In recent weeks we have seen a new optimism and a passionate effort to address the current pessimism surrounding environmental issues. Discussions at COP26 to halt the climate crisis coupled with The Earthshot Prize, launched by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, all help to inspire a much greater, collective action around the world to save our planet. Waving and wringing our hands in despair is not the only option. The time for action is now and we all have a role to play.
Timing is everything coupled with passion and the belief that we can and will make a difference. At EVRYTHNG we’re privileged to see and work with many businesses around the globe starting to address environmental issues. One such union we’re excited about is that of Re-Fashion, a new breed of recommerce organisation, that we have recently partnered with to cultivate an essential circular solution across the fashion industry. With the UK alone throwing away over 350,000 tonnes of good quality clothes a year we not only want to encourage consumers to recycle their unwanted clothing, giving their unloved items a second life, but to also enable fashion providers with the ability to make their sustainable policies a reality.
As highlighted in our partnership announcement we’re also very excited to share the news that we’re working with New Look, a leading fashion brand, founded back in 1969 that now ships to around 66 countries worldwide.
Last month I sat down with Sue Fairley, Head of Sustainability at New Look and Steve Lyons, Director and Owner, Re-Fashion to discuss this incredibly exciting journey. The purpose behind our work – to take a renowned fast fashion brand and its sustainable efforts to a new stratosphere by involving the consumer.
Sue discussed how New Look strives to put sustainability at the forefront of what they do – not only responsibly buying and sourcing raw materials but also addressing circularity and ensuring that a product is repurposed and reused as much as it possibly can be. “We don’t want people to throw away their product but we do know that they get bored of it which is why circularity is so important for the fashion industry. We can’t continue to deplete the world of its resources and now technology is at a point where we can start to address those concerns and introduce what we call the ‘kind’ product.”
“This year 55% of our autumn range is made up of at least 25% recycled materials; however, the challenge is increasing recycling and making it happen now. As a business we’re part of innovative initiatives to recycle textiles but now we need to encourage our customers to live a more circular lifestyle which is where our work with Re-Fashion has developed.”
Simply put, Re-Fashion encourages people to recycle their unwanted clothing, giving their unloved items a second life. By processing a product, listing it, photographing it and ensuring that it’s good enough quality to sell, Re-Fashion is fast changing an industry that is the second largest polluter after oil and gas!
The need to stop putting billions of fashion items into landfill every year is critical. As Steve puts it, “New Look is, unquestionably, becoming the leader in fashion retailing sustainability. When I look in their shops I can see the sustainable thread all the way through their business. The effort they’re putting into driving circularity in fashion suggests they are fully committed and it’s time for us as consumers and businesses to get behind this effort. It’s time for other brands and retailers to see what can be achieved in this drive for more sustainable fashion.”
By working together we’re able to take a stand, to challenge traditional thinking and to inspire us all to make a difference. It’s game changing for the entire fashion industry. What we need is more brands to participate now, keeping garments in the circular economy. That’s good for the brand, that’s good for the consumer and, of course, that’s good for the future of the planet.
This video explains how it works and how our technology at EVRYTHNG creates the digital identities for physical products that makes this circular fashion a reality. It will take you two minutes to watch. I guarantee that every single person that watches it has a wardrobe or chest of drawers full of stuff they no longer wear. Multiply that by the amount of people around the world and we’ve got trillions of garments that could be back out in the market, being enjoyed by someone new. As a garment moves through the secondary market the earth breathes out a little bit. We all want to play our part in making the world a more sustainable place and now one of the biggest barriers in doing so has been removed. We’re incredibly proud to be partnering with Re-Fashion to build this platform for sustainable fashion and feel privileged that New Look has joined us on the journey. Let’s do this!