Danish luxury fashion label Ganni has earned its certified B Corp status with the highest score of a fashion brand to date, earning a 90.6.
Ganni, the Copenhagen-based label run by husband-and-wife team Ditte and Nicolaj Reffstrup, is one of just a small handful of luxury fashion brands to earn B Corp status. Last year French label Chloé became the first to earn the mark. Earlier this year luxury shoe label Aera also earned the mark.
“I have been hoping for industry-wide auditing for years because sustainability initiatives are still largely unregulated,” Nicolaj Reffstrup, Ganni founder, said in a statement. “As long as our politicians keep proving they don’t have the guts to push the green agenda forward via legislation businesses are left to regulate themselves. B Corp offers a tangible and transparent framework for keeping businesses accountable and setting industry benchmarks.”
With a roster of sustainability commitments already under its belt, Ganni scored highest on the 300 B Corp questions for its sustainability metrics, earning 29.1 points, “due to a sustained effort toward using certified organic, lower-impact and recycled fibres,” which the brand says are used for the majority of its collections.
“As product offerings and material choices across seasons are ever-changing, maintaining the choice to use more responsible materials requires constant focus and work,” Ganni said. “This also underlines the challenges for a fashion brand to achieve a high score within the B Corp framework.”
Ganni notes that its inserting scheme—an alternative to carbon offsetting—did not earn it any points. This includes its Fabrics of the Future program which is driving the label’s design philosophy. Earlier this month it debuted a tracksuit made in part from a banana waste textile. Over the summer it released a t-shirt made entirely from textile waste. The company says its hope is that the B Corp framework will be more flexible moving forward so that projects like this can qualify for assessment.
Recent years has seen Ganni increase its efforts to decrease its environmental impact. In 2020, Ganni launched its Responsibility Game Plan, a 44-goals-driven roadmap focused on shifts in how it addresses People, Planet, Product, and Prosperity by next year. It has begun shifting away from unsustainable materials including lambskin and cow leather, historically two of its top sellers.
Its most recent collection featured responsible styles throughout 87 percent of the offerings. The company defines responsible style as at least 50 percent of composition coming from certified recycled, lower-impact, or organic materials. Ganni says it is moving toward 100 percent responsible style. Its efforts also include 100 percent traceability across Stages 1-4 of its supply chain, and recently published all Stage 1 and 2 suppliers with the Open Apparel Registry to drive transparency.
Sustainable fashion: good and bad
The news comes on the heels of fast fashion retailer Boohoo releasing a highly-criticized sustainable collection in partnership with Kourtney Kardashian Barker. The Poosh and Lemme founder defended the launch even as Boohoo was accused of leveraging the celebrity to cover up a recent investigation into greenwashing claims. Sustainable clothing is in the family, though. Kardashian Barker’s sister Khloe Kardashian’s Good American denim brand earned its B Corp status last year.
The announcement also comes after Patagonia transferred ownership of the company to a trust in order to invest all profits into earth-saving organizations and efforts. The move was spearheaded by the outdoor company’s founder, Yvon Chouinard.
The B Corp scorecard for Ganni saw it earn 17.2 out of 20 on governance, 21.2 out of 40 on workers, 18.9 out of 40 on community, 29.1 out of 135 on environment, and 4 out of 5 on customers for a total of 90.6 out of 200 possible points.
Ganni says its goal is to earn 150 B Corp points by 2025. It will use its carbon Insetting scheme, scaling use of its innovative fabrics, and promoting circular business models.
“Becoming certified is a testament to all the work our team continuously puts into this journey of becoming the most responsible version of ourselves,” Reffstrup said. “Receiving 90.6 points is worth celebrating, however, there is still a long way to go.”