River Island launches new sustainability strategy called ‘The Kind Society’

River Island
// River Island unveils new sustainability strategy, called “The Kind Society”
// The sustainability strategy has 12 key commitments

River Island has revealed its new sustainability strategy, called “The Kind Society”.

The fashion retailer has launched the sustainability strategy with 12 key commitments.

The strategy is aligned to the United Nations Sustainability Goals, focusing on four “Ps”: people, planet, principles and partners.


READ MORE: River Island launches third-party beauty labels ‘to support emerging brands’


The key commitments include:

  • Actively promoting the recruitment of candidates from diverse social backgrounds
  • Acquiring full visibility up to tier 4 in its products supply chain by 2023
  • At least 50% of its garments sustainably attributed by 2023
  • Adoption of an MRSL by top 50 suppliers by 2023 (MRSL stands for Manufacturing Restricted Substance List and provides brands, retailers, suppliers and manufacturers with acceptable limits of restricted substances in chemical formulations which are used in the raw material and product manufacturing processes)
  • Reducing water use in its products’ manufacturing process by 50% by 2030
  • Zero waste to landfill from all UK operations by 2023, zero waste to landfill from its products’ manufacturing process by 2025
  • Eliminating all single use plastics from UK operations by 2022
  • Introducing products’ end-of-life solution for customers by end of 2022, and net-zero carbon emissions by the end of 2040

River Island said it has already achieved the following: eliminated single use plastic from its packaging, all cotton in its jeans is responsibly sourced, 100% traceability and auditing of tier 1 supply chain and 40% from its tier 2 downwards, over 850,000 garments reused or recycled through its “Newlife” partnership in 2021, 100% green energy used in all its stores, head office and distribution centre, and the launch of its take back scheme in 2022.

“Fashion is the heart of River Island, it always will be, but we recognise that the industry needs to undergo significant change,” River Island CEO Will Kernan said.

“We believe fashion can, and should, be a force for good, and that belief informs our sustainability work.

“The necessity for action is pressing, and we want to make it easy for our customers to make more sustainable choices. As a high street retailer, it is our responsibility to make the changes to our that allow sustainability to become part of our customers’ day to day lives.

“In the coming year, we will focus on improving transparency in our supply chain and introducing robust water and chemical programmes, working with our partners to achieve our goals.

“The scale of the problem is significant, and there’s still a long way to go: not only for us at River Island, but within the fashion industry at large. It will be complex and challenging for us all, but we’re committed to making the changes necessary, sharing the progress we make and hurdles we meet as we work towards an industry that’s kinder for all.”

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