Circularity is the hottest kid in town. Players across the fashion industry are increasingly investing in more sustainable products and ways of working. Although 2020 was a tough year for many in the retail industry, the company Waste2Wear grew their business significantly: The crisis actually made many large brands realize the necessity for change, including shifting to recycled materials in uniforms, shopping bags etc. With the unique blockchain solution allowing full transparency and traceability for their recycled fabrics, Waste2Wear got several global brands on their customer list in 2020.
Waste2Wear started research on how to use polyester from recycled plastics in the early 2000s, and has made high quality RPET based products since 2008. The experience and knowledge about working with a source material quite different from virgin polyester enables the team to deliver a large variety of textile qualities and finished products. Working with brands like Fabienne Chapot and Perfect Moment gives the opportunity to continuously develop new materials in top quality.
Sharing the story with end users
The main beneficiary of more sustainable fabrics are the environment and workers involved in the supply chain. But there is no contradiction between this and financial success of brands. Customers are increasingly looking for sustainable options, and demanding transparency.
Waste2Wear has been a pioneer in implementing blockchain verification through the supply chain. This secures the authenticity of the RPET and RPP (used in bags) and reduce the risk of subcontracting. At the same time, it offers a unique possibility for the brands to share their sustainability-story with the end customers.
A QR code on the labels or product (e.g. shopping bags) gives any user insight in where the material is sourced and how the product is made. Any smartphone with internet connection can be used to see detailed information about the recycling, and more information about sustainability initiatives by the brand can be added.
The RPP bag is an invention by Waste2Wear. The research team at the company has developed a process to use plastics from inside of fridges, air conditioners etc. to make non-woven fabrics with excellent characteristics for shopping bags and packaging for e-commerce.
Helping the oceans
The area where plastic waste has the most harmful impact is the oceans. If waste is not well managed and plastics end up in the water, ocean wildlife is directly harmed. Waste2Wear has partnered with plastic pickers along the waterways to make plastic waste in high risk of ending up in the ocean into a valuable resource. Waste2Wear can make fabrics with up to 30% of polyester from ocean plastic, which is the highest ratio in the industry.
An important issue related to polyester fabrics is the shedding of micro plastics. The latest research estimates that 4% of micro plastics in the ocean comes from washed clothes., compared to for example 16% from old car tires. (link: https://portals.iucn.org/library/sites/library/files/documents/2017-002-En.pdf)
As a leader in research and development for recycling in the fashion industry, Waste2Wear wish to build a community for brands and people interested in circularity. Follow their Instagram, LinkedIn or website for news on products, research and recycling information.
Published in https://fashionunited.uk/news/fashion/waste2wear-a-crisis-turned-an-opportunity/2021031954558