Brands Causes Environment Reviews

Reforming Fashion: The Reformation Review

Reformation Review
Written by Julia Eden

Reformation Review

Reformation is not a sustainable company. Not quite yet. Instead, they are a company taking you on a journey. The goal is to expand every consumer’s knowledge about the impact of their wardrobes. However, just because they are not operating 100 percent sustainably, does not mean their eco credentials don’t stack up. Learn more about the company with our Reformation Review.

A Little Bit Of History

Founded in 2009 by Yael Aflalo, Reformation started as an upcycling project, taking vintage dresses and refashioning them. As the company grew, Aflalo faced challenges in her personal life that forced her awareness of the impact from the fashion industry. Learning, adapting, and changing in the presence of new information, the Reformation of today can boast about (almost) every aspect of the business. From the sourcing of materials, to the factory production, to the final packaging for shipment, the brand is working on solutions. Of course, none of this effort is evident in the final product. What’s visible is a range of pieces that absolutely scream “innocent southern belle moves to (and conquers) the big city.”

Reformation Review

Yael Aflalo, an entrepreneur and former model, who is also Reformation’s Founder & CEO  who launched her Reformation label in the back room of a store in L.A. in 2009

I am slightly obsessed with textiles. So, my favorite aspect of Reformation is that they source about 40 percent of their fabric from deadstock. This may be the best kind of upcycling; A LOT of deadstock ends up in landfills, making it accountable for part of the six percent of landfill waste that is generated by textiles.

The Experience

*Author figuratively gasps for air as she comes up from total immersion in the educational material available on Reformation’s website.*

Wow. Sorry. I got lost there for a moment. The brand’s website is like a maze and navigating it is an exciting treasure hunt! Reformation illuminates a comprehensive list of subjects about the environmental impact of the fashion industry. This act reveals a product that is both impressive for its successes and critical of the areas that still need improvement. In their plus column:

  • The line is designed, developed, and produced in their LA Headquarters.
  • 80 percent of their supplies and raw materials are sourced locally.
  • They turned the alley behind the office into a “beautiful, relaxing garden for our team to enjoy the outdoors, plant some veggies, and gather for meetings and parties”. As a result, 80,000 gallons of greywater is recycled through it every year.
  • They are a registered BCorps.
  • There are extensive supplier screening systems in place, and these systems are rigorously implemented.
Reformation Review

The alley which Reformation turned into a garden with a laundry-to-irrigation system which helps recycle over 80,000 gallons of water per year

The Greenwashing Test

Probably the best part of Reformation, though, is that they pass the greenwashing test. They continually attempt to do better, rather than resting on gimmicks. As the brand admits,

“We are not totally sustainable just yet – we need to invest in programs that actually replace what we’ve used and spent. So we give back to the environment in the form of offsets. Basically, in exchange for the emissions and water used by our clothes, we help plant forests to naturally capture CO2 from the air, invest in clean water solutions, and purchase landfill gas offsets.”

The Look

…Is whimsical, functional, and modern while still nodding at its vintage sources. Sweeping hemlines and off-the-shoulder silhouettes are adorned by floral prints and dappled eyelets. The style is sunny and easy and gives the impression of a woman who is in control of her life. Even though secretly she’s dreaming of childhood summers spent languidly lounging, idly fashioning flower chains. It’s modern nostalgia summed up in jumpsuits and blouses.

Reformation Review

Reformation’s Tagline: Being naked is the #1 most sustainable option. We’re #2.

An extensive range is currently available, combined from individually released capsule collections. Pieces are available only until they’re not. Sorry. I feel like you may have missed the part where I mentioned extensive range. Reformation, in addition to their daily wear and a full spectrum of accessories, has a complete line of wedding and bridesmaid dresses. It’s that kind of extensive.

In an extra bold move, Reformation offers a couple of very cool features. First, every piece contains a care label that goes above and beyond to help you make responsible choices for the life of the garment. Additionally, every product page on the website gives you the mathematical breakdown of your purchase. By comparing the footprint of their own work against standards across the fashion industry, Reformation provides shoppers with a snapshot illustrating exactly how this purchase is better than any other big-box brand.

Reformation Review

A label that doesn’t only care about the garment but cares about the planet as well.

As always, this is no excuse to go out on a shopping spree, instantly undoing so much hard work. But it is an appropriate place to pick up a few basics, and some great accent pieces, the next time those threads are a bit bare. Because with every purchase, they’ll do better so you’ll get better.

About the author

Julia Eden

With a passion born in rivers, Julia Eden has spent the last decade crusading for the environment. Educated in fashion design and English Literature, and skilled in dance, she is dedicated to finding the information needed to live a new and better life. While not quite a Luddite, she would very much like to live in a cave with a wolf and an internet connection.

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