Recycled and why it matters
OUR VISION – TO REDUCE WASTE IN THE CLOTHING SYSTEM IN A STYLISH WAY
OUR PURPOSE – TO INSPIRE A WORLD WHERE CLOTHING WASTE IS CONSIDERED AND TO EDUCATE ON WHAT HAPPENS TO THAT POST CONSUMER WASTE
GOAL – TO INCREASE THE 1% NATIONALLY OF CLOTHING THAT IS RECYCLED BACK INTO NEW CLOTHING WHILST ENHANCING NATURE AND THE EVIRONMENT IN AN ELEGANT AND STYLISH WAY.
So our aims are clear and our clothing is made with recycled or biodegradable materials with a focus on a closed loop system, but why does that matter?.
In an ideal world we could carry on consuming men’s fashion as we are, the average duration of a top is about 2.5 years, we spend over £60 billion a year on fashion, this is growing at about 3% a year and it’s creating jobs, fuelling the economy and is a fun thing to do.
However, the impacts are significant and hidden and we are focussing on a new system that is not about hemp trousers (although we may well sell hemp trousers at some point) and hair shirts but about an education on the damages and the solutions of the industry that has been created.
At the moment about 400 tonnes of used clothing ends in landfill every year in the UK alone– this is due to people throwing it in the bin, too damaged to resell (the market is built on resale value) and the production of low cost product that is not built to last, we have all experienced poor zippers, pockets that split and fabric that rips all too easily. There is some good happening, we are very good at collecting waste in this country, there are fast growth resale platforms as well as charity shops (sells about 30% of our waste) still driving the market. HOWEVER, the market is built on selling again, both in this county, in eastern Europe and Africa, where we export (about 60% of our clothing waste is exported)to and the markets are fast becoming full, as other nations, notably China increase their consumption. The motivation within the market is to profit from resale, which is a good thing as it preserves the life of garmemnts, but we want to increase the amount that is recycled and no we are not talking about hemp shirts again or a simply a focus on vegan fashion, although we believe in both of those areas.
As Maxine Bedat says, referring to her new book “Unraveled” "very, very small percentage can actually get recycled into other garments. The bulk of it is sorted and then baled and shipped off. It's just a complete fabrication at the moment, this idea of circularity. I think it's one of the more dangerous and insidious concepts out there."
Neem as a brand focusses on recycled yarns that we have developed exclusively with our weaver in Italy Canclini, a recycled yarn uses less water, creates significantly less greenhouse gas emissions and more importantly can be made into recycled clothing again, post-consumer use. To start with we will take back any brand’s product, as long as it’s 100% cotton (at the moment we can only recycle cotton, more about the disgusting industry that have been built around polyester, acrylic and viscose another time) We believe that fibre to fibre recycling holds the future and the potential to meet future demand for clothing. We are focussed on driving that 1% or 7 tonnes of clothing, that is recycled back into clothing, per year figure up over the coming years.
Mechanical fashion recycling is a labour intensive and difficult job, it involves chopping and pulling used garments to break them down into shredded fragments. This is harder than landfill, the environmental ramifications are extremely positive.
Our clothing is not hemp trouser fashion, it is recycled fashion built to last and to offer comfort, elegance and style. Please don’t resort to junk fashion, poor quality man made fibres that cannot be recycled and ends in landfill, invest in recycled fashion and once your done we will even give £20 that you or a friend can spend on your next purchase.
MAKE WASTE GOOD.