Prana started a new program today called the Responsible Packaging Movement that shares guides, advice, and resources with other clothing brands. The lifestyle clothing company aims to inspire changes in packaging practices across the apparel industry.
When a brand joins the program, Prana will share what the company has already learned, including their Responsible Packaging Guides, access to industry leaders, networking, and advice delivered via email and webinars. In addition, Prana said that program participants will receive a social media toolkit that helps them share their progress.
The clothing brands Mara Hoffman, Outerknown, and Toad and Co. have already joined the program, Prana said, and the Responsible Packaging Movement is receiving support from nonprofit partners 5 Gyres and Canopy.
For their part, Prana pledged to cut plastic entirely from its consumer packaging by 2021. Speaking to Environment + Energy Leader last fall, the company’s director of sustainability Rachel Lincoln explained that a photo from their store in Boulder, Colorado, a decade ago was the catalyst for pursuing plastic-free packaging.
“They had a daily shipment of product to put on the floor and, in unpacking it, there was a jumbo pile of plastic,” she recalled. “They compressed it as much as they could, but it almost touched the ceiling.”
Since then, Prana switched to a single polybag in each box instead of 52 individual polybags. The large bag gets reused as well. Products are folded into “sushi rolls” tied with recyclable raffia. The company reported eliminating more than 17 million poly bags from their supply chain between 2010 and 2019.
Fibers are also a focus. The company said it has also vowed to eliminate the use of ancient and endangered forests by 2022, and to stop using virgin forest fibers by 2025. Prana is currently testing glassine bags made from 100% FSC-certified paper.
“The size of the apparel industry can be intimidating, but if you want to be leader and do something different, you actually have to do that,” Lincoln said.