These sneakers are changing the world by calling out industry wide inaction and shortcomings.
These sporty trainers are made by Danish fashion brand Ganni, a company leading and encouraging industry wide changes in sustainability efforts. However this sustainability mission has never been at the forefront of their marketing, rather Ganni publicly, and quite frequently, titles themselves an unsustainable brand. This stems from the fact that fashion is inherently a polluting and unsustainable industry rather than Ganni’s personal products or practices which display a company that takes sustainability very seriously and actively works steps to improve these efforts. Such steps are reflected in the brand’s efforts towards improving workers’ rights in the supply chain and transparency concerning the overall origin and production of its materials. While there is more work to be done in improving supply chain sustainability and workers’ rights, Ganni is making efforts to set high standards and climate targets, and then actively showing annual progress as a collective brand. Therefore, I believe that relative to other sneak brands within the industry, Ganni should be considered a leader for sustainable efforts and this sneaker represents such sustainable achievements.
Ganni has implemented a growing number of sustainable and innovative materials, as well as continuing to research alternative viable material solutions within the wasteful fashion industry, These specific trainers’ upper polyester overlays are made of 60% Global Recycled Standard (GRS) certified post-consumer recycled polyester. By using this recycled polyester, Ganni is leading the industry to reduce its dependence on petroleum as a raw material and furthermore, can divert plastic from ending up in landfills or other waste collectors. Beyond recycled polyester the brand uses organic and recycled cotton, viscose fibers, wool, rubber, and leather throughout their product line.
These trainers also utilize leather material, all Ganni leather is produced in partnership with a supplier certified with a Gold standard by the Leather Working Group. While this partnership improves the quality of leather, this material is still responsible for higher CO2 emissions within the industry. Therefore, to reach true sustainable material sourcing, Ganni should consider alternatives to their leather usage to fully eliminate this unsustainable input.
Ganni’s target to use 100% most sustainable cotton, viscose, wool, and polyester by 2023 as well as reaching certification with GRS quality marks as a brand will only work to further improve their products materials’ sustainability.
Currently, Ganni is is very transparent in its communications regarding its carbon footprint measurements. Besides its numerous goals to reduce its individual carbon emissions and improve its supplier regulations, Ganni is implementing waste reducing initiatives within the production process. They are actively reducing the use of plastics throughout the process as well as implementing more sustainable packaging materials. Additionally, Ganni recently implemented a take-back program which will further support its already existing upcycling initiative to minimize its waste contribution. To further extend the life of its garments, Ganni is also involved in a rental platform. Lastly, Ganni is working with a third party to compensate carbon emissions generated by this production process, and while this is simply a band aid for the greater issue, I believe it can show initiative to be involved in the greater change.
On the other hand, Ganni offers free shipping and returns on all orders as well as several different options for rushed shipping. These “speedy” shipping offers as well as complimentary shipping and returns, while positive for customer service efforts, encourage and perpetuate an often unsustainable transportation system. Rushing transportation leads to inefficiency in delivery operations by requiring more delivery dispatch resources, and therefore emissions, compared to slow shipping alternatives. To truly show its full support to the sustainability of the true consumption cycle, I believe a commitment from Ganni to only offer slow shipping methods would support a more sustainable holistic process.
Ganni’s culture, which claimed not sustainable, is actively centered around increasing the traceability and visibility of its supply chain. Currently, in collaboration with the Higg Index, Ganni is aiming to achieve 100% supply chain transparency by 2022. Furthermore, Ganni has worked with 3 of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to date including Gender Equality, Responsible Production and Consumption, and Climate Action. Taking action in these areas, Ganni has set several ambitious targets as set out in partnerships of UNFCCC, NPEC, and GFA. Their actionable efforts can been seen through progress on their sustainability reports such as their new responsible initiatives including the take-back scheme, rental platform, and new material introduction to name a few from the over 30 initiatives introduced in the past year.
Concerning workers’ rights, Ganni’s shoes are made and produced by workers in Portugal, who’s rights could continue to improve and advance through further company audits and other memberships with organizations such as the Fair Wear Foundation.
As seen in their 2020 sustainability report, and the following annual updates, Ganni has outlined 44 goals they are actively working towards covering within the next 3-5 years. These goals cover what they consider the 4Ps: Planet, Product, People, and Prosperity. I believe Ganni is a leader in these areas, both recognizing and actively working towards fixing what they see as the most plaguing areas to the fashion industry to empower future sustainability within itself and other brands.
While actively working on improving its traceability and visibility of supply chain, especially within sourcing and workers’ rights, Ganni has showed an active commitment to climate targets. By continuing to set high standards, the brand is actively working to progress through these as seen in their annually updated sustainability reports. Furthermore, Ganni is already putting a high emphasis and research into utilizing upcycled or sustainably sourced materials. While there is still more work to be done in the shoe’s supply chain as well as decreasing the product cost to make it more available for all consumer groups, I feel confident in recommending these trainers as a stylish sustainable alternative.