ChatGPT, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) developed by OpenAI, has been dominating the news and other forms of media in recent weeks. And for good reason. ChatGPT is trained using vast amounts of data from the internet with the purpose of helping users generate human-like texts such as answering questions, creating content, and even writing essays. In this blog post, we’re exploring the sustainable fashion brands that have been discovered by asking ChatGPT.
The fashion brands that we will be discussing are Stella McCartney, Reformation, Veja, Everlane, and Allbirds.
We will investigate if ChatGPT has made the right choice in recommending sustainable fashion brands by examining their ratings on “Good On You“, a website that rates brands based on information available for people, planet, and animals. The ratings range from “Great” to “We Avoid” and by using this website, we can verify the sustainability and ethical practices of the brands recommended by ChatGPT. This will give us a better understanding of why ChatGPT recommends these specific brands and help us make informed decisions when it comes to sustainable fashion.
When it comes to sustainable fashion, Stella McCartney is always a top choice. It’s no surprise that it’s the first brand on the AI-generated list. Since 2001, Stella McCartney has been a pioneer in sustainable and eco-friendly fashion.
As stated on its website, “materials are the foundations of our sustainable initiatives.” The brand is completely fur-free and uses only vegan leathers made from mycelium, which is the underground root structure of mushrooms. Other sustainable materials used by the brand include organic cotton, recycled nylon and polyester, viscose, and recycled cashmere.
In addition to sustainable materials, Stella McCartney is committed to ethical production, only using factories that meet fair labor and environmental standards. Since 2012, the brand has been a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative, which advocates for safe and healthy working environments and fair wages for all those involved in the supply chain. The brand is also transparent about its supply chain, providing information on the factories, companies, and farms they work with.
Furthermore, Stella McCartney is dedicated to circularity in its supply chain, reducing waste and using renewable, technical, and biological materials that can easily be recycled or repurposed. The brand also measures its impact using the EP&L tool developed by Kering to help companies understand its environmental impact. The brand is also completely carbon neutral, offsetting its carbon emissions by investing in renewable energy and carbon offset projects.
Fashion brand Reformation, known for its sustainable practices, is second on ChatGPT’s list of ethical fashion brands. Established in 2009 as a vintage clothing shop in Los Angeles, the brand has since expanded to designing and producing its own garments while prioritizing sustainability.
Their motto, “being naked is the #1 most sustainable option. We’re #2,” reflects their commitment to using eco-friendly materials such as organic cotton, linen, and Tencel, as well as deadstock materials.
The brand also employs the BLUESIGN® system for textile dyeing and holds the OEKO-TEX® standard to ensure the safety of the fabric.
Furthermore, Reformation reduces waste in their production process by using zero-waste pattern-making and recycling 75% of their garbage. Reformation also operates its own factory in Los Angeles and closely monitors the conditions of other partner factories. The brand is transparent about its supply chain and is carbon neutral, partnering with Climate Neutral to offset its emissions.
Veja, a sneaker brand founded in 2005, prides itself on its commitment to social projects, economic justice, and environmentally friendly materials.
The brand’s sneakers are made using organic cotton, wild rubber, vegetable-tanned leather, and B-mesh, a fabric made from 100% recycled polyester sourced from plastic bottles. Wild rubber is a sustainable alternative to traditional rubber, which is produced using harmful practices. Vegetable-tanned leather is a more ethical alternative to traditional leather, which is often treated with chemicals.
Veja is also dedicated to ethical production and fair labor practices. The brand works with cooperatives in Brazil that promote fair wages and good working conditions for their workers. They also use a traceability system to ensure that the materials used in their products are ethically sourced. To further demonstrate its commitment to transparency, Veja posts its contracts with organic cotton producers on its website and sets prices in advance to provide financial security for the producers. Veja is the first brand that I have come across that actually does this, and in my opinion, this increases transparency and reliability tremendously. Next to this, the brand only works with certified cotton producers and provides extensive information about their chemical practices. The brand also partners with organizations such as Fair Trade and the Organic Cotton Program.
Like Reformation, Veja also employs a zero-waste pattern-making technique to reduce excess fabric and waste. The brand is also transparent about its CO2 emissions and has a plan in place to reduce them.
Founded in 2010 by Michael Preysman, Everlane is a clothing and accessories brand for both men and women.
The brand is committed to using sustainable materials in its products, such as recycled polyester, clean silk, recycled wool, recycled cashmere, alpaca, and organic cotton. Everlane’s clean silk is dyed at a BLUESIGN® dyehouse, ensuring that no harmful chemicals are used. Additionally, the leather in their shoes is tanned at ISA Tantec, which is certified Gold by the Leather Working Group, and is produced with 47% less electricity, 62% less water, and emits 46% less CO2 compared to traditional leather tanning.
Everlane holds multiple certifications, including BLUESIGN® Systems partner, GOTS Organic Cotton Certification, and Cradle to Cradle Gold Certification, and is dedicated to ethical production and fair labor practices.
The brand is transparent about its factories and provides extensive information on its website. Like Reformation and Veja, Everlane also uses a zero-waste pattern-making technique. They are also relatively more affordable compared to other sustainable brands.
Allbirds is a sustainable, eco-friendly footwear brand founded in 2016 by Tim Brown, a former professional soccer player from New Zealand, and Joey Zwillinger, a biotech engineer from the United States.
The company offers a wide variety of shoe styles and its mission is to create “the most comfortable shoes on the planet, using the least amount of materials necessary.” Allbirds uses sustainable materials such as merino wool, recycled polyester, sugarcane, Trino®, and TrinoXO™, which is a combination of tree and merino fibers that have been developed by the brand, to create a soft and breathable material that naturally reduces odor. They also use recycled plastic bottles in the insoles of their shoes.
In terms of ethical initiatives, Allbirds is a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and has a “Transparency” section on their website, where they disclose the names and locations of the factories where their shoes are made and provide information on their labor policies and practices. They are committed to fair labor practices and have implemented a code of conduct for their suppliers, and conduct regular audits to ensure that the standards are met.
They also have a ReRun marketplace, where customers can buy imperfect and used Allbirds shoes, helping to reduce waste and the brand’s impact
In conclusion, the brands discussed in this article have received various ratings on Good On You, with three receiving a “Good” rating and two receiving an “It’s a start” rating.
From this rating, you could argue that ChatGPT is wrong. There aren’t even any “greats” in this list, right?
Nevertheless, there are several explanations for why this is not necessarily the case. ChatGPT is a fairly new innovation and is still being developed. To add to this it also only looks at data available on the internet prior to 2021. Moreover, these brands are among the most well-known sustainable fashion brands, and it is not surprising that they are the first ones provided by ChatGPT. Additionally, Good On You, while a useful tool, is not a universally recognized database for researching brands.
Overall, the list provided by ChatGPT is noteworthy, and I, for one, am interested to see how this will develop in the future.