American Eagle Outfitters announces sustainability measures

Shoppers will be encouraged to recycle their jeans in American Eagle stores.

American Eagle is the latest fashion company to focus on being kinder to the planet.

American Eagle Outfitters (AEO), the group behind the apparel labels American Eagle and Aerie, has announced plans to implement sustainability measures across its organization over the coming years.

"At AEO we focus on youth and their optimism toward the future, so building a better world for generations to come is fundamental to our brands, values and purpose," said Jay Schottenstein, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, in a statement. "We pledge to accelerate sustainability improvements across our entire organization, and throughout the supply chain, holding ourselves accountable through the adoption of science-based targets. As a leading retailer, we are dedicated to working across the industry to create systemic changes in garment manufacturing."

Key aims include a plan to achieve carbon neutrality in all of AEO's owned and operated facilities -- such as offices, stores and distribution centers -- by 2030, as well as making employee business travel carbon neutral. The group has also pledged to reduce its carbon emissions by 40% by the year 2030, and by 60% by 2040, using 2018 as a baseline. Between now and 2023, it will endeavour to slash the water used in making its jeans by 30%, aim to use 100% sustainably-sourced cotton, and ensure that 50% of water used in its laundries is recycled, amongst other measures.

Shoppers will also be encouraged to do their bit by recycling their jeans in American Eagle stores, and recycling bras in Aerie stores.

Fashion labels are ramping up their efforts to become more sustainable in light of growing consumer demand and the science of climate change. In August, some of the biggest brands in the business threw their weight behind a 'Fashion Pact' spearheaded by François-Henri Pinault, the Chairman and CEO of the luxury conglomerate Kering, that was presented to world leaders at the G7 political meeting in Biarritz, France. H&M, PVH Corp, Nordstrom, Selfridges, Prada, Tapestry, Chanel, Ralph Lauren, Adidas and Nike all signed the pact. Meanwhile, Kering hit the headlines earlier this week when it announced plans to become completely carbon neutral.