June 22, 2021

OVS pursues new sustainability targets

3 min read

OVS, an Italian chain of fashion stores, has recently achieved some notable results in terms of sustainability and circular fashion, as explained in its 2020 Sustainability Balance Report.

Among its most recent achievements it launched Eco Valore, a collaborative project carried ahead after a three-year cooperation with the University of Padua. Inspired by the principle of transparency, the development was selected among the ten most relevant and innovative practices by “Report of 2020 Circular Fashion System Commitment” as part of an initiative that boasted 86 participating companies–12.5% of the sector.

In addition, OVS was evaluated upon a basis of the targets it achieved in 2021 among the top performers of the sector in terms of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) by agencies specialized in sustainability rating.

OVS store in Milan

OVS store in Milan

“Our 2020 Sustainability Balance is a very important document that presents our commitment toward the environment,” said Stefano Beraldo, CEO of OVS. “We are aware that transparency is a fundamental value, and it will guide us in taking our next decisions,” he added, explaining that the company’s sustainable strategy is based upon four main pillars: supply chain, clients, people and shops.

Speaking of product and supply chain, 85% of the cotton OVS used for its 2020 collections was biological-certified or produced through the Better Cotton Initiative platform. By the end of 2021 it aims to offer collections made with 100% cotton from organic, BCI or recycled cotton only.

In 2020 OVS produced 1.3 million pieces using recycled polyester. Most of the fabrics made with this fiber are produced by REO-Eco, a Chinese specialist in recycling PET bottles. The company, whose name REO stays for “Respect, Earth, Ocean,” was founded in 2007 and with its over 1,000 employees and 800 machines it recycles over 1.3 billion PET bottles per year.

In 2020 OVS also launched a line of bathing suits called Ocean Care made with Econyl, a Nylon 6.0 yarn by Aquafil, obtained from recycling nylon from fossil sources. The chain is also testing the use of Econyl for other product categories including outer jackets.

Out of its total jeans production, 30% of its jeans use a waterless technology achieved through a process that can save up to 95% of water. By 2025 it aims to treat 100% of its jeans with this technology and save an estimated over one billion liters of water per year when compared with the water quantity used for traditional washing methods.

OVS jeans

OVS jeans

In total today over 65% of its products use materials from a low impact certified value chain. It expects to expand this to 90% within 2025.

OVS has joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition that monitors its performance through the HIGG platform. So far this monitoring activity is involving 80% of its production value. It aims to reach 100% by 2022.

The chain’s stores are also designed while keeping an eye on more sustainable choices as their interiors consist of FSC-certified wood and recycled metal. Both materials can be recycled at the end of their life, are produced using low-consumption electricity and obtained from renewable sources.

The company is also reducing the use of plastic. By 2021 it will be replaced with paper or recycled plastic packaging.

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