instead we want to focus on key areas of concern where we feel we have scope for change. Transparency is key here, we want to share our goals and make them ambitious to hold us accountable.

We have chosen not to use the word sustainable, as we don’t feel this would be accurate, when talking about the items we’ve transitioned, we’ve labelled these as “preferred” options. We believe it’s important to be aware that even these options still generate some waste & impacts, there is no perfect option.

What have we already done in this area?

Packaging

Over the past 12 months, we’ve been transitioning our garment packaging to more preferred options. When we discuss garment packaging, we have two avenues: one being the items attached to the garment during manufacturing or product packaging, the other being the items used to get the garments to you or shipping packaging. We’ve summarised below the items we use and which we’ve transitioned.

Plastic in our supply chain is somewhat unavoidable, there is risk of damage both during shipping and storage for garments not shipped or stored in plastic packaging. We’re continually researching options in this space but for now we’re in the process of transitioning all of our plastic packaging to recycled content, this reduces the amount of raw plastic we are generating. When making these switches, we’ve worked with the factories to ensure these preferred contents are certified as it’s important to us that we ensure they are made from what we say they are.

The next step of this process is to ensure that these items are then recycled appropriately and with ease to our customers. It is for this reason we decided not to use a compostable option as there are some doubts over the long term impacts of these. Not everyone has a compost bin or access to a community compost bin, but the majority of people have access to a soft plastic recycling bin at their local supermarket where the recycled plastic can be disposed of. We are currently working with APCO to register our satchels under their program.

Garment Packaging

Item Previous Content New Content Active From
Swing Tags Raw Cardboard Uncoated, Recycled Cardboard November 2021
String Raw Plastic Recycled Plastic November 2021
Sew in Labels Polyester Organic Cotton November 2021
Care Labels Polyester Organic Cotton April 2022
Poly Bags Raw Plastics Recycled Plastic April 2022

Shipping Packaging

Item Previous Content New Content Active From
Polymailers Raw Plastic 80% Recycled Plastic October 2020
Garment Bags Polyester - April 2022
Shipping Boxes Cardboard - April 2022
Bubble Wrap Raw Plastic FSC Certified Paper December 2021

Preferred Fibers

As with our packaging, the fibres and fabric that make up our garments naturally generate waste and create impact on the environment. We’ve worked to identify the mix of fibres used within our Showpo Production garments and set goals for moving this to a more preferred option.

Showpo uses the term 'Preferred Fibres’ to describe the chosen fibres that are inherently ‘better’ than the fibres currently in use. To make these decisions, we’ve considered impacts on water, climate and chemical usage in the production process.

We have identified our Preferred Fibres based on Textile Exchange's Preferred Fibre Market Report and the Made-by Fibre Benchmark to categorize the fibres into ‘not-so-good, better, best’. Preferred options for us need to strike the right balance between wear and handle of the garment, and sustainable processes of production. This is an ever-evolving space as these fibres continue to be developed.

Not-So-Good - fibres with the highest chemical, energy and water impacts in their production.

Better - Fibres that significantly reduce the energy, chemical and water impacts, but may still have some drawbacks so they can’t move into best.
e.g. recycled poly, removes crude oil extraction, but still sheds microfibres.

Best - fibres that use no harmful chemicals, low water use, and have more potential for composting or recycling.

Not so good Better Best
Conventional Polyester Recycled Polyester TENCEL Lyocell
Conventional Nylon Recycled Nylon Organic Hemp
Conventional Elastane Recycled Elastane Organic Linen
Acrylic LENZING Eco Vero GOTS Cotton
Conventional Rayon/Viscose TENCEL Modal Recycled Cotton
Conventional Cotton Conventional Hemp
Conventional Linen
BCI Cotton
Organic Cotton

Current Fibre Mix

We’ve mapped the current mix of our fibres in our collection at the moment. All of these fibres are currently raw/conventional and fall into our “Not-So-Good” classification. We aim to transition 50% of our Showpo Production to Preferred Fibres by 2025. We also want to increase our mix of natural fibres in our ranges.

End of Life Responsibility

We recognise that as a fast fashion retailer, we produce large volumes and therefore generate large volumes of garment waste. Our efforts so far have been focused on reducing our internal garment wastage, before taking on post-consumer waste.

Our internal garment waste consists of garments that cannot be sold and comes from a variety of streams: 1. Fit Samples prior to bulk production; 2. Customer Returns that are unable to be resold; 3. Garments that may be slightly damaged or stained during shoots. To avoid sending these garments to landfill, Showpo has historically held two sample sales a year open to the public where all profits are donated to The Hunger Project.

In the absence of being able to hold a sample sale in 2020 & 2021, we partnered with Red Cross and Thread Together to donate all of our current ‘Sample Sale’ garments so that they can be re-used by those in need. Additionally, we are researching partnerships with companies who can downcycle our garments which are deemed ‘unwearable’ and cannot be donated or re-sold.

We have recognised the need to reduce the number of garments we need to dispose of in the first place, to do this we have implemented a number of strategies.

Over the past 2 years, Showpo has improved the quality of sampling to reduce the average number of samples required prior to production from 3 samples to 1.5 samples.

Through these initiatives, we have effectively reduced the number of garments ending up as ‘Sample Sale’ garments. As of April 2021, we achieved a 55% reduction from January 2020 and an 80% reduction from August 2019. We expect this number to continue to drop as we continue to implement new initiatives and monitor existing initiatives throughout the year.

Showpo operates on a demand model of purchasing. We buy small testing orders for new styles and repeat with larger volumes once we know that you will love it. This limits the amount of deadstock that we generate as a business.

What are we planning to do in this area?

Preferred Fibers

Our goal is to move our ‘not-so-good’ fibres into ‘better’ or ‘best’ options with a company-wide goal to achieve 50% of our fibre mix to be Preferred Fibres by 2025.

POLYESTER (Current)
CERTIFIED RECYCLED POLYESTER (End of 2022)

The injection of a Recycled Polyester is the first step within our Preferred Fibres project. Polyester makes up approximately 62% of our product mix so this is where we can have the most impact.

COTTON (Current)
CERTIFIED RECYCLED COTTON (End of 2022)

Conventional Cotton currently makes up approximately 30% of our product mix. Our first action in injecting organic cotton is to partner with an industry body such as BCI, GOTS, and Textile Exchange's Organic Content Standard to legitimise this transition.

Environmental Audits (Internal)

We know that packaging and fabrics are just elements of what makes up our environmental impact, so our next steps are to conduct an external audit of our supply chain. We want to undertake this in 2022 for both our Head Office and Warehouse.

We will also be conducting environmental audits of our factory locations and implementing strategies with them to reduce the impact.

We have set ourselves some ambitious goals in this area. We’d like 75% of our Warehouse energy to come from renewable sources by 2025 and to carbon offset our supply chain by 2025.

What are our targets and how are we measuring our success?

  • Introduce eco packaging alternative at checkout by end 2022
  • We aim to transition our Warehouse energy to 75% renewable by end 2025
  • We aim to transition 50% of our Showpo Production to Preferred Fibres by end 2025
  • We aim to 100% carbon offset our supply chain by end 2025
  • Introduce a Recycling Initiative for End of Life by end 2025
  • Transition 100% of garment & shipping packaging to sustainable options by 2025
  • Introduce a soft plastics recycling scheme within our warehouse
  • Environmental Audit of 100% Own Design factories by end 2022
  • Develop a Restricted Substances List & Manufacturing Restricted Substances List by end 2022