Compostable bag program aims to reduce impact of fashion packaging

Fashion for Good has launched a pilot program to test alternatives to conventional single-use polybags.

The Home-Compostable Polybag Project, is organized by Fashion for Good in partnership with C&A and Levi Strauss & Co. It is a six-month project using bags from Fashion for Good innovators TIPA Corp. and Greenhope.

The bags are made with bio-based material to reduce fossil fuel consumption and are designed to compost in either home or municipal composting environments.

The project aims to find alternative end-of-use for landfill-bound materials, and to provide an at-home option for consumers who do not have access to municipal composting programs.

“Fashion is one of the main segments where consumers are looking for alternatives to conventional plastic packaging. This is why we’re extremely proud to be selected by Fashion for Good to take part in this innovative pilot to test plastics that biodegrade into the soil at the end of use,” said Daphna Nissenbaum, CEO and Co-Founder, TIPA Corp.

“By offering an alternative to conventional plastic packaging, TIPA helps sustainably-responsible fashion brands fight plastic pollution. A program like this is crucial for demonstrating the viability of compostable packaging like TIPA’s and gaining scale by forming more alliances within the industry.”

An estimated 180 billion polybags are produced every year to store, transport and protect apparel and footwear. Their production, use and end-of-use have a significant impact: conventional virgin polybags have a high carbon footprint and low recycling rates across the globe. Conventional bags are commonly incinerated, landfilled, or subject to environmental leakage, harming natural systems.

There are several critical challenges to scaling home-compostable bags: functionality, impact, cost and infrastructure, all of which will be assessed over the course of the project.

The innovative bags include bio-based content, which must be tested against key performance and quality properties, such as transparency, durability and longevity. This project seeks to benchmark these bags against conventional plastics in supply chains, as well as measuring the overall impact and associated costs of the materials.

The Home-Compostable Polybag Project is the third Fashion for Good polybag project following the Circular Polybag Pilot (completed in 2020) and Reusable Packaging (completed 2021) projects. These projects aim to validate innovations that reduce the dependence on virgin fossil fuels, reduce impact of production, and are capable of compostability, avoiding landfill. 

Fashion for Good’s programmes are supported by founding partner Laudes Foundation, co-founder William McDonough and corporate partners adidas, BESTSELLER, Burberry, C&A, CHANEL, Inditex, Kering, Levi Strauss & Co., Otto Group, Patagonia, PVH Corp., Reformation, Richemont, Stella McCartney, Target and Zalando, and affiliate and regional partners Arvind Limited, Birla Cellulose, Norrøna, Pangaia, Paradise Textiles, Teijin Frontier, Vivobarefoot, Welspun and W. L. Gore & Associates.