overall rating:



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REISS is a mid-to-high end fashion clothing brand that has made efforts and achievements in many aspects of sustainability. I was pleased to find a series of documents on sustainability published on their official website. Openness and transparency are, in my opinion, important factors in judging whether a company is sustainable or not. There is still a lot of room for improvement in the use of materials for this product, they could use more environmentally friendly materials and minimise the damaging impact on the environment. However, I think they are working on becoming more sustainable, and I look forward to seeing them develop it further. 

What it's made of:


The composition of the fabric as published on the website shows that the shorts are made of 78% cotton, 22% recycled cashmere. Although cotton is not a man-made fibre, that alone does not make it sustainable. In fact, cotton has become one of the most unsustainable crops in the world. Firstly, growing cotton uses too much water, exacerbating the global shortage of fresh water resources, with the production of a cotton T-shirt using up to 2,700 litres of water. In addition, pesticides and other harmful chemicals are used in the growing process, with cotton accounting for 22.5% of the world's total pesticide use, and Reiss have announced on their website that they are working with the Better Cotton Initiative to improve cotton growing on a global scale. So I reviewed the Better Cotton Initiative's relevant cotton farming statement and found that they are working on several sustainable fronts. Firstly, they promote integrated pest management to reduce reliance on traditional pesticides. Secondly they use scientific approaches to water management to improve crop yields and minimise negative impacts on water quality.

While the above information from the Better Cotton Initiative indicates that they offer more sustainable cotton, there is no clear data on how much cotton Reiss is currently purchasing from this supplier and how long they have been working together, Reiss is committed to purchasing 100% of their cotton as more sustainable cotton by 2025. More sustainable cotton includes recycled cotton, organic cotton and fair trade cotton. This means that as of now they are still using cotton that is partially environmentally damaging.

Also in terms of their use of renewable cashmere, it is actually the recycling of cashmere fibres, not the recycling of cashmere sweaters, but only the recycling of waste from the spinning process. Although recycled wool can reduce waste to some extent, the amount used in a pair of trousers is only about 20%. So I can only give them a rating of 1. I think they have a lot of space to grow.

How it's made:


REISS claims that the best processes are chosen in the making of their products, from the density of the knitted fabric to the number of stitches per inch of the garment. It is also made clear that they do not offer a recycling service for old clothing and that a product should be discarded when it reaches the end of its physical life. This could show their high level of confidence in the quality of their products. To prolong the life of their products, they advise their customers to take careful care of their items. Washing, storage and care instructions are provided as well as advice on maintenance.I think it's part of sustainability, but I think it would be better if they could offer a service for recycling old clothes. As well as offering enduring style and quality, Reiss is committed to the ongoing development of ethical and sustainable management of its operations. These standards start with the selection and traceability of raw materials, continue through production and on to customer service. In addition to that, REISS will support approaches and systems to build a future that does not use ancient and endangered forests in the packaging, paper or in man-made cellulosic fabrics, including rayon, viscose, lyocell, modal and other trademarked brands. They will influence these supply chains in order to protect the world’s remaining ancient and endangered forests and endangered species habitat.To do this, REISS will: Work with Canopy and our suppliers to support collaborative and visionary solutions that protect remaining ancient and endangered forests;Assess our existing use of man-made cellulosics, packaging and paper and eliminate sourcing from endangered species habitat and ancient and endangered forests;Work to eliminate sourcing from companies that are logging forests illegally.The reduction and reuse of paper and packaging is of paramount priority for the protection of the world’s limited forest resources and has a clear and beneficial impact on reduced costs.They design and implement e-commerce, shipping, display and wrapping systems to minimise the use of paper. They also increase the use of digital communication, marketing and accounting systems . They strive to adopt best practice, including research and application of emerging and circular economy innovations.

Who makes it:


Reiss manufactures its finished goods through a global network of external suppliers and sources its raw materials through the same network as well as in-house. The top 4 production countries have been China (57%), Turkey (22%), India (5%), and Vietnam (2%).  Reiss remains committed to ensuring that its operations and supply chains promote safe, fair, legal and humane working conditions. This is reflected in: Modern Slavery is prohibited, and employment freely chosen/Child Labour will not be used/Freedom of Association/Working conditions should be safe and hygienic/Living wages should be paid/Working hours should not be excessive/No discrimination on the work floor/Regular employment is provided/No harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed, etc.This information relates to labour practices and the working environment, health and safety and general awareness of trade ethics.

REISS has a corporate responsibility statement clearly published on their official website describing their recognition, respect and defense of human and community rights. They require suppliers to respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to recognise the legal, customary or user rights of indigenous and rural communities to their territories, lands and resources. To this end, REISS asks suppliers to recognise the right of indigenous peoples and rural communities to grant or deny or refuse their free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) before allocating new logging rights or developing plantations. This is a very good point for the company, but unfortunately there is no clear data and information to show whether the supplier is complying with these guidelines.

In addition to this, they have published details of the gender pay gap between 2018 and 2019. They have reduced the pay gap by 6.3% and their median earnings gap is now -2%, well below the national average of 15.9%. Their approach to determining pay levels is gender-neutral as a way to promote a diverse and inclusive workforce. I was also pleased to see REISS' transparent and open supply chain system and tax strategy, with concrete data behind this information.