As I reflect on the journey of the past five years, I'm filled with gratitude. I'm grateful for everyone who's helped us get to where we are today. And, I'm grateful for the shift we're starting to see in our industry — and in culture at large — toward more responsible end-of-life garment management.
When my co-founder Christo and I started Evrnu in 2014, waste and garment recycling wasn't a part of the industry conversation. In fact, the dominant business model at the time relied on style obsolescence and consumption as the key driver.
Consumers were throwing away 80% of all their clothing directly into the garbage can, around 12 million tons of garment waste per year. Today, the volume of garment waste has grown to almost 21 million tons per year.
From the 700 gallons of water it takes to create a single t-shirt to the effort required to spin, weave, dye, print, sew, cut and finish garments, massive amounts of resources go into the creation of clothing. When garments are thrown into the trash can, all of that intrinsic value is lost.
We started the company with a question: How do we prevent people from throwing their garments away? If we could leverage the waste to turn it into new fiber, we could begin to change consumer behavior. Behavior is the hardest to change, but it also makes the most impact.
That's why it's so important for NuCycl to launch as a consumer-facing brand — when consumers see the NuCycl logo on their new clothes they'll know that they're made from discarded clothing and that it's recyclable. We want consumers to understand that their clothing isn't waste.
Our entry into the market has evolved over the past five years. Today, we strive to meet our industry where it's at by partnering with key players to help significantly reduce their use of natural resources in a way that our industry can continue to grow.
We're working on a 20 to 25-year time horizon to create a truly fundamental shift in the way we create, wear and reuse clothing. Now that NuCycl has debuted — it's really just the beginning.