The fashion industry is one of the largest, most resource intensive industries. Its current model is pushing the earth beyond its planetary boundaries and resource scarcity is something we must urgently address e.g. through circularity. Reutilising products at the end of use is crucial to become circular and can be done by extending the life of a product or recycling it. The latter is something Everlane, Associate Partner of Global Fashion Agenda, has pursued with its ReCashmere initiative.
Today less than 15% of clothes are collected for recycling, and less than 1% of the material used to produce clothing is recycled into new clothing. Textile recycling is becoming increasingly necessary to address issues related to textile waste and decrease of natural resources. Every year, thousands of cashmere sweaters end up in landfills but in collaboration with its partner mill in Italy, Everlane is giving cashmere a second life. The process starts by collecting well-worn cashmere sweaters through recycling programmes and then choosing different colours to comb into new yarns. Finally, the yarns are blended 60/40 with extra-fine merino wool, which results in a soft and durable ReCashmere with half the carbon footprint than traditional cashmere.
“Every year, millions of pieces of clothing end up in landfill destroying our environment and we are investing heavily in using renewed materials in our supply chain. ReCashmere not only allows us to recycle beautiful cashmere sweaters, but also leaves a smaller carbon footprint.”
Kim Smith, GM of Apparel at Everlane
Everlane’s mission is to provide consumers with well-designed, high-quality clothing and accessories at an approachable price point while encouraging them to stay educated on product origins. By cutting out the middleman and sharing the true cost of each product, the brand has become a leader in the transparent retail space.