Gap4Good

Responsibly made
for every generation.

We believe Gap should be a force for good. Our purpose is to create change that is sustainable, to enrich communities, and to be better for this generation and the next.

We design products with better materials and strive to make a positive impact for people and our planet.

Gap4Good

Responsibly made
for every generation.

We believe Gap should be a force for good. Our purpose is to create change that is sustainable, to enrich communities, and to be better for this generation and the next.

We design products with better materials and strive to make a positive impact for people and our planet.

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Sustainability is a journey.

From water to wash, fiber to factory, our goal is to make the clothes you live in — but to do it responsibly with respect for the planet we all share.

We're not perfect. But we promise to lead, not react. To use less, not more.

our journey

Our Journey
our journey

1994

SUPPLIER SUSTAINABILITY PROGRAM ESTABLISHED

We established social and environmental standards for our supply chain and began monitoring supplier performance.

2004

FIRST GAP INC. PUBLIC SUSTAINABILITY REPORT

Reported from data acquired in 2003, speaking to Gap Inc. as a whole.

2004

WATER QUALITY PROGRAM LAUNCHED

Our program dedicated to helping ensure that wastewater from denim laundries is properly treated.

2007

GAP INC. LAUNCHES P.A.C.E.

The Gap Inc. Personal Advancement & Career Enhancement (P.A.C.E) program empowers female garment workers through career and life-skill education so that their full potential can be reached.

Learn More

2016

GAP LAUNCHES WASHWELL

Washwell was founded to conserve water in denim laundries. This program reduces water use by at least 20% compared to conventional wash methods.

2017

USAID GAP INC. WOMEN + WATER ALLIANCE LAUNCHED

Based in India, Gap Inc. launched the program to empower two million people to improve their access to drinking water and sanitation by 2023.

2017

CANOPYSTYLE COMMITMENT ANNOUNCED

Our policy and commitment to eliminate the sourcing of wood-derived fabrics from ancient and endangered forests.

2019

THE JEANS REDESIGN

Joined the project to design and manufacture denim with a focus on circularity.

2019

GAP INC. 2030 CLIMATE GOALS ANNOUNCED

We aim to source 100% renewable electricity for our owned and operated facilities and reduce supply chain greenhouse gas emissions by 30% from our 2017 baseline.

2021

SUPPORTING COTTON IN CONVERSION TO ORGANIC

We joined forces with Arvind Limited, a fabric mill, to support 2,000 farmers undertaking conversion of their cotton fields to organic practices.

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Water

Washwell

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OUR GOAL

100% denim and woven bottoms made using Washwell techniques by 2025.

Clean Water Access

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OUR GOAL

Empower two million people to improve their access to drinking water and sanitation by 2023, as part of the USAID Gap Inc. Women + Water Alliance.

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We're cleaning up the denim business.

That's why we make efforts to save water whenever we can.

We continue to expand Washwell, our program that uses at least 20% less water as compared with conventional wash methods. So far, we've saved over 500 million liters of water since 2016. That's enough to fill more than a billion water bottles.

In addition, our Water Quality Program aims to ensure that our clothes are made in a way that protects local waterways and minimizes impacts on the planet.

Here's the thing about cotton.

A majority of Gap products are made with cotton, which needs lots of water to grow — and strong communities to grow it. However, cotton is largely grown in water-scarce regions where it is often women who bear the burden of collecting water for their families.

In 2017, Gap Inc. collaborated with NGO partners to launch the Women + Water Alliance to provide women's empowerment trainings and to improve water access in communities touched by the apparel industry in India.

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People

WOMEN IN P.A.C.E

Gap 4 Good

OUR GOAL

Gap Inc. has a goal to reach one million women and girls through P.A.C.E. by 2022.

EMPOWER@WORK FACTORIES

Gap 4 Good

OUR GOAL

100% of our product suppliers participating in Empower@Work by 2025.

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We can do better — together.

Our Gap Inc. Personal Advancement & Career Enhancement (P.A.C.E) program is an educational program that helps the women who make our clothes build the skills, knowledge, confidence, and resilience needed to advance in work and life. Every year we donate a portion of our profits to fund P.A.C.E. In 2022, one million women will have participated in P.A.C.E.

In 2019, Gap Inc. leveraged our P.A.C.E. program to became one of the founding members of Empower@Work, which will focus on building and deploying sustainable, systemic, and scalable programs that promote gender equality in global supply chains.

Putting people first is our ethos. Learn more about our pledge to amplify voices, include, and represent all.

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Materials

MORE SUSTAINABLE COTTON

Gap 4 Good

OUR GOAL

Use 100% more sustainable cotton by 2030, including regenerative, organic, in conversion to organic, and recycled. Gap also partners with Better Cotton to improve cotton farming globally.

RECYCLED POLYESTER

Gap 4 Good

OUR GOAL

Use 100% recycled polyester by 2030.

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Use less.
Do more.

We’re actively working to make products with cotton from more sustainable sources. To further address impacts on climate and communities, we are raising our standards and striving for 100 percent more sustainable cotton by 2030, including regenerative, organic, in conversion to organic, and recycled.

In 2021, the brand began supporting farmers with training and income stability during their three-year transition from conventional to organic cotton growing practices, which contributes to farmworker and soil health by eliminating toxic agricultural inputs.

We use recycled materials to help minimize our impact on the planet — because we believe less means more. The recycled polyester used in Gap products is made from recycled plastic bottles.

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generation good

Our bridge to the future starts with five pillars we mark it against. It’s our most sustainable collection yet — and we’re just getting started.*

*Products in this collection are denoted with Gen Good in the name.

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BETTER MATERIALS

Every product has a footprint. We aim to design and manufacture our products in ways that tread lightly on the planet. As part of this effort, we use organically grown cotton, recycled polyester, and other fibers which are better for the environment.

Each Generation Good style is made with at least 20% Preferred Fibers.

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LESS WASTE

We believe style is circular. That's why we obsess over every fiber, detail, and invest in quality. Each piece is designed to last.

Joining the circular economy means shifting our thinking about design, how we wear and care for products, and where products eventually go.

Reducing waste and using recycled materials allows us to minimize our impact on the planet, helping to keep waste out of landfills while also reducing carbon emissions.

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LESS WATER

We know water is precious. That’s why we work to use less and less of it as we move forward in our washing and dying processes.

To be a part of Generation Good, each style must do the following:

  • Achieve at least 20% water savings as compared with conventional dye techniques or wash methods.
  • Be manufactured at a fabric mill or laundry facility which uses at least 20% recycled water.
  • Be manufactured at a fabric mill or laundry facility which has participated in a Gap Inc.-recognized efficiency program and has verified savings of at least 10 million liters of water within the past three years.

Bonus: We set chemistry guidelines, too. The chemical formulations (AKA dyes and finishes) used to make Generation Good styles must be at least ZDHC Level 1 compliant.

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LOWER EMISSIONS

We choose partners who have our same mission at their core — to eliminate emissions and implement renewable energy.

The fabric mills in which we produce Generation Good styles in must either use renewable energy or have participated in and achieved energy savings through a Gap Inc.-recognized efficiency program as part of our Supplier Sustainability Program (see The Good Glossary for more info!).

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EMPOWERING WOMEN

The people who make our clothes matter—and we’re continuing to find new ways to empower workers who put so much care into every piece.

Generation Good styles must meet one of the following criteria:

Made in a factory that runs the Gap Inc. P.A.C.E. program, which supports career and life-skill education for garment workers.

Made in a factory that runs the Workplace Cooperation Program (WCP), which facilitates dialogue between workers and management to address workplace issues.

Made in a factory that runs the Supervisory Skills Training (SST) Program.

Empowering and supporting the people we work with is a non-negotiable. water

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THE GOOD
GLOSSARY

Our living, breathing dictionary on all things sustainability and what they mean.

MATERIALS

Animal Welfare Policy: We are committed to the humane treatment of animals. Our animal welfare policy prohibits the use of fur, angora, and mohair, as well as practices including live plucking and mulesing. For more details, visit gapincsustainability.com/sites/default/
files/animal-welfare-policy.pdf

LENZING™ ECOVERO™: LENZING™ECOVERO™ is a wood-based fiber produced using pulp derived from responsibly managed forests and manufactured with significantly lower 
emissions and less water than generic viscose.

Cotton in Conversion to Organic: Gap is supporting cotton growing communities during the three-year transition toward certified organic farming and away from conventional agricultural practices, which use harmful synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. This effort helps farmers while also increasing the global supply of organically grown cotton.

Cotton: Organic cotton is better for people and the environment because it’s grown without the use of harmful synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.

Organic Farming: Organic farming aims to support robust ecosystems and abundant biodiversity by encouraging practices like crop rotation, prohibiting genetically modified seeds, maintaining healthy soils and applying organic fertilizers and manures instead of manufactured inputs.

Preferred Fibers Toolkit: Our toolkit includes an evaluation of raw material choices that builds upon data inputs from the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s (SAC) Higg Materials Sustainability Index. It also incorporates other holistic indicators to consider environmental and social considerations. Building on the toolkit, Gap Inc. and Textile Exchange are proud to announce the public release of the Preferred Fiber and Material Matrix, a resource for sourcing and design teams to inform companies on meeting their sustainability goals. Learn more at textileexchange.org/pfm-matrix.

Recycled Materials: Recycled materials are recovered or diverted from the waste stream either during the manufacturing process (pre-consumer) or after consumer use (post-consumer). Using recycled materials helps us minimize our impact on the planet. Compared to virgin materials, recycled materials help keep waste out of landfills while also reducing carbon emissions.

Regenerative Cotton: Regenerative cotton agricultural practices are robust, holistic systems that support healthy soil and communities, and promote biodiversity.

Responsible Down Standard (RDS): RDS aims to ensure that down and feathers come from animals that have not been subjected to any unnecessary harm.

Protocol Verified Cotton (PVC): As members of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, we participate in a program for U.S.-grown cotton that supports best practices and

continuous improvement in key areas, including soil health, water management, and Greenhouse Gas Emissions. The Trust Protocol uses verified data to drive impact and brands participate through the Mass Balance System. For more details, visit rustuscotton.org.

TENCEL™ fibers: TENCEL™ fibers are derived from wood, which is a renewable raw material, and produced using pulp from responsibly managed forests.

Wood-Derived Fabric Policy: In partnership with CanopyStyle, a third-party sustainable fashion and forestry initiative, we set this policy to help ensure our suppliers do not use wood from ancient, endangered, high-conservation or high carbon–value forest areas to make cellulose-based textiles, including rayon, modal, viscose, and lyocell.

Mill Sustainability Program: Our Mill Sustainability Program focuses on driving transparency and innovation while reducing compliance risks and contributing to our corporate sustainability goals. By leveraging partnerships, we can analyze and improve the environmental performance of our supply chain. Our suppliers’ involvement is key to our ability to calculate our energy, greenhouse gas emissions, and water baselines, which support progress toward our new science-based target for our indirect, Scope 3 GHG emissions and help us build a more water-resilient supply chain. The program also helps drive improvements in social performance at mills. Learn more at gapincsustainability.com/environment/
improving-manufacturing-mills-and-laundries. 

Supplier Sustainability Program: Gap Inc. has in place a robust program for assessing and remediating issues in sourcing facilities, as well as a suite of capability building programs focused on women’s empowerment, social dialogue and supervisory skills. With local teams in our key sourcing countries, we are able to partner closely with facilities, as well as local and international stakeholders, allowing us to have thorough, on-the-ground insight into how our suppliers perform and what salient issues workers in our supply chain face.

WATER

Washwell: Developed in 2016, our Washwell program for denim and woven bottoms, like khakis, uses at least 20% less water compared with conventional wash methods. 

Water-Quality Program: Developed in 2004, the Gap Inc. Water-Quality Program aims to ensure our jeans are made in a way that protects local waterways and minimizes impact on the planet. 

USAID Gap Inc. Women + Water Alliance: The USAID Gap Inc. Women + Water Alliance aims to improve and sustain the health and wellbeing of women and communities touched by the apparel industry in India. We believe access to clean, safe water is a fundamental right, so we are working with key partners to ignite women as water champions to advance lasting solutions for water access. Through this collective action initiative, we aim to empower 2 million people to improve their access to drinking water and sanitation by 2023. Learn more at https://www.gapinc.com/en-us/values/sustainability/environment/water-stewardship

Restricted Substance List (RSL):  Our Restricted Substances List prohibits suppliers from using certain chemicals that are harmful to people and the planet. In addition to protecting customers, our policies were put in place to address environmental pollution and protect garment workers from exposure to harmful chemicals. Gap Inc. is a founding member of the Apparel and Footwear International RSL Management (AFIRM) Group. Since 2008, our suppliers have been expected to comply with the AFIRM RSL, which sets limits on chemicals in finished products.

Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL): We expect our suppliers to comply with the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) MRSL, which prohibits use of chemicals of concern in production. We also expect wet processors to comply with the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines for wastewater testing to monitor adherence to the MRSL.

Perfluorochemicals (PFCs): Gap Inc. is committed and on track to eliminate PFC-based finishes from our supply chain.

EMPOWERING WOMEN

Workplace Cooperation Program (WCP): We believe that improving dialogue and relations between workers and management can help prevent labor disputes, resolve problems, give greater voice to workers, and improve productivity and competitiveness. The Gap Inc. Workplace Cooperation Program (WCP) sets up committees that are comprised of both workers and management representatives who are trained to work together to help address workplace issues, from overtime and worker well-being to washroom sanitation and better quality of food in the canteen. Additionally, we have a goal that by 2025, 100% of workers employed in strategic supplier factories will have their voices heard through representative, gender-equitable workplace committees.

Supervisory Skills Training: Gap Inc. launched the Supervisory Skills Training (SST) program to reach mid-level managers and provide them with the skills to improve communication with workers. SST gives supervisors and middle managers a deeper understanding of important leadership and supervisory concepts. Participants are trained to avoid a passive or authoritarian style of leadership, and to strike a fair balance between the interests of the company and the interests of staff. Through the SST, we have a goal that by 2025, 100% of strategic supplier factories will have achieved gender parity at the supervisor level.

Prevention of Sexual Harassment: Gap Inc.’s Supplier Sustainability team works with our suppliers to help build an environment where they clearly define and implement policies for Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) and create an Internal Complaints Committee to address issues of discrimination and harassment. We aim to help our suppliers raise awareness about this issue and the rights and responsibilities of male and female employees, including managers. 

Gap Inc. Code of Vendor Conduct: Since launching our Supplier Sustainability Program in 1994, we transformed our approach to improving facility working conditions by developing innovative, holistic programs that leverage assessments (audits) and remediation of our supply chain to ensure compliance to our Code of Vendor Conduct. We believe that by working together, we can achieve our commitments to improve workers’ well-being, protect human rights, reduce environmental impacts, and improve business performance. 

Personal Advancement & Career Enhancement Program (P.A.C.E.): P.A.C.E. is Gap Inc.’s educational program that helps the women who make our clothes build the skills, knowledge, confidence, and resilience needed to advance in work and life. Learn more at gap.com/pace. We continue to share our program curriculum with other retailers via Empower@Work.

Empower@Work: In 2019, Gap Inc. leveraged our P.A.C.E. program to became one of the founding members of Empower@Work, along with Better Work, Business for Social Responsibility’s (BSR) HERproject and CARE, working with support from the International Center for Research and Women (ICRW). Empower@Work harnesses the power of collective action to empower women workers, embed gender equality in business practice and catalyze policy and systems change, by aligning women’s empowerment training and skill-building efforts across the apparel industry. Empower@Work will focus on building and deploying sustainable, systemic and scalable programs that promote gender equality in global supply chains.


WASTE

Circularity: Materials are valuable, and one of the best things we can do is keep those materials in use for as long as possible and help ensure they never become waste. Joining the circular economy means shifting our thinking about design, how we wear and care for products, and where products eventually go, so that they can get reused and recycled. To do so, we are building programs to address product end of life and create circular design systems that reduce waste and increase recycling, upcycling, and reuse. 

The Jeans Redesign: The Jeans Redesign is creating solutions for a world where clothes are kept in use. In February 2019, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation gathered insights from more than 80 industry experts from across academia, brands, retailers, manufacturing, collectors, sorters, and non-governmental organizations to collaboratively define design parameters to make jeans fit for a circular economy.

By using The Jeans Redesign guidelines, we’ve created a collection of jeans that are made to be used more, made to be made again, and made from safe and recycled, or renewable inputs.

ReGap: ReGap is our way of saying, “Share the good.” We obsess over every stitch and detail, so each Gap piece has the quality to hold up — and pass along. From big kid to little kid, mom to daughter, friend to friend. 

Plastic Waste: Gap Inc. is working towards its 2030 commitment through The Fashion Pact to eliminate unnecessary and problematic plastic packaging as defined by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. We aim to achieve this goal through a combination of methods—reducing packaging where possible and converting to bio-based materials. For packaging that can’t be eliminated, we plan to maximize recycled content or divert waste from landfill through recycling. 

Upcycling: When materials are re-used in a way that adds value to the product, we call that upcycling. The opposite of upcycling is downcycling — still a form of recycling, but one where the new product has less value than the original. 

#GapforGood

Doing good takes a village.

It takes us + you. Get inspired by our community and show us how you pay the good forward using #GapForGood.