Product Sustainability

Great product designed with sustainability in mind.

 

In-store denim

We grow purpose-led, billion-dollar brands that have lasting impact on the people and the planet. Each of our brands designs great products with sustainability in mind, collaborating across our business and throughout our industry to develop strategies to improve their performance and the apparel sector as a whole. 

Each brand takes ownership of its sustainability journey and uses its unique brand voice to communicate directly with customers on the importance and impact of producing responsibly.  

Together with our brands, Gap Inc. is making our efforts toward developing more sustainable products accessible and visible to our customers.

We educate our brand teams about how to design using more sustainable fibers, fabrics and manufacturing techniques that save water—and how to procure more responsible materials.

Stacked spools of thread

Our Brands' Sustainability Commitments

For every brand within Gap Inc., sustainability is a business priority and a critical way to express each brand’s values. We have been able to apply sustainability lessons, best practices, strategies and technologies across our portfolio of brands to make a larger impact.

By 2018, all of our brands had established executive sustainability steering committees, defined their own priorities and goals, and led sustainability-strategy workshops with cross-functional teams.

Today, all of our brands have goals linked to Gap Inc.’s three sustainability focus areas: Empowering Women, Enabling Opportunity and Enriching Communities. In setting their own goals and defining their own approaches to embedding sustainability into their work, our brands are strengthening their ownership of sustainability as a unique expression of their brand value to their customers. 

Old Navy

Old Navy opened its first store in 1994 and today is one of the largest apparel brands in the world. Old Navy is on a mission to ensure the world runs right by creating a better future for future generations through inclusivity, opportunity and sustainability. Old Navy believes in the democracy of style while showing some love to our Mother Earth. A place where everyone feels like they belong and all the clothes are made with love, not just for Mother Earth, but for our kids and their kids. And their kids, too. This is The Imagine Mission. This is Old Navy.   

Goals:

  • By 2022, source 100% of cotton from more sustainable sources.
  • By 2022, make 100% of denim products using water-saving techniques.
  • By 2025, convert 60% of traditional polyester into recycled polyester

Water: Old Navy is working toward a goal of having 100 percent of its denim made with water-saving techniques by 2022. As of summer 2021, 91 percent of Old Navy’s denim assortment incorporates water-saving techniques, with 1 billion liters of water saved so far. 

Cotton: Old Navy is on track toward its goal of having 100 percent of its cotton sustainably sourced by 2022, and is committed to an increased use of recycled cotton in the denim assortment. 

Plastic: Old Navy is reducing plastic waste across the supply chain. The brand will eliminate all plastic shopping bags in U.S. and Canada stores by 2023. And by the end of 2021, 100 percent of our U.S. and Canada Old Navy stores will participate in a hanger recycling program that sends used hangers to recyclers instead of landfill. 

Earth Day: In honor of the 51st anniversary of Earth Day in 2021, Old Navy funded 51 young people’s pro-planet GoFundMe campaigns and named seven-year-old “Recycling Ryan” as their new Head of Funcycling. 

Learn More: Old Navy  

Three women in athletic clothing

Woman in Gap denim

Gap Brand

Gap dedicates itself to use less water, more sustainable materials and to give back. While the brand knows sustainability is a journey, it continues to make great strides forward. From fiber to fabric to factory, the clothes you love to live in are made responsibly and with respect to the planet we all share. That is Gap’s mission.  

Goals:

  • By 2021, source 100% of cotton from more sustainable sources.
  • By 2021, make 75% of qualifying products using Washwell™ water-savings techniques.

Washwell™: Since 2016, when Gap brand debuted Washwell™ – a denim wash program that conserves water in the laundry stage of production – the process is now used across all of our brands. Gap continued its Gap For Good commitments with the WashwellTM program helping save over 402 million liters of water since 2016—enough to fill 804 million water bottles—compared to conventional wash methods. At the end of 2020, 91 percent of qualifying denim was part of the WashwellTM program and by the fall of 2021, Gap is on track to reach 100 percent, far exceeding its goal of 75 percent. 

Generation Good: On World Water Day in the spring of 2021, Gap launched its most sustainable collection yet: Generation Good. It’s a commitment to the people who make Gap’s clothes, the people who wear them and the planet. Designed with next-level sustainability in mind, this capsule collection of jeans, tees and sweats meets every commitment on its Good List: Less waste, less water, lower emissions, better materials and support for workers.

Circularity: Gap participated in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Jeans Redesign challenge to design denim for a circular economy: Making long-lasting, more sustainably produced denim that’s made to be made again. To help keep products in use for as long as possible, Gap launched a partnership with Give Back Box. Customers can reuse their mailer pouch, pack up gently used clothing, shoes and accessories, then print a free shipping label. All donations are sent to a charity in need. In 2021, Gap signed up to Textile Exchange’s 2025 Recycled Polyester Challenge, which asks apparel brands to collectively commit to increasing the percentage of recycled polyester in the industry from 14 percent in 2019 to 45 percent by 2025. Gap is well on its way to achieving this target. 

Cotton: In 2020, Gap sourced 59% of its cotton from more sustainable sources. 

Learn more: Gap for Good 

 

Banana Republic

Banana Republic was founded upon a vision of imagined worlds traveled by those enchanted with a spirit for adventure. From its origins, the brand has championed the dreamer, celebrating the pioneers, adventurers and inventors that reside in us all. True to our legacy of imagination, Banana Republic strives to create a world where style is inclusive, sustainable and aspirational; a world where the unthinkable, the unexpected, is possible.

As a brand, Banana Republic is committed to creating timeless clothes that are designed with quality and durability in mind. In honor of Earth Day 2020, the brand introduced Better Republic, a forward-thinking ideal that underscores the brand’s sustainability goals and commitment to do better for people and the planet by integrating sustainability into design and manufacturing decisions.

Goals: 

  • By 2023, source 100% of cotton from more sustainable sources.*
  • By 2023, make 50% of products with more sustainable fibers.**
  • By 2025, make 50% of products using water-saving techniques and cleaner*** chemistry practices in our supply chain.
  • Make more eco-friendly denim by 2023.

*Includes cotton through BCI, as well as recycled and organic sources 

**Includes recycled materials, as well as man-made cellulosics made by suppliers that are Canopy-compliant, and recycled and responsible wool from vendors that comply with the Responsible Wool Standard  

***Techniques, including Washwell, that save at least 20% of water compared to conventional methods at mill facilities) and cleaner chemistry practices in our supply chain (through our ZDHC commitment, ongoing efforts to select preferred chemistry options and preferred dye techniques) 

Circular Economy: Over 60 percent of the materials used in its 2020 Collection are from more sustainable sources, including denim styles that are designed and constructed with recyclability in mind. Banana Republic partnered with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Jeans Redesign project to introduce organic cotton denim, a challenge to redesign denim in line with the circular economy’s principles. The brand launched its BR Vintage capsule collection, then released 225 vintage pieces handpicked from collections in the ‘80s, ‘90s and 2000s. The partnership will continue with third-party sourcing vendors who curate vintage pieces from the past few decades and who have launched their own vintage collection online. In addition, the brand has entered a limited-edition partnership with Paravel, a luggage essentials brand specializing in products that use sustainable practices and materials. 

Water: The brand continues to explore innovative dyeing techniques and wash methods to save water, while also ensuring cleaner waterways through the implementation of innovative techniques such as bio-softeners, foam dye, WashwellTM, and the use of recycled and organic cotton. Water savings have been a huge endeavor for the brand and to date, it has saved 13.36 million gallons of water. Banana Republic is also fully funding a farm as it works toward organic certification, to enhance farmers’ lives and strengthen communities. 

Raw Materials: Banana Republic sweaters and other products created under the global Responsible Wool Standard program help protect the sheep that supply the wool and the land they graze. Banana Republic continues to evaluate and experiment with how it communicates and educates customers about its sustainable products (BR Sustainable Glossary, Conscious Luxury, Conscious Shop). Banana Republic is committed to supporting responsible leather manufacturing across the globe and is a proud member of the Leather Working Group (LWG). 

Learn more: Banana Republic 

Woman in Banana Republic dress

Mother and daughter meditating

Athleta

As a certified B Corp, Athleta is committed to using business as a force for good toward its mission: To ignite the limitless potential of all women and girls. Athleta seeks forward progress through its core values of inclusion, women supporting women and sustainability. In 2020, Athleta made substantial progress against its first-ever sustainability targets and had significant learnings on the goals it will establish for the future. 

Athleta has a strong commitment to environmentally conscious products and sustainable practices. The brand believes in protecting the Earth as a natural playground, positively contributing to the direction of the apparel industry, offering customers responsible options and driving demand for sustainable goods, and supporting the potential of women and girls. Athleta actively engages customers in its sustainability story, using prominent messaging in stores and catalogs and widely promoting the brand’s core values and progress toward its 2020 sustainability goals. One its recent campaigns, Power of She—which features track-and-field legend Allyson Felix as the brand’s first-ever sponsored athlete—focuses on building confidence in women and girls and encouraging them to use their voices. Felix also partners with Athleta in the design of high-performance products.

Goals:

  • By 2020, 80% of Athleta materials will be made with sustainable fibers.
  • By 2020, divert 80% of store waste from landfill.
  • By 2020, impact 10,000 women through P.A.C.E. and Fair Trade.

Renewable Energy: In December 2020, Athleta’s solar farm in North Carolina came online, helping offset 100 percent of its operational footprint in the Unites States. This first-of-its-kind power purchasing agreement was created through cross-industry collaboration among five separate companies. This Corporate Renewable Energy Aggregation Group will serve as the anchor tenant for a large offsite solar project, creating a new, cost-effective and replicable model that opened up the renewable energy market to companies seeking to purchase smaller volumes of power. 

Learn more: Athleta 

B Corporation logo

Athleta was certified as a B Corp in 2018, joining responsible brands worldwide in revising its corporate charter to include social and environmental commitments. B Corps, awarded by the nonprofit B Lab, meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. With this accreditation, Gap Inc. has become one of the largest publicly traded retail companies with a B Corp certified subsidiary apparel brand. We plan to learn from Athleta as a case study for Gap Inc., providing a benchmark and roadmap of potential opportunities for greater social and environmental impact across the enterprise.

Related Stories

Denim Stacked Up

Chemical Management

Addressing hazardous discharge
Learn More

Raw Material

Selecting sustainable fibers
Learn More

Environmental Management

A priority for people and our business.
Learn More

Circularity

Reducing impacts at every stage.
Learn More