Summersalt is an apparel brand that sells many different types of clothing from loungewear to swimwear to activewear. The company is dedicated to sustainability goals that help both the planet and the people. They have proven this dedication through a sustainability-based business model, focusing on eco-friendly materials and human-friendly practices, all while having a self-awareness of their few shortcomings when it comes to sustainability. They exhibit important aspects of sustainability through the inclusion of female leaders working both on the front end and back end of the company. On the outside, advertisements are seen including women of all body types, while on the inside, the company is being run by women dedicated to female empowerment. Summersalt provides a good model to how the fashion industry can level-up in sustainability while remaining trendy and stylish.
Starting at the base of the clothing, Summersalt is relatively committed to environmentally conscious materials. In the FAQ section of their website, they are transparent and provide a breakdown of materials that make up their swimwear. Each swimwear product is made using 78% recycled polyamide and 22% lycra. Polyamide and lycra are not the most sustainable materials, however the effort to incorporate recycled material is definitely helpful when considering lessening environmental impact. Ocean waste is used in these recycled fabrics, creating an opportunity to put discarded products, such as old fishing nets, to use. Summersalt also provides transparency when talking about the materials that make up clothing other than swimwear. They state that most garments are made of recycled or eco-friendly materials. Some examples that they discuss are TENCEL (mix of natural and synthetic and Oeko Tex 100 certified), TENCEL Modal (natural), and Cupro (vegan and recycled). Summersalt also is committed to researching and refining textile development in order to achieve progressing sustainability goals. They ensure their products are long lasting, meaning consumers can count on Summersalt’s clothing and swimwear to last, reducing the potential for overconsumption of products. Sustainable materials are not only used in the production of clothing, they are also present in the packaging of items. All bags are made up of recycled material. There are mandates that ensure swimwear is packaged individually, increasing negative environmental impact, however Summersalt concentrates on the materials because they cannot avoid the mandates. The company is definitely committed to sustainability goals, especially through their transparency as well as their action. However, there is still more to do in this aspect to make Summersalt truly and completely sustainable.
Summersalt is headquartered in St. Louis. They ensure that most of their factories and manufacturing partners contain multiple certifications that reflect their pledge to sustainability, both environmentally and socially. For example, most of the factories have WRAP certification on top of GOTS, GRS, and BSCI qualifications. GOTS (Global Organic Textiles Standard) ensures that their factories use organic fibers in their products. The GRS (Global Recycled Standard) contributes to recycling initiatives in materials used in factories. BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative) encourages fair and comfortable workplace conditions, contributing to social sustainability and the promotion of human rights. Goods are manufactured in China and other parts of Asia which leads to more emissions from the transportation of products. There are definitely ways to improve, however there is clearly an existing dedication to environmentally and socially friendly goals.
Summersalt is a brand that is relatively transparent regarding their processes. They are practicing good sustainability habits, and have actionable goals for the future. Their sustainability is not just performative, although, as a company that advertises tremendous sustainability, they could be doing more currently to ensure a lower immpact. A very positive aspect of Summersalt is their commitment to diversity, especially within advertising. They appeal to all different body types among women, promoting a positive message about female empowerment. They even have a “Consumer Happiness Team” to help customers as they are shopping for clothing or suits. According to a Forbes interview with the co-founders, the Consumer Happiness Team even consists of people who were or are training to be a therapist, ensuring consumers have the best experience possible.