:Fast fashion focuses on speed and low cost delivering new ‘collections’ of clothing for every season of every year inspired by the latest catwalk looks or celebrity styles.
But as we know cheap is usually too good to be true. If the costs are taken off the end product they are passed on to someone or something else, whether that is the people who make them or the environment.
Just a few of the environmental impacts of the fashion industry include; growing materials such as cotton, which takes large amounts of land and chemical inputs. The huge amounts of water and toxic chemical use in the manufacturing process, which in turn leads to water pollution. There’s also an issue that we are still unaware of the full impact of and that is microplastics entering the water supply, when they are washed from cheaper clothing containing plastics.
Then there’s simple the waste as we toss last years out of fashion rags in the bin and buy the next. One garbage truck of clothes is sent to landfill or burnt every second.
So there are a few option here. The first is to buy better quality clothing that lasts longer. The second is buy secondhand. But there may be a third way, and no it isn’t ditching clothes all together and becoming a nudist…..it is circular economy clothing.
Rapanui are a clothing company that have always had the environment at the centre of their business, using renewable energy, organic cotton and recycling all the water they use over and over. And the latest idea they have had is the circular economy t-shirt. The idea being that once a t-shirt becomes worn out you send it back to them and they re-use the material to make you a new one and they charge you less, and then once that is worn out you do the same, in theory forever. Massively cutting down many of the environmental impacts of buying new.
In this interview I speak to one of the two brothers who founded the business Mark Drake-Knight about the company, the product and the exciting idea of Tee-Mill a platform they created which helps anyone set up a circular economy fashion brand.
To buy one of the circular economy tees head to:
To look into setting up your own brand head to https://teemill.com/
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