Our Current Stories on Sustaining The Environment
Fashion Meets Sustainability
Crisp and cool or softly draped and silky smooth, organic cotton's natural appeal can be found in a growing number of Nordstrom's products. In fact, according to the Textile Exchange (formerly the Organic Exchange), a group that promotes and facilitates the use of organic cotton and sustainable textiles, Nordstrom was one of the United States' top 12 retailers using organic cotton in 2010.
Nordstrom's commitment to upping our organic-cotton usage in our private-label merchandise has resulted in steady increases in our use of the more environmentally friendly fiber in brands such as "We are dedicated to using organic cotton as part of a broader eco-focused strategy, and our goals include increased usage each year." — Matthew Tracy, Nordstrom Product Group (NPG)Stem and Holistia. "We are dedicated to using organic cotton as part of a broader eco-focused strategy, and our goals include increased usage each year," said Matthew Tracy, director of Nordstrom Product Group (NPG) strategy.
A growing commitment
The methods used to grow organic cotton are based on protecting the soil, water, air and surrounding living things. "Certified organic cotton means no use of pesticides or other harmful chemicals, which in turn allows us to offer our customers products that have less of an impact on the environment," said Matthew.
With the positive environmental impacts of organic cotton in mind NPG, which oversees Nordstrom's private labels, became involved with the Textile Exchange in 2004 and has seen steady progress in the use of the fiber since. By the end of 2005, we had incorporated organic cotton into our men's sleepwear category. In 2006, we used 104,000 pounds of organic cotton, and by 2009 our usage was up to 863,000 pounds. Through November 2010, we used a total of 538,000 pounds of organic cotton, which was 8.9 percent of all the cotton used in NPG's cotton offerings.
Focus on quality
NPG produces two cornerstone brands made with organic cotton—Stem and Holistia. Both are examples of our commitment to using and offering our customers organic, sustainable options. The Stem line is a women's full lifestyle collection of knit tops, jackets pants and dresses. The Holistia assortment, which is offered in Nordstrom's Narrative department, includes sweaters, knits, woven tops and bottoms. "All materials in the Stem line must contain 50 percent or more organic, renewable or sustainable fibers," said Matthew. "Holistia is a product our customers love because it's not only beautiful but it also enables the customer to select wisely in terms of organic, sustainable materials."
Looking ahead, our goals include continuing to increase the amount of organic cotton—and other environmentally friendly fibers—used to produce Nordstrom merchandise. Organic cotton's fine quality and sustainability enables us to offer customers eco-conscious options while supporting responsible industries that foster healthy communities.
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