As far as big brands go, US outdoor clothing label, Patagonia has implemented some commendable innovations and made great headway in becoming a more sustainable brand. From their 'don't buy this jacket' ad campaign, to their use of recycled fabrics and their Worn Wear trade-in scheme, its all good stuff. Although I am firmly of the belief that it's not just fashion brands who can and need to solve the fashion crisis that we find ourselves in. All of us can play some part, whether it's through simply being more conscious consumers and demanding more and better for our money. Or whether its through some other bold innovation or concept that might just work.
Closer to home here in Australia, some really exciting businesses are find their way to the market. These ideas are potential gamechangers in the circular fashion space I can wait to see where they go over the next few years. One of my favourite quotes that I've come across recently is from Albert Einstein where he said "Problems can not be solved at the same level of awareness that created them". These incredible innovators have really approached the problem from a whole other level of awareness.
BlockTexx is a Sydney-based clean tech company. They have developed a textile recovery technology called S.OF.T (separation of fibre technology) that allows them to recover PET (a man made fibre) and cellulose (a natural fibre) from textiles and clothing. Until recently the ability to recycle textile blends, for example poly/cottons was very limited. Typically synthetic or man-made fibres, which are derived from fossil fuels are recycled via a chemical process. Where as natural fibres such as cotton were recycled via a mechanical process. Therefore when an item of clothing was a blend of the two, there was limited ability to separate the two types fibres into their high value raw materials. As a result of their technology BlockTexx are able to divert even more textiles and clothing away from landfill and help the fashion industry to become more circular and sustainable. Whats even more interesting is that BlockTexx has found a market for the recovered PET products in textiles, packaging and building materials. While the recovered cellulose can be used in many industries including textiles, pharmaceuticals and food!
Their blog is also full of some great reads and perspectives in the textile recycling and circular fashion space.
Another innovative Australian business that I have previously written about is Upparel . The business formally known as Manrags was a sock and underwear subscription service. Following a hugely successful crowdfunding campaign they changed their name and set about achieving their mission to divert textile waste from landfill through direct action. Upparel offer a service that starts from $25 for up to 10kg of almost any unwanted textiles including clothing, shoes and bedding. Once you've placed your order and boxed your textiles, Upparel arrange for a collection by courier from your home or work. Then they take care of the rest. All textiles they receive are sorted for either reuse or repurposing with their many partners (including charities) and items that are no longer fit for wear are recycled. So far Upparel have saved over 1.7 million items from landfill and they are now 10:1 production positive. Meaning that for every pair of socks that they sell (they're still a sock and underwear subscription service), 10 pairs of socks are saved from landfill. Its truly impressive stuff.
And don't forget….us!
And finally there is us! Curious Kind has been created out of a desire to minimise the excessive amount of good quality kids clothing that is under utilised and landfilled. We're really passionate about waste and circular fashion and truly believe that there is a much better way to do kids clothing. We want more families to have access to ethical and sustainable clothes for their kids. We want to decrease the reliance on fast fashion just because its cheap and kids grow out of it so quickly. We know there is a better way. While we're at it we want to save you time, money and space in your home. We are going to be offering a subscription-based clothing rental service for your babies and kids. Think of it as a wardrobe that grows with your child. And if rental isn’t for you, why not purchase from us and then use our Little Loop Return Program when you no longer need them or the clothes are worn out? We'll offer you store credit for all of your Curious Kind purchases, forever.
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