How Outdoor Apparel Brands Can Advance Their Sustainability Goals


As the world strives toward a greener future, many retail brand owners and retailers have identified sustainability goals that align with their corporate strategic and operational goals. Often, brand leaders focus on using recycled textiles or cutting carbon emissions. While these initiatives are vital for the environment, retail brands often fall short of their sustainability goals.

For example, the 2020 Global Commitment Report (Ellen Macarthur Foundation) identifies significant gaps between an apparel brand’s target goals and what has been achieved. While apparel brands Burberry and Stella McCartney are among industry leaders, achieving 95% and 100% of their goals respectively, less than one-quarter of other leading brands met their sustainability goals for reusable, recyclable or compostable plastic packaging by 2020. What’s more, it can become difficult for retail brand owners to explain exactly how they are reducing their environmental footprint.

Outdoor apparel brands are often held to greater accountability for achieving sustainability goals, given the demographics of the audiences they serve and their associated quest for transparency. In fact, the outdoor apparel industry, with its record of championing environmental conservatism, is often viewed as an industry leader for implementing efforts across its supply chain.

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However, the shrinking global recycle supply capacity and associated higher costs are compounding the challenge. For example, there was a steep increase in the producer price index (PPI) for recyclable materials from 64.9 in October to 93.1 in October 2021. Specifically, the price of recycled PET containers has increased nearly 30% in 2021. Apparel brand owners late to adopt sustainable practices will likely encounter higher prices as the demand for recycled material continues to climb.

Small Changes Can Close the Sustainability Gap

What if your company could make small, affordable changes that add up to meaningful steps toward reaching your brand’s sustainability goals? The plastic fasteners that connect your pricing and product tags to your garment contribute to a significant amount of plastic waste that end up in landfills.

Of the 80 billion garments produced each year, 90% of them have a single-use plastic fastener.

Think about it: 72 billion fasteners made each year is equivalent to the amount of plastic in over 761 million half-liter PET water bottles. Stacked top to bottom, those bottles would circle the Earth more than 3.5 times.

Now there is an environmentally friendly source of plastic fasteners that will help you achieve your brand’s sustainability goals.

Ecotach™ Tagging Fasteners Provide Options to Promote Brand Sustainability

Avery Dennison examined two approaches to making plastic fasteners more sustainable without compromising on the quality, appearance and selection available to apparel brands. The result is a variety of recycled nylon & PET tagging fasteners, all of which have been tested by independent third parties.

  • Recycled rPET Fasteners
    Ecotach™ rPET fasteners contain at least 90% post-consumer waste from recycled water bottles. They can help apparel brands achieve their sustainability goals for a fraction of a cent per garment. Each fastener carries the “recycled” logo on its paddle for instant recognition of the positive steps your brand is taking toward sustainability.
  • Recycled rPA Fasteners
    As an alternative to recycled water bottles, Ecotach™ rPA fasteners are made with virgin materials that utilize as much as 70% post-consumer waste from recycled carpeting.

The Ecotach™ team at Avery Dennison works closely with environmentally conscious brand owners and retailers to choose the best fasteners for their garments.

Remember, there are many ways to achieve sustainability for your outdoor apparel brand. With something as small as a plastic fastener, you can take steps to close the gap in reaching your sustainability goals cost-efficiently, without compromising quality and attractiveness.

Our team will work closely with you on the best option for your outdoor apparel. Let's talk about how Ecotach™ fasteners can help you achieve your sustainability goals. To request a product sample, visit our Fastener Product Selector.