We want to minimise our impact on the climate and the environment. Therefore, we increasingly use more environmentally friendly materials. We are also working on improving the sustainability of our production processes, lowering our CO² emissions and reducing our waste usage.



We'd like to emphasise that sustainability is an important pillar within WE Fashion's strategy, and that we are constantly striving to create a more sustainable business. We do this partly by using more sustainable materials. After all, current market options have less impact than conventional raw materials. Thus, focusing on more sustainable materials is part of our WE Care sustainability programme.

Of course, we realise that more sustainable materials can also have a negative impact. Therefore, this policy is flexible and may change in the future. Hence, we constantly look for improvements in our pursuit of more sustainable operations.


It's impossible to give a single definition for more sustainable materials due to the wide variety of raw materials and the impact they can have on humans, the environment or animal welfare. The list below gives an indication of the characteristics we consider more sustainable:

  • Less environmentally damaging material: reduced use of water, chemicals and energy for material production;
  • Less environmentally damaging processing: reduced use of water, chemicals and energy during wet processing and finishing of products;
  • Promoting circularity: use of new inventive and recycled materials;
  • More responsible sourcing*: respecting people, animals and the environment.

*This includes our investment in Better Cotton.


Since autumn 2020, all our used cotton has been sourced almost 100% more sustainably, most of it through Better Cotton. This organisation helps farmers improve their livelihoods and implement cotton production methods that respect the environment. In the same year, Better Cotton was able to reach almost 3250 farmers and provide training on more sustainable methods due to our investment. In addition, Better Cotton was able to produce on almost 6250 hectares of land. Better Cotton is available through a mass balance system and is not physically traceable to our products.


Organic cotton is cultivated without the use of pesticides, fertilisers or modified seeds. Every step, from farmer to sewing factory, is certified. When a WE Fashion garment is labelled organic, we can guarantee that it comes from a factory certified to the Organic Content Standaard (OCS) and GOTS – Global Organic Textile Standard. Interested in seeing proof of this? Please e-mail a photo of the front and back of the washing label to


WE Fashion has been a member of Better Cotton since 2015. Thanks to this membership, we ensure that more and more of the cotton we use is produced more sustainably. The organisation trains and guides farmers, resulting in higher yields for the farmer and the farm employees. It also decreases the use of water, pesticides and fertilisers.

Better Cotton is the world's largest cotton sustainability programme. It’s a joint effort by farmers, spinners, brands, retailers and NGOs to improve global cotton production for the people who produce it, the environment and the future of the industry. It also aims to transform the manufacture of plain cotton into a more sustainable raw material. In recent years, the initiative has provided training on sustainable farming practices to more than 2.7 million farmers in 23 countries. With our membership, we're choosing an initiative that is scalable and can make a big impact.

Better Cotton uses a chain of custody model in the form of the mass balance. This encourages us to buy and use more and better cotton (in a cost-efficient way), since the cotton does not have to be kept separate throughout the supply chain, as it is the case with organic cotton. This means that Better Cotton is not physically traceable in the clothes we sell. This is called a 'mass balance system'. Mass balance works roughly like green energy. When you buy green energy, no special power line is laid from - say, a wind farm - directly to your home. You buy 'credits' that are proof that green energy has been added to the existing electricity grid. This may not immediately turn on the lights in your home, but your purchase will still increase greener energy.

For more information, please see


For the correct use of other chemicals, we follow the WE® Restricted Substances List (RSL). This list indicates which chemicals we accept in our products and in what quantities.

Every WE Fashion product and packaging must meet the requirements for the use of chemicals, as listed in the WE® RSL. These materials are tested during product development.

In addition, WE Fashion also has a spot check programme in cooperation with TÜV NORD. They carry out spot checks for compliance with the WE® Restricted Substances List (RSL) two to three times a year. The organisation is free to test random products.

PVC and azo dyes are banned chemicals in our processes and products. Suppliers are not allowed to use materials consisting of these. Our products are constantly tested to confirm the absence of these chemicals.

Furthermore, we request data from our suppliers regarding their environmental impact. We do this through our membership with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC). They developed a specific module, called Facility Environmental Module (FEM), which measures the environmental impact of factories. For example, the use of water, energy consumption and chemicals.



The reuse of worn clothes and used fibres is expected to grow in the coming years, the circular economy becoming increasingly important. Clothing that is no longer worn can be used to make new yarn. We too have carried out this process before. Jumpers and cardigans were made from these post-consumer yarns, which were sold in our stores.


Did you know that a paper bag needs to be reused at least three times to have the same environmental impact as a disposable plastic bag? For a cotton bag, it's even 131 times. The major problem with plastic bags is due to the waste phase. However, plastics like these can be reused or recycled numerous times. On our shopping bags - which are made of LDPE and 50% recycled plastic - we ask our customers to reuse the bag as many times as possible. When the time comes to dispose of the bag, we ask them to do so in the plastic waste container.

Source: TNO


Each step within the supply chain - from the farmer, trader, spinner, weaver, sewing factory and laundry to WE Fashion's distribution centre - involves a large number of processes that are harmful to the environment. By using more environmentally friendly fibres and materials in our products, as well as cleaner factories to make them, we aim to minimise their impact. Reducing the use of water, chemicals and energy in production is important, as is reducing generated waste. In doing so, the footprint of our products decreases, which is good for both the environment and the people living in it.

Cotton is the most commonly used raw material in WE Fashion's collections. Therefore, we particularly focus on sourcing this fabric sustainably. We also want to further reduce the use of chemicals, water and energy in manufacturing. This especially relates to the dyeing and finishing of our products.

WE Fashion focuses on two themes to achieve the above. A number of targets have been formulated to achieve these themes as well:

  • Use of more sustainable materials
  • Making all product stages more sustainable and transparent


Do you want to build a circular fashion industry together? You can do so, by handing in your old, unworn clothes at our stores. All collected clothes are donated to a Salvation Army initiative called ReShare. Worn clothes are given a second life and sold at an affordable price in so-called ReShare stores. Through your clothing donations, you support a good cause, make others happy and contribute to a better environment.


  1. Fill a bag with clothes and shoes you no longer wear and bring these items to a WE® store near you.
  2. Nothing is too small or insignificant to be recycled; even socks, washed-up shirts or broken jeans or trousers can be reused.
  3. Your bag will be sent to the Salvation Army from our stores. Clothing that is still wearable always gets a second life.


  • Clothes must be clean and washed. However, it’s allowed to be broken or damaged.
  • This initiative takes place in all WE® stores in the Netherlands.


The Salvation Army is for everyone, regardless of religion, background or belief. Besides extensive charity work, the Salvation Army has been collecting clothes and textiles under the name ReShare for more than 130 years. All donated clothing is reused by sorting companies or sold in the so-called ReShare stores. These shops offer appealing clothes at an affordable price for people who have little to spend, want to protect the environment or are looking for something unique. The revenue supports charity work, such as providing facilities for teenage mothers, youth work or reintegration into the labour market.


WE Fashion takes many measures to reduce waste. Today, we donate all textile waste - created during the development of new styles - to sources dedicated to reusing fabrics. Many of our still-wearable clothes are sold at sample sales, clothes with a small defect go to the Salvation Army, and lots of items are donated to the Red Cross, generating funds for the WE® Get Together Foundation. Thanks to these processes, over 99% of clothes are worn again, some are used as insulation material, some are fibre-treated for reuse and less than 5% end up as waste.

  • Cardboard and plastic, in which we deliver our clothes to stores, are also collected. On an annual basis, this is more than 560 tonnes of reusable waste.


We use green electricity in our head office and all of our stores. In addition, we are transitioning to green gas in all our premises and have solar panels at our distribution centre in the Netherlands. These generate solar energy for our distribution centre and head office.


WE Fashion uses FSC and PEFC certified paper and cardboard for its promotional materials, printing paper, stationery and envelopes. These materials come from certified forests with respect for people, nature and the environment. As a result, we efficiently contribute to a better environment.


WE Fashion considers animal welfare very important. The WE® Animal Welfare Policy helps designers and buyers to make the right decisions. To do so, we follow the five domains. These domains relate to animal welfare and cover the following topics: good nutrition, good health, a good physical environment, appropriate behavioural interactions and positive mental experiences. See the WE® Animal Welfare Policy on the Transparency page for more information and our animal welfare goals.

WE Fashion does not use fur, angora fibres, duck feathers, exotic skins or materials from endangered species. We allow the use of certain materials, as long as specific conditions are met. For example, merino wool is only sourced without mulesing, we use leather from animals raised for meat production and our pearl is only sourced from non-endangered shellfish.

WE Fashion has signed the Fur Free Declaration. See for more information.


Want to read more about the goals we've set and achieved to make better products? You can find our latest sustainability report on the Transparency page.