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We picture ourselves in the future
It is a transition that motivates all of our teams: our shared objective is to gradually reduce, each season, the environmental impact of the clothes we design.
We picture the future by looking ahead and around us.
It’s a matter of rethinking the materials we use, the ways we create and spoiling you. Changing our transport and logistics practices. Managing to reduce our impact throughout a product’s entire life cycle.
A long process which also implies changing the mindset of our partners and suppliers, drawing inspiration from those people who are changing our world and helping them.
It is an approach that we are gradually developing and that we wanted to share with you from the outset, season after season.
In 2018, we launched a major systemic review of our carbon footprint. It was important to specifically identify our carbon emissions and how we could reduce them in each area.
In Product, Planet and People, you will find the concrete progress we're making in 2021 in all of these areas. 3 Ps, 3 pillars for fashion that is more respectful of people and the environment.
Now more than ever, Dream Tomorrow.
What does eco-friendly mean?
What exactly does it mean to be eco-friendly? Natural, organic, biodegradable, recycled or upcycled materials, manufacturing conditions which produce less pollution, the limitation or elimination of toxic products, reduction of the carbon footprint, local production, zero waste design, or products made to last...
These are all areas in which we try to make improvements each season.
We should point out that, today, an item of clothing can be considered eco-friendly even if its composition includes very few certified eco-friendly elements.
We have decided to go even further. At Maje, an item of clothing is only considered eco-friendly if at least 30% of its composition is actually certified eco-friendly.
The progress of the Winter 2021 collection
So, how are we doing?
Today, our efforts are focussed on the four most-used materials in ready-to-wear: denim, viscose, polyester and cotton. Each of these materials have their own eco-friendly certifications, depending on the environmental challenges they create.
For the Winter 2021 collection, 43% of our ready-to-wear collection meets our eco-friendly criteria. Last season, we were at 38%. Our goal is to reach 50% by summer 2022 and be above 60% in 2025.
On Summer 2021, we developed a new capsule that is 100% made of GOTS-certified organic materials. In addition, as from seasons ago all of our denim is eco-wash certified.
As of 2020, all of our labels are now made from recycled polyester. For linings and fusible components that we occasionally use, we have achieved our goal of using 80% eco-friendly materials. We want to reach 100% in the years to come.
Together is better
Making collections more eco-friendly is not enough. We need to consider the entire design and production process for an item of clothing and take action in every area that progress can be made in order to really reduce our impact. Each season, Maje strives to do so by involving its teams in the drive for change. Here, everyone feels concerned. This commitment and collaboration drives us to go even further.
Progress in summer 2021
We made a lot of progress in accelerating change in the summer 2021 season.
We made progress with the collections but also everything surrounding the product, how it is shipped, how it is designed, the store environment. There are also new ways of contemplating the life cycle of a piece of clothing.
To finally eliminate single-use plastic
We have finally managed it! Starting from this season, the polybag packaging (the plastic which protects the clothes) is made from 100% recycled plastic. It was one of our commitments for the season, and we managed it thanks to the efforts of our logistics teams.
For our hangers, there is still work to be done. Those in our stores are made from wood from eco-certified forests. As for the plastic hangers in our warehouses, we are looking for better alternatives and hope to have good news to share for next season. The e-shop packaging is also an issue. We are assessing new collections, contacting new partners to make quicker progress in achieving more eco-friendly packaging. Our recyclable shopping bags are made without plastic lamination and from wood from FSC-certified forests.
Fewer planes each season
In order to have a better understanding, you need to know that, on average, 600 grams of CO2 are emitted per tonne and per kilometre travelled. Trains only emit 22 grams and boats 33 grams.
The challenge, each season, is therefore to reduce the proportion of transport by plane in the era of fast fashion.
So, what are we doing? It is up to us to develop the correct answers, to find a sustainable balance between fashion whims and environmental priorities. Each season, we have to optimise the timing of our deliveries, better anticipate our needs, in order to gradually reduce our dependence on planes.
In one season, we increased imports by boat from 25% to 59%, and by train from 1% to 11%.
There is no need for wastage, everything can be transformed. Let’s get frugal!
This was the objective of our Paloma project: avoid creating clothes that are never actually worn. This season, we have developed our model, by making it a priority to anticipate the amount of fabric required and be responsive regarding manufactures in an effort to give you exactly what you want without wasting.
If certain already-created materials turn out not to be as popular as we had hoped, we either gift them to charities and fashion schools, or turn them into goodies and small, practical accessories. A way to give materials we don’t use a second life.
Spaces and stores: we are making progress here too
A lot of effort went into developing our store concepts while focussing on standards and environmentally-friendly, certified, recycled and locally-sourced materials. This transformation of sales spaces is gradual. In this approach, we have recently inaugurated a new flagship store on rue Saint Honoré in Paris where we have chosen to manufacture less furniture and favor vintage furniture to encourage more responsible consumption.
In all of our stores, we opt for LED lighting which consumes much less energy. We are also replacing all of our air-conditioning systems so that they no longer use water running to waste and we are establishing partnerships so that the our carbon emissions can be reprocessed effectively. All of our cleaning products are also eco-certified.
We are also reviewing the conditions in which our employees work in order to offer them workspaces adapted to new requirements.
In the heart of Paris, in the heart of Maje
This year, a new partnership with the waste management company Cèdre will enable us to recycle waste generated at the headquarters with greater solidarity by collaborating with a specialised company whose staff includes 65% of people with disabilities, but also by investing in a more circular economy, as the industries in charge of recycling waste are entirely French.
Our new Parisian headquarters have been granted the HQE (High Quality Environment Standard) label, having been awarded level 3 for “Excellent”. The design as well as the management of the renovation of the historical building in which we set up shop are all part of a sustainable development approach and effort to offer our employees improved comfort.
At Maje, in the heart of Paris, where our studio, workshops and artistic director Judith Milgrom design the fashion for future seasons, we are gradually changing our practices. This season, we decided to replace all plastic tumblers with ceramic mugs. Once again, the aim is to gradually make progress in order to ensure everyone takes responsibility.
Let’s take things even further
Once you get a taste for commitment, you always want to do more. In 21 years of existence, Maje has played a major role in promoting causes close to its heart, along with the men and women fighting for them. This human commitment is continuing and being developed this season. New collaborations and new ways of contemplating the future are driving us to take action. All of our progress is detailed here: Maje People.
Due to the coronavirus situation, the protection of our teams also remains a priority. And as is the case for everything right now, things are going to change.
We are already applying, internally and to our partners, strict specifications to ensure hygiene, safety, environmental and labour law regulations are respected. We will have to be even more ambitious to respond to the challenges in the years to come.
As always, we will follow and apply all rules and recommendations country by country, to continue to dream together, while staying safe. We will, of course, keep you up to date with these evolutions in the coming weeks.
An entire community
It is in our nature to get involved in causes that affect us. Sometimes far removed from the fashion world, in contact with several associations like Mécénat pour la chirurgie cardiaque, Women for Women International, The Red Cross and Amnesty International. Because they are relentlessly working for causes that we deem to be essential, we have been following and supporting them for several years.
In recent seasons, we have established multiple collaborations combining fashion and commitment with Jump, Absolution, 24Bottles, Vestiaire Collective. Various and varied projects, all related to our desire to go even further with our eco-friendly actions. These partnerships help us to rethink our habits, and sometimes more, as was the case in 2020.