Evrnu Selected as Buckminster Fuller Challenge Semi-Finalist

Comment

Evrnu Selected as Buckminster Fuller Challenge Semi-Finalist

EVRNU SELECTED AS SEMI-FINALIST FOR THE 2016 FULLER CHALLENGE

July 12, 2016 – Evrnu has been announced as a 2016 Semi-Finalist in the Fuller Challenge, a prestigious annual competition named “Socially-Responsible Design’s Highest Award”. Each year, The Buckminster Fuller Institute invites scientists, designers, architects, activists, entrepreneurs, artists and planners from all over the world to submit their innovative solutions to some of humanity’s most pressing problems. A $100,000 prize is awarded to support the development and implementation of one outstanding strategy. 

Nineteen proposals, including ours, have been selected as Semi-finalists after rigorous review for adherence to the seven-point Challenge criteria: Visionary, Comprehensive, Ecologically Responsible, Feasible, Verifiable, and Replicable. Our application has been through three rounds of vetting by the members of the Challenge Review Committee, including analysis and evaluation by an interdisciplinary team of experts and advisors. 

“Each of these projects deserve the attention of the world for their commitment to ‘solving for system’ – an approach that takes an unusual degree of insight, patience, tenacity and courage”, said Elizabeth Thompson, The Buckminster Fuller Institute’s Executive Director. “The teams behind these initiatives have made extraordinary efforts to define the systemic context underlying the problem they are seeking to solve, and have designed strategies that provide enduring and sustainable solutions. Each is a remarkable example of the transformative power of individual initiative and provide much needed hope by demonstrating that solutions to our most entrenched problems are indeed at hand.” 

The finalists will be announced in August, and the winner will be announced in September. 

For more information, please visit: https://bfi.org/challenge/about

Comment

4 Comments

Gotta Break It Down to Build It Up

Stacy Flynn and Christopher Stanev, Evrnu founders with their first prototype, Levi’s (R) 511 Jean

Stacy Flynn and Christopher Stanev, Evrnu founders with their first prototype, Levi’s (R) 511 Jean

I started getting interested in materials reuse through creating fabrics made of recycled PET from water bottles. This technology had been around for 20 years before I began working with it; I remember being in class in 1994 at FIT and watching a VHS video from an AV television cart about the recycling process used to make fleece. In fact, many years later, I met a gentleman in the southeast US who had been on the original team in the 1970s developing this technology as a cost reduction exercise because crude had skyrocketed. No one considered using waste as a resource in this way, they had to get creative. They had to adapt.

The people who work in the global textile and apparel industry are some of the most creative humans on the planet. I know this because I’ve had to stand in places all over the world to get goods made and shipped and there is never a season when all items flawlessly make themselves. Getting such variety, such details, the nuances all right and shippable; that’s an art and a science.

When I saw the world while traveling for work I was singularly focused on my job. The way I identified with the places I’ve been is to have dinner with the people I was visiting. I care about people, I want to know how they grew up, how they live, what they care about, if they’re suffering and why.

We build relationships to better understand the world's challenges.

When I decided to stop actively working in the textile and apparel industry it was at a time when I should have been at the top of my career. The trip I took to China in 2010 changed my life, I decided to begin my MBA in Sustainable Systems at Pinchot University because I wanted to bridge the gap between the language of textiles and apparel and the language of sustainability. I knew the system of making textiles and apparel, now I wanted to the study the industry's challenges and find the best point to intervene.

Here’s what my research uncovered; the first ingredient in any garment is fiber. 60% of all clothing in the world is made from petroleum, 30% of all clothing in the world is made from cotton. Both sources of manufacturing require tremendous resources impacting global air, water and soil supplies.

From here were put all of this value in to the yarn; we knit, weave, dye, print, finish, cut, sew, wash, press, package and ship each garment in its own individual poly bag. This happens for almost every single unit of clothing made and distributed across the globe.

We sell over 1 TRILLION US DOLLARS worth of clothing worldwide per year. That number is projected to double by 2025. Oh, and by the way, currently consumers dispose of 80% of their unwanted textiles and clothing directly to the landfill.

Image: Prylarer

Image: Prylarer

This is our starting point at Evrnu, it’s critical we find solutions that keep clothing from landfills or incinerators. Clothing is not designed to be burned or buried and we need to find a better, more sustainable method for consumers and companies to discard their waste. Education to consumers and apparel professionals is vital, this is the direct link to earnings, margin and cash flow for the entire system. If they are educated on HOW to make a change, the entire system will change.

Evrnu can be that solution. Our technology breaks down cotton garment waste to the molecular level and converts it in to a pulp. That pulp is then pumped and filtered to a fiber extruder. It pushes through what looks like a shower head; the number of holes and shape of the hole determine the end use characteristics of the fiber. That means we can make almost anything we want just by changing the shower head.

Sound simple? It’s not.

There are other technologies that are working on garment regeneration for both cotton and polyester; Worn Again (UK), Re:Newcell (Sweden), VTT (Finland), Ioniqa (The Netherlands), Ambercycle (US)

These are the companies you should be tracking.

When I talk to brands and retailers I explain that the initial approach to this challenge was based around one fundamental question: if they could change just one thing in their entire supply chain to make their business fundamentally more responsible, what would it be? The answer for designers: implement recycled or regenerated fiber for use in new product creation. The answer for consumers: donate everything; buy garments made from recycled or regenerated materials and make it the new normal.

Doing this means you will be able to drastically reduce impact to air, water and soil. Globally.

You will change the perception of waste.

This was a big week for us at Evrnu; this journey started as the typical start up story where I worked on my company for 3 years and competed in business case competitions as our sole fundraising strategy. Turns out, that strategy didn’t work so well.

But I always knew it had to happen, I have never wavered on our businesses validity since the very beginning. In fact, I try to up my game at every turn in terms of understanding leadership and ethics. I constantly ask myself, “who are the most ethical and effective leaders?” The answer I always arrive at is that they’re hard to find and I want to see more. Business is easy if you know your business. It’s the potential to do something that makes peoples’ lives better as a result of our business that inspires me.

This month completes our 17th month since we received our initial investment and we just issued our first joint press release with Levi’s Strauss & Co announcing our collaboration on a denim project and our proof of concept garment. Just this week we also won the Grand Prize for the Fabric of Change award announced during Copenhagen Fashion Week!

Christo and I have proven we can do a lot with a little. Every day we talk about who’s doing what, it’s exciting, and we are enveloped by the feeling that we’re building something important. That begins with the team and I won’t go in to specifics about the team but I will say that making peoples lives better through their work is my main priority. It’s the one thing the economists would love to get an algorithm for and that’s the power of human intention. How can a group of people, so aligned on a vision, change our current reality for the better?

Human intention is the most powerful force on Earth and it is completely invisible; everything we do makes a difference, no one makes you spend your money, we decide what we uphold in the world through our purchasing.

This is why we need to change fashion. NOW.

 

4 Comments

Comment

EVRNU™ AND LEVI STRAUSS & CO. CREATE FIRST JEANS MADE FROM POST-CONSUMER COTTON GARMENT WASTE

Major industry advancement in sustainability and closed-loop technology

Major industry advancement in sustainability and closed-loop technology

SEATTLE, WA (May 11, 2016) – Textile technology startup Evrnu™, SPC and global jeanswear leader Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.) today announced they have created the world’s first jean made from regenerated post-consumer cotton waste. Using a new, patent-pending recycling technology, discarded consumer waste is converted into renewable fiber. The first prototype, in the form of a pair of iconic Levi’s® 511® jeans, represents a future where textile waste is reduced considerably and cotton garments are continually regenerated to create a more sustainable world. 

Each year in the U.S. alone, 13.1 million tons of textile waste is created and of this 11 million tons ends up in landfills. Until now, there hasn’t been a viable solution that effectively transforms old clothes into new without compromising quality or strength. With Evrnu technology, discarded cotton clothing can be turned into a new cotton-like fiber, creating new possibilities.

The Levi’s® jean prototype, developed by Evrnu and the LS&Co. innovation team, was created from approximately five discarded cotton T-shirts and uses 98 percent less water than virgin cotton products, based on Evrnu data. Both companies are aligned on the vision of creating a circular economy that extends the life of cotton and eliminates waste by breathing new life into used clothing.

“LS&Co. was the perfect first partner for us to demonstrate our technology and capability as they are an iconic American company with a product that's recognized around the world,” says Evrnu CEO Stacy Flynn. “Our aspiration is to build a pair of Levi's jeans that are just as beautiful and strong as the original and we’re making great progress toward that goal.”

“This first prototype represents a major advancement in apparel innovation. We have the potential to reduce by 98 percent the water that would otherwise be needed to grow virgin cotton while giving multiple lives to each garment,” said Paul Dillinger, head of global product innovation at Levi Strauss & Co. “Although early days, this technology holds great promise and is an exciting advancement as we explore the use of regenerated cotton to help significantly reduce our overall impact on the planet.”

LS&Co. was the first apparel company to partner with Evrnu and apply their industry-altering technology into a garment. Evrnu executives expect that LS&Co.’s participation will improve investor awareness and represents the first step towards future commercialization of their garment recycling technology.

For LS&Co., this collaboration is part of a wider innovation and sustainability strategy. LS&Co. recently open sourced its Water<Less® finishing techniques globally to increase adoption across the apparel industry and reduce water consumption overall. The company is also taking a more holistic approach to sustainable product design with its Wellthread® products which consider social, environmental and economic sustainability factors.

Through its lifecycle assessment, LS&Co. identified that the cotton growing stage has the biggest impact on water use during the product’s life. At 68 percent of the total water used in the lifecycle of a pair of jeans, cotton presents the biggest opportunity.

“By tackling water conservation through new fiber innovation, the apparel industry has the opportunity to significantly reduce its water footprint,” Dillinger continued. “As technologies such as Evrnu evolve over time, there will be greater opportunities to accelerate the pace of change towards a closed loop apparel industry.”

About Evrnu™, SPC

Evrnu™ is a social purpose corporation registered in the State of Washington, USA and founded in 2014 for the purpose of addressing the problem of the resource-intensive, environmentally negative impact of the textile & apparel industries. The Evrnu technology safely converts post-consumer cotton garment waste by breaking down to the molecular level and converting in to a high quality, premium textile fiber. For more information, go to: http://www.evrnu.com

About Levi Strauss & Co.

Levi Strauss & Co. is one of the world's largest brand-name apparel companies and a global leader in jeanswear. The company designs and markets jeans, casual wear and related accessories for men, women and children under the Levi's®, Dockers®, Signature by Levi Strauss & Co.™, and Denizen® brands. Its products are sold in more than 110 countries worldwide through a combination of chain retailers, department stores, online sites, and a global footprint of approximately 2,800 retail stores and shop-in-shops. Levi Strauss & Co.'s reported fiscal 2015 net revenues were $4.5 billion. For more information, go to http://levistrauss.com.

To schedule an interview, contact amy@evrnu.com, 508.364.2833

Comment

Comment

Evrnu Featured Speaker at GoGreen Sustainability Conference in Seattle

The GoGreen Seattle 2016 program has a track of content dedicated to Green Your Workplace and Green Building focusing on areas of the business case for high performance and deep green buildings; district and cooperative energy and applying the principles of green chemistry and engineering to sustainable building and product design. Other important issues that will be addressed include putting a price on carbon pollution and Paris and beyond - how the updated 2015 Climate Action Plan works to drive private sector and regional economic development forward.

Evrnu Founder Stacy Flynn will be part of a panel on "Urban Manufacturers Fueling the Innovation Economy." With the renaissance of urban manufacturing, a broad, vibrant local manufacturing sector is providing a more diverse base of living wage jobs, a more fertile landscape for entrepreneurs, and enormous opportunities to reduce the environmental impact of production and distribution. See more here on the talk.

GoGreen empowers business decision makers with sustainability strategies, tools and connections to create positive change within their organizations by facilitating environmental, economic and social performance improvement through our topics and best practices covered at each conference. View the 2016 Conference Program and our featured Case Studies/Speakers and join us for an action packed day of driving social and sustainable change in your organization!

Comment

Comment

Evrnu Is a Fabric of Change Challenge Finalist!

We are so excited to be part of the 10 Finalists of Fabric of Change! Ashoka’s shortlisting team selected top entrants from more than 300 entries from 55 countries based on the challenge’s criteria of innovation, impact, and sustainability.

Ashoka writes: "We believe that solutions at every step of the fashion value chain are needed to drive a true transformation of the industry. Thus, we called for innovative solutions that tackled a spectrum of areas--from farms to manufacturers to brands, and from environmental impact to working conditions to conscious consumerism."

Evrnu will now attend the Fabric of Change Summit, which will be held in Copenhagen in conjunction with the Copenhagen Fashion Summit in May 2016. The Copenhagen Fashion Summit is the world’s largest event on sustainability in fashion and features leading voices, innovators, and policy-makers working to transform the industry. Three winners will be announced at a special event during the Summit.

In addition to a Grand Prize of €50,000 and two prizes of €20,000, the winners will each receive an additional prize sponsored by Opportunity Collaboration and the Cordes Foundation! Each will receive a Cordes Fellowship to attend Opportunity Collaboration in Cancún, Mexico in October, 2016.

Stay tuned for more info on this exciting opportunity!

Comment

1 Comment

Be Present for Your Network

Image: Pixabay

Image: Pixabay

Networks are not to be underestimated.

Case in point. Over the weekend I was invited to participate as one of 12 women shaping the Seattle fashion industry. Conducted by wildlife researcher and runway producer, Ava J. Holmes, this interview series is one of the most thorough examinations of Seattle's fashion industry through the lens of 100 well respected local leaders in the Pacific Northwest.

I am a social entrepreneur and textile expert and the women on this panel were accomplished fashion executives, designers, writers and educators. What everyone had in common however was the ability to inspire. As brunch was served to about 100 people, the panel was presented with questions that the audience posed in advance to explore each panelist's stance on fashion and its extended definition of "lifestyle" including business, personal life, public relations, and finances.

The 12 emerging Seattle fashion shapers then showed a video illustrating how they were collaborating to build a strong community of fashion focused entrepreneurs. It was a stunning display of potential and I think everyone left the venue realizing they are truly not alone and that there are very cool, interesting and creative people that can help shape the future not just in fashion but the very culture of Seattle just by working together.

A. Convention's women movers and shakers

A. Convention's women movers and shakers

This past week I went back to work in my Seattle studio after a personal holiday retreat to clear my head and get ready for the amazing year ahead. In the studio I noticed how much stress triggers a feeling to either fight or to run from whatever situation gets me riled up. Let’s face it, it’s fear in its truest form; an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is a threat. It’s this unpleasantness I’ve been sitting with, not running and not fighting (well, maybe a little) and just observing how I am responding to fear as it moves in thought and how I act in response. Last year I let stress, anxiety and ultimately fear get the better of me and this year I am committed to understanding how I allowed this to happen. I am looking forward to see if there are strategies I can use to alter my reaction until I find a more permanent solution. The only way to get through challenges is to put one foot in front of the other. I'm walking slow.

It’s the real work right? The work any brand must do to get to the next level with the fight and passion for what they love to do almost glowing within them.

To create more balance I’m expanding my networks and actively participate in Paladin Partners, a women’s emerging CEO group. We had our monthly meeting on Friday and I am so grateful for this group of wise women not only for their sage advice but also for the way the group expresses their care and concern for one another.

Networks are not to be underestimated; it takes time to show up and to be present. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that what we put into our relationships yields far greater results than what we could have accomplished on our own. My advice? Make the call, get your community together and get to the next level together.

We’ll be hosting an event in Seattle at our studio also featuring Seattle based natural dyer (and colleague) Botanical Colors on January 21st in collaboration with the Network for Business Innovation & Sustainability (NBIS).

I do hope to see some old friends and new ones at this event. It’s an exciting time for sustainability in fashion and no time seems better than now to say hello.


 


 

 

1 Comment

2 Comments

New Year's Reflection

Image: Mampu

Image: Mampu

Image: Kanko

In 2011, I began researching how I could use the balance of my career to make a difference in the world. I didn’t know what that even meant. I had spent the early part of my career as a textile and apparel specialist learning theory and solving problems to develop practical experience. But it has been said that there is a point when theory and practice merge, it’s almost like second nature, your intuition takes over and you find yourself in search of bigger and bigger problems.

I had gotten to that place.

So in 2011, I decided to go to grad school in what should have been the prime of my career, but not only that, I stopped working and started a business. (Gasp. I know.) My identity was so wrapped up in my work, I was my work, I was Stacy Flynn from Very Important Company and I didn’t have much of a life outside the work I was doing. I was accustomed to receiving a steady paycheck and having things and suddenly had to take on my own feeling of scarcity. I found myself having an identity crisis, constantly thinking “what if this doesn’t work”?

I’ve gone through so many stages of personal development since that transition time in 2011. I’ve broken down and rebuilt myself so many times but with each time building in a little more resilience, a little more intelligence.

 

My business partner and I developed a garment recycling technology that has the ability to make soft, beautiful and luxurious new fabrics made entirely of cotton garment waste. This past year we landed our first major US brand and retailer, we set up our first automated pre-production line, we were selected as one of the global top 5 businesses to compete for the largest sustainability prize in the world and then I worked up some serious nerve to do a TedX Olympia talk called “Clothing will save us.” What. A. Year.

As we get ready for this coming year I’ll be handing over much of my responsibility to the team. It’s time to let this company and concept be what it will be, it’s time to let go and move on to the next level which is trying to make a difference in this world.

Here are some of my life lessons from last year:

  1. Business has taught me that making do with less creates more for everyone.

  2. Open up your circles personally and professionally; a start up is like walking a tight rope, anything can happen.

  3. Debate more to understand problems and build awareness. We’ve become scared of debate, it’s perceived as argument and can be done respectfully.

  4. Give back in any way you can; I’ve begun presenting to students of all ages, it’s more intimidating that presenting to venture teams. The thank you notes are posted all over our studio as a reminder of whom we are really working for.

  5. Keep remembering what Maya Angelou once said: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Here's to 2016!

Evrnu Chief Scientific Officer Christo Stanev and me, Stacy Flynn

Evrnu Chief Scientific Officer Christo Stanev and me, Stacy Flynn





2 Comments

EVRNU’S ANCIENT FOREST FRIENDLY SOURCING POLICY

EVRNU’S ANCIENT FOREST FRIENDLY SOURCING POLICY

At Evrnu, we take raw materials and transform discarded textiles into beautiful fibers that make companies feel optimistic about the challenges ahead. The global textile and apparel industry relies on a vulnerable, resource- intensive supply chain. For this reason, we only utilize recovered materials. Evrnu creates a fabric solution that does not use ancient and endangered forest to make cellulosic fabrics. Instead the company is committed to playing a leadership role in the textile sector and will support supply chain solutions that promote the protection of endangered forests and responsible environmental practices in manufacturing… (READ MORE)

Canopy: A Partnership to Protect Endangered Forests

Canopy: A Partnership to Protect Endangered Forests

We know the apparel industry is far from perfect, here at Evrnu, we try very hard to illuminate the bright spots and support projects we feel are important. For this reason, we choose to partner with Canopy who actively represents a stakeholder with no voice, the endangered forest… (READ MORE)

Why Is The Silicon Valley Pouring Millions of Dollars Into Old Clothes?

1 Comment

Why Is The Silicon Valley Pouring Millions of Dollars Into Old Clothes?

Bloomberg writes:

"Venture capital firms poured hundreds of millions of dollars into fashion resale in 2015; total funding over the past five years has blown past the $400 million mark. In January, online consignment shop Tradesy raised $30 million. By the end of April, vintage luxury reseller RealReal had raised $40 million and social commerce site Poshmark had taken in $25 million. European resale shop Vestiaire Collective scored a $37 million round in September. Then came Goldman's monster round for ThredUp, perhaps the most mainstream of the bunch.

'It's a category that's very much winner-take-all,' said Reinhart. "VCs know that if they pick the winner, it'll have a long-term sustainable advantage."

Bloomberg writer Kim Bhasin predicts "it will probably all come down to how well each company carries out its strategy, since the combatants aren't attempting a fundamentally new business model, but tweaking proven methods such as consignment stores and peer-to-peer marketplaces."

Read the full article here.

 

1 Comment

Columbia Sportswear Launches ReThreads, A New Textile Recycling Program

Comment

Columbia Sportswear Launches ReThreads, A New Textile Recycling Program

Columbia Sportswear just released the news that they've launched their new textile recycling program called ReThreads.

Their site reads: "Columbia Sportswear has long had a holistic approach to bringing products to market, with established social responsibility practices and close attention paid to reducing environmental impacts in design, manufacturing and transport. But what happens to our products at the end of their useful life? Looking into this part of the life cycle got us thinking about post-consumer recycling, not just for paper, glass and plastic – but for shoes and jacket as well! We decided to take steps to ensure that our apparel and footwear does not end up in landfills. It’s a big task, but when Gert Boyle believes in something, it happens. 

On October 21st of 2015, Columbia is launching a pilot of the ReThreads program—a special initiative designed to simplify post-consumer recycling. The aim of the program is two-fold. It is designed to increase consumer awareness around apparel and footwear recycling options, and perhaps more importantly, provide consumers with an easy and rewarding way to recycle and give their outdoor products a new life. The end result? Less apparel and footwear ending up in landfills, conservation of our natural resources and a happier planet.

How It Works
Columbia is installing collection bins where you can drop off apparel and footwear you no longer use—from any brand in clean, dry condition. Each time you bring in items to recycle, you’ll receive a voucher for 10 percent off a Columbia purchase of $75 or more. You can get one coupon per day. We see this as a triple win—you have incentive to clean out your closet, you’re doing something good for future generations, and you’re saving money. Home run!

The initial launch involves seven stores in Oregon, Washington, and Minnesota. Other stores will be added as the program gains traction..."

More info on the Columbia Sportswear site.

Comment

WRAP Launches European Textile Recycling Project

Comment

WRAP Launches European Textile Recycling Project

Letsrecycle.com posted today on A £2.6 million project to reduce clothing waste across Europe that launched today (October 21) – led by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

"A range of organisations are to work together to design and specify products for longer life and closed loop production, and ensure less clothing goes to incineration and landfill.

Funded by EU LIFE, the European Clothing Action Plan (ECAP) will work with brands, retailers, manufacturers, charities, reuse and recycling organisations to tackle the problem.

ECAP will initially be active in the UK and other countries including Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland and Spain but not in France where retailers already have an obligation to be involved in recycling.

The project also hopes to encourage consumers to buy less clothing and use it for longer with the more than 90,000 tonnes of clothing waste will be diverted from landfill and incineration per year throughout Europe by March 2019.

To run for three years and initially led by WRAP, it will run in partnership with the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB), MADE-BY, Rijkswaterstaat (part of the Dutch ministry of Infrastructure and Environment), and the Danish Fashion Institute."

Read the full article here.

Comment

Greening Broadway-A Textile Drive for Patrons as Well as Performers

Comment

Greening Broadway-A Textile Drive for Patrons as Well as Performers

Theater Mania reports:

"The Broadway Green Alliance (BGA), in partnership with the Wearable Collections clothing-recycling company, is sponsoring a textile and e-waste drive on Wednesday, October 21, for fans and members of the theater community. The event will take place in Duffy Square at 46th Street and Broadway from 11am-2pm, where patrons and performers alike can donate materials on their way to their Wednesday matinees.

The drive will accept all used and clean clothing, including shoes, handbags, belts, and hats, as well as household, backstage items such as curtains, linens, and towels, laptops, desktops, monitors, televisions and remotes, computer cables, mouses, keyboards, gaming consoles, telecom equipment, small electronic appliances (coffeemakers, toasters), cellphones and accessories. They cannot accept light bulbs, any type of battery, large appliances, air conditioners, or any dangerous items.

Wearable Collections will repurpose or recycle 96 percent of all donations received at the drive and will donate a portion of the proceeds to BGA to facilitate its goal of making New York theater a greener industry. Wearable Collections will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Broadway Green Alliance to aid in the BGA's efforts to make Broadway greener. The BGA also maintains a textile drop-off bin in the BGA office and at the Actors Federal Credit Union at Actors' Equity Association."

For more information, click here.

Comment

Comment

Looking to I:CO to Handle Fashion's Textile Waste

Racked writes:

"Fashion's an industry that thrives on newness, and one unfortunate side effect of that is waste. Americans alone discard 21 billion pounds of clothing and footwear every year. Fortunately there's I:CO (it stands for I Collect), a company committed to fighting this problem. I:CO has partnered with brands like H&M, American Eagle, Levi's, North Face, and Puma to wean each off its natural resources addiction, working to replace those materials with recycled options over the next five years.

The company was founded in 2009 by a Swiss man named Stephan Wiegand to solve the textile waste problem. Instead of dumping clothes into a landfill, I:CO provides an alternative where consumers can donate unwanted items to local retailers. Clothing is then delivered to an I:CO facility and a team of sorters. Ideally, clothes will be in good enough shape that they can be worn again — garments that meet these standards are resold to be bought, worn, and loved by someone else. The rest are organized by about 400 criteria and sent to different stations based on quality. Absorbent fabrics are put through a shredder to become windshield wipers. Others are pulled through massive rollers, and hard materials like buttons are sorted out before fabrics are pressed to fill stuffed animals or insulate a house."

Read the full article here on Racked.

Comment

Plastic Landfill Bans Grow Demand for Recycled Polyester Yarns

Comment

Plastic Landfill Bans Grow Demand for Recycled Polyester Yarns

Ecotextile News reports on the "polyester most commonly used in the production of textiles fibres is polyethylene terephthalate (PET), but with environmental issues high on the agenda in the textile sector, brands and retailers, have helped to drive the development of a significant recycled PET (RPET) industry over the past few years.

Yet it's thought the 'sustainability' of PET could be improved further by using less of it (light weighting) to make products, making it from renewable resources, or recycling more, according to Helen McGeough from PCI Fibres who was speaking at a recent event in London. McGeough thinks the availability of RPET will increase if countries ban landfill, while investment in improved bale-sorting methods will yield better quality flake and hence higher yields from reprocessing..."

Read the full article on Ecotextile News.

 

Comment

Digging for Vintage Denim Worn By Silver Miners

Comment

Digging for Vintage Denim Worn By Silver Miners

The Guardian writes in the article "I Mine For 100 Year Old Jeans": "The first time I dug up some vintage denim, I had no idea what it was worth. It just looked like some old rags, so instead of carefully uncovering it, I pulled on it and tore it to pieces. I’d actually been digging for antique whisky bottles, and what I didn’t know then was that those “rags” were likely worth thousands.

Out in the desert in California, Nevada and Arizona, there are abandoned silver mines like buried time capsules, virtually untouched, and you can find vintage bottles down there that are worth a lot to collectors. But as I searched for them, I kept coming across these scraps of denim, because jeans, especially Levi’s, were worn by the silver miners in the late 1800s. When a miner got a new pair of work pants, he’d cut up the old ones and use them for lagging around pipes, so there were a lot of antique jeans buried out here.

I did a bit of research into the history of Levi’s, and realised collectors would pay a lot for them, even for scraps. I started going to the mines regularly with my father-in-law, a geologist, to look especially for denim. But the mines have been covered in rocks and trash, so it can take weeks and months to dig down, lifting big rocks one by one. We crawl around wearing hard hats and head lamps. We don’t tunnel underground, just dig through rocks inside the mine opening, but it can be dangerous: we’re crawling around on probably 100 tonnes of unstable rocks..."

Talk about recycling and reuse.

Read the full article here on The Guardian.

Comment

Fast Retailing's Recycling Initiative to Clothe Refugees

Comment

Fast Retailing's Recycling Initiative to Clothe Refugees

Ecotextile News writes:

"While many leading apparel brands and retailers are now operating clothing take-back schemes, with the resulting clothing items often being down-cycled, Fast Retailing has taken a different tack. Hence, while the All-Product Recycling Initiative's initially started out as a clothing recycling initiative - with the idea being to recycle clothing for ultimate "use as a fuel source" according to the business – Fast Retailing now operates the programme to donate clothing to refugees and other displaced people with the help of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The latest campaign will run in Japan until mid-October and see customers encouraged tp donate Uniqlo and GU clothing at local stores."

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees tells Ecotextile news "Around 90 per cent of the clothing that Fast Retailing has collected to date through its All-Product Recycling Initiative has been in wearable condition. As of the end of April 2015, more than 10 million items from the company had been delivered to refugees in 37 countries by UNHCR, including those in Jordan, Syria, Thailand and Nepal."

Read the full article here.

Comment

Crystalizing the Vision

Crystalizing the Vision

Business is all about curve balls, whether it’s giving a speech or pitching a proposal or dipping your toe into the sustainability pool and taking a long hard look at who you've become and who you want to be.  All experiences are good experiences; the trick is to never stop having them… (READ MORE)

In a Circular Economy, What Goes Around Comes Around

In a Circular Economy, What Goes Around Comes Around

The Circular Economy will shape our immediate consumption rate by redefining the perception of waste. Say that three times and then believe it to be true.

The linear thinking behind a ‘take, make, dispose’ model relies on large quantities of easily accessible resources and energy, and has become increasingly unfit for the reality in which the world operates. Up against this limited supply of natural resources combined with increasing consumption and population trends, we see in the not so distant future that natural resources will be severely compromised…  (READ MORE)