Becoming more sustainable in your brand’s production is no longer an option but a necessity so we can protect and preserve our ecosystem for generations to come. A first step towards becoming more sustainable, especially in retail, is avoiding the exhaustion of our planet’s natural resources by replacing them with renewable resources. Thankfully consumer demand is now shifting to more eco-friendly practices within fashion due to the drastic impacts of the industry on our environment no longer being deniable.
With this in mind, you may want to think twice before creating a new clothing collection. Brands of today have to learn to shift their practices by keeping a more eco-friendly approach. Using alternative and sustainable fabrics is a first and vital step in the switch towards healthier retail practices. Using an eco-friendly fabric comes with many advantages. Here are a few things you need to know about alternative fabric options that will be an absolute game-changer for your brand as well as its marketing communications.
REPREVE FIBRE MATERIAL
This fabric created by Unifi. Inc is made from recycled bottles, using over 30 billion plastic bottles of the billions being found in landfills every year. These plastic bottles go through a lengthy process of being chopped up, washed, melted and made into REPREVE® chips. These chips will later be melted into threads, forming the REPREVE® yarn that will then be processed, textured and spun into yarn resembling natural fibres. This process emits much fewer greenhouse gases from entering our ecosystem whilst also preventing plastic waste from entering our oceans.
Some of the world’s leading brands are using REPREVE®, driving innovation in the right direction. This type of fabric has many known benefits for your clothing, such as lasting comfort, UVA/UVB sun protection, non-flammable, cotton-like, smells fresher, water resistant, and tempered flexible to name a few.
Aquafil is the Italian company behind the innovative recycled yarn ECONYL®. Aquafil has developed the yarn in response to the ongoing issue of clothing and textiles ending up in a landfill. Their research and development led them to discover a way of producing nylon with the same qualities as virgin fibres without harmful environmental impacts. Plus, it helps close the loop to a circular ecosystem in the world of nylon.
In 2013, Aquafil founded the Healthy Seas initiative in collaboration with Star Sock and Ghost Diving, an international NGO. Healthy Seas works with volunteer divers to remove discarded waste, such as ghost fishing nets from our oceans. They then use this waste that would otherwise be polluting the earth, such as industrial plastic, fabric scraps from clothing manufacturing companies, old carpets and fishing nets to make ECONYL®. ECONYL® can be made into high-quality, infinitely recyclable nylon-based fabrics – perfect for your swim and activewear collections. With this material, you can create and remould products infinitely without having to resource new nylon.
With our planet’s resources diminishing, it is essential to seriously consider these recycling initiatives when creating and buying new products. For the fashion industry, this is a substantial leap forward in terms of giving the ability to produce ethically by turning trash into treasure whilst giving your brand a responsible and sustainable edge.
Econyl pride itself on saving 70,000 barrels of crude oil and avoiding the use of 65,100 tonnes of CO2 emissions for every 10,000 tonnes of econyl raw material they manage to recycle.
Healthy Seas work alongside fishing communities and educational organisations to help minimise the waste entering marine ecosystems.
It is a non-profit initiative founded in 2013, relying on the support of partners and donations to continue its work. Their initiatives consist of cleaning the oceans and seas of marine litter to avoid the unnecessary death or pain of marine species. Each year, more and more fishing nets get lost at sea which harms our marine ecosystem. Healthy Seas take it upon themselves to recover as many nets as possible. More importantly, they take preventative measures to help avoid the discarding of these nets in the future. They do so by implementing this knowledge in the fishermen’s community, fish farms, educational programs and events aimed at raising awareness.
To give you some context on how much the world of textiles is benefitting from these initiatives, 1 ton of nylon can produce up to 23,000 pairs of socks or 900m2 of carpet.
HOW CAN BEING A PART OF THE ECONYL FAMILY BE USED IN YOUR MARKETING STRATEGIES
If you want to utilise ECONYL®-based fabrics and give something back, you can apply to align your brand with Healthy Seas by donating 1-10% of your profits from each purchase. This will allow you to use the Healthy Seas name, logo, story and infographics across your communications, as well as receive an endorsement from Healthy Seas on their website and communications channels. This can give your brand more credibility, instilling more trust from your customers when purchasing from you.
ECONYL® has created an online community where they share brand creations using recycled nylon every month, there is a brand spotlight blog posts where they will promote and reward these brands using their materials for the world to see. By joining Econyl and its positive initiatives, you are joining a global community of eco-positive-minded entrepreneurs and getting your brand aligned with positive impact organisations.
It is important to remember that although there is a rising trend in the consumption of sustainably oriented products as consumers are more specifically looking to buy sustainably, it cannot be your brand’s Unique Selling Point. Your brand’s USP has to be something that makes you stand out such as a style you pursue or values you may have.
MORE SUSTAINABLE MARKETING STRATEGIES TO BE AWARE OF
Get your customers to partake in Ocean clean-up initiatives by signing up to views for change. Views for change is a digital platform which allows you to convert your consumers’ actions on your ads into donations. Make your customers feel helpful by taking part in cleaning the ocean of plastic by simply clicking through the magic of a single click on your ads. Make your marketing efforts more beneficial to the environment. By signing up to this platform, you also get your audience engagement tracked and communicated.
Plastic collectors are charged with collecting plastic in coastal waterways and rivers before it reaches the ocean, in exchange they get access to tuition and healthcare.
A FEW OF OUR CLIENTS WHO USE THESE FABRICS
As a manufacturing company we try to encourage our clients to use these sustainable fabrics and push them towards more sustainable initiatives in general. Below are a few of our clients using ECONYL® fabrics.
Going about taking sustainable initiatives is never a walk in the park at first, but with strong design, manufacturing and marketing experts at hand to guide you at BWL, launching your sustainable range has never been so easy!
Get in touch if you are ready to take the green path and need some guidance, we are here to help!