There is a definite effort to be transparent and the company even calls for help in finding accurate resources of information for fabrics like Alpaca and Silk for which it has limited comparative data. The commitment to a safe and appreciative work environment is also appreciable, as are their meticulous plans to apply sustainable practices in every step of the process, even offsetting costs of their (free!) worldwide shipping. And while a little on the expensive side, it is a viable option for sustainable apparel for me to consider since this dress is just one example of how they are inclusive of my differing needs with regards to how the clothes are modeled.
The material it is made of is Viscose which is one of their B grade materials made from wood-pulp. Concerns have been raised regarding the increasing use of Viscose with its source being endangered forests and that its extraction wastes 70% of the tree as well as those of emission of chemicals such as but not limited to Carbon disulphide, sodium hydroxide, and hydrogen sulphide which are known to cause numerous threats to health. However, Changing Markets Foundation laid out a framework outlining its sustainable use including requirements of audits and certifications from specific organizations like CanopyStyle, Oeko-Tex Step, Forest Stewardship Council etc. which Reformation readily complies with. Around 56% of the company’s dyers, printers, and other wet-processing facilities are certified clean of harmful chemicals notably by BlueSign and so the material may be less likely to be polluted during these processes. An additional praiseworthy factor may be the use of recyclable paper hangers, totes, and packaging.
Despite emphasizing on working with CanopyStyle to ensure conservative and responsible forestry practices, their latest sustainability report mentions that while they are trying to increase traceability of their resources and connecting with all tiers of suppliers, they have not been able to reach their raw material farms and forests at all yet so in fact cannot guarantee any quantitative resource savings at this point of production which they themselves stress is where 2/3rd of the adverse impact actually occurs. In addition, while some of their stores are green business certified and they provide a comprehensive list of factories and their locations (mainly in Los Angeles, China, India, Turkey) as well as a Code of Conduct and fair labor policies that their facilities are expected to follow and evaluated on frequently, there isn’t much information regarding the exact operations which help reduce their carbon footprint or water usage compared to conventional methods of production excluding the use of deadstock materials (which cancels out the need for a large chunk of production), and recycling 75% of their waste. Usually, all their items specify numerical savings of the aforementioned factors (CO2, water, waste) and the country of production while browsing, but such data was not available for this dress.
Reformation boldly label themselves as the top fashion brand for sustainability, following forgoing cloth purchases completely. They claim to apply sustainable practices in every part of their production process from choosing less environmentally degrading fabrics (they have a RefScale available for these materials where they are graded A-E according to their impact), plantation alongside Canopy Planet which is dedicated to forest conservation, factory operations (including weaving, printing, embroidering, dyeing), diversity and inclusion in their workforce and minimum living wage guaranteed to all workers, distribution, wear and washing, recycling, and even disposal of materials, which is conveniently available on their website along with their sustainability reports. They mention that they save 41% of CO2, 68% of water, and 32% of waste (with specific figures available on their website) compared to conventional clothing production (as of 2020). They have been carbon neutral since 2015 by offsetting any operational emissions by investing in 100% wind power projects and involving consumers in the process by allowing them to purchase climate credits which contribute to funding similar clean energy global projects, the current one being Honduras Coffee Growers Clean Water Project. They engage in socially conscious activities such as making recycling and second hand sales for any products available at their retailers and donating COVID-19 masks for every mask purchased off their website. Apart from their general stocks, they also have specific collections of clothing for women of petite or extended sizes for whom finding the right fitting boutique clothes is a challenge and I partly chose to review this brand and product since I myself fall into the former category.