Odlo’s journey to 100 per cent sustainability

Leading sports performance brand Odlo sets its sights on 100 per cent sustainability.

The Swiss brand with Norwegian roots is speeding up its journey towards this challenging goal by setting some key targets for its Fall/Winter 2020/21 collection. With the slogan “Be aware of what you wear” Odlo is sending out a clear green message to its end consumers. The aim is to raise awareness of the whole issue and encourage customers to consciously choose sustainably produced clothing.

The market leader in the Baselayer/Sports Underwear segment is making changes to its best-selling Performance Warm range. From Winter 2020/21 it will be known as Performance Warm Eco and made from 100 per cent recycled polyester, 100 per cent recycled elastane and 90 per cent recycled polyamide.

The pioneer of functional sports underwear is also converting its successful Active Warm range (previously Originals) to 100 per cent recycled polyester and changing its name to Active Warm Eco. The same applies to the Roy Midlayer.

This groundbreaking decision means that Odlo will save 350 tonnes of newly produced polyester. In future, the raw material will come from PET water bottles, which will be returned to the manufacturing cycle as the basis for premium performance garments – with no loss of quality. This shift in production has been made possible by the fact that it is now possible to source quality recycled polyester in the quantities required.

In 2020, 68 per cent of all Odlo baselayer will be made from recycled polyester or renewable natural materials. For 2030 Odlo has set a target of using 100 per cnet recycled synthetic or renewable natural materials and drawn up a clear plan to achieve this.

For the Engineers of Active Layers, the next step is to expand the use of recycled polyester to other layers. Then it will be rolled out in all categories. Odlo’s path to 100 per cent sustainability involves a number of stages. For example, in distribution the company will be halving its use of polybags in 2020. This drastic saving will be achieved by no longer packing each hanging garment individually but in larger bundles. They will still be protected from dirt and moisture during transportation, but this allows Odlo to make a significant contribution to reducing plastic waste.

Innovation is part of Odlo’s DNA and sustainability is already a key focus in this respect. Fall/Winter 2020/21 sees the launch of the Blackcomb Futureknit, a revolutionary knitted three- layer jacket. The unique knitted construction of this membrane jacket means that each element is made with total precision. This eliminates the waste that is produced by traditional cutting processes such as those used to make hard shell jackets from woven fabrics. “We care, we act, we share” – Odlo is living up to this claim by seeking to reduce its environmental impact and through active membership of leading organisations in this field.

For example, more than ten years ago it was one of the first sportswear companies to join the Fair Wear Foundation. Within this organisation, Odlo works with other experts at international level on the social aspects of its desire for greater sustainability. The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) is more focused on environmental issues. As members, Odlo and other companies pool their knowledge and expertise on how to save resources and progress their own environmental agendas.

This is linked to the company’s decision to manufacture 60 per cent of its Fall/Winter 2019/20 range in Europe. This reduces the distance that goods have to be transported and speeds up response times. Europe also has stricter government regulations on manufacturing and welfare standards – another key consideration for companies that are committed to greater sustainability.

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