We are all well aware of the need for us to move away from a linear economy to one that is circular. The planet’s non-renewable resources are finite, but this shift in ideology has been slow to be picked up by business industry. This is particularly true in the clothing sector which has seen a significant rise in the growth of fast fashion retail. Over 100 billion items of clothing are made per year, and yet a truck full of textiles is burned or buried in landfill every second. Current projections indicate that the linear clothing industry, which takes resources and creates waste at a furious pace, will more than triple by 2050. Seemingly there was no solution ….. until now.
We are delighted to announce the launch of our first Just One Ocean circular economy t-shirt. We have collaborated with a fashion business on the Isle of Wight to launch T-shirts made from a mix of virgin organic cotton and worn out recycled cotton t-shirts. They are designed to be used and remade over and over again. By using modern technologies like AI to maximise the efficiency of the supply chain, the Just One Ocean products made by Teemill are printed in a renewable energy-powered factory in real time – seconds after they are ordered. There is no unsold stock.
“Slowing down fast fashion won’t fix it, but when we took material people normally throw away at the end and make new products from it at the start, it changed everything. What is needed is the technology to make the reverse logistics of fashion possible and economical. That’s exactly what we’ve done.” Explained Matt Drake-Knight, design engineer at Teemill.
The return process is revolutionary. Customers scan the label inside with their phone and they use this to activate a free post returns coupon when the product is worn out. Teemill recover and re-manufacture the materials into new t-shirts and give the customer £5 off a new item.
Surely circular is more costly? Actually no, as the company has used technology efficiencies to enable these plastic free, organic and recycled t-shirts to be retailed at the same price as non-circular economy garments.
“Customers are incentivised to keep the material flowing with money off their next purchase. Teemill benefits from lower material costs and the model is truly sustainable. It’s a circular fashion economy where everybody wins”.
As an organisation that is trying to protect the ocean for future generations we believe that this is a fantastic step forward in the fashion industry and possibly present a model for other manufacturers to follow in the future.