Designed for recycling: we go the extra mile
In the last 5 years, circularity has become fashion’s newest buzzword, but what does it actually mean?
A circular fashion system is aimed at cancelling out waste and pollution, keeping materials and products in use for as long as possible and regenerating natural systems.
Why is this needed? Today’s environmental decay and loss in biodiversity is predominantly caused by our economy’s take-make-waste model. The pace of fashion is accelerating, more, faster and lower quality garments are produced and consumed than ever before. After shortening cycles of consumption these clothes will find their way to landfill or incineration, negatively impacting our planet.
Unbelievable, but true, less than 1% of material used to produce clothing is recycled into new clothing. This lack of textile-to-textile recycling has various reasons.
One being that, today, garments are not designed for recycling. Elements such as metal rivets, buttons, zippers, fantasies and polyester labels prevent them from being properly recycled. In most denim recycling chains, the upper part of the jeans containing all hard parts and labels is being cut off, leading to material losses of up to 30%.
At HNST we solved the issue of design mistakes by
- applying embroidered instead of metal rivets
- using unscrewable and reusable buttons made from Zamac-3 alloy
- skipping polyester labels and printing all necessary informations such as care-instructions and material composition on the inner pockets
- having back patches form FSC® and OEKO-TEX® certified Jacron paper
Another major barrier to scalable and cost-effective textile-to-textile recycling is fashion’s dominant use of multiblends. Blends of materials are very difficult and often even impossible to recycle.
That is why at HNST we only use cellulose-based materials. Doing this, we want to ensure that the entire HNST jeans can be efficiently processed in one and the same recycling stream. We do not use any petroleum-based (plastic) fibers such as polyester or elastane in our 100% natural fabric. We moved away from polyester labels by printing all necessary information on the inside pockets. In addition, our back patch is made out of FSC certified Jacron paper (cellulose) instead of synthetic (plastic) or animal (protein) leather.
Read more about HNST.