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Leading the Way in Sustainable Branded Apparel: Part III

April 30, 2024

Click here to read Part II: Our Innovative Recycled Materials and Closed-Loop Recycling Capabilities

Part III: Overcoming Challenges and Our Sustainable Future Vision

In this final installment of our blog series, we reflect on the challenges we've faced on our sustainability journey and outline our vision for a more sustainable apparel future. From navigating challenges around scalability, cost barriers, and supply chain fragmentation to driving industry-wide change, our commitment to sustainability remains steadfast.

Navigating the Complexities

As one of the first major movers in this space, we've had to develop entirely new processes and solutions where none existed before. Since this concept is so new to the industry, implementing recycled materials and closed-loop recycling comes with a unique set of challenges.

"Our industry has historically been very wasteful," said Li-Ann, Development and Production Specialist at Image Solutions. Many manufacturers realize they need to make conscious efforts to be more sustainable in the future. It's about atoning for past environmental impacts and leading by pioneering ethical methods like recycled materials."

The limited availability of capable mills and factories with closed-loop capabilities has made it difficult to replicate our model in other regions thus far, which makes it difficult to scale recycled offerings. We've also encountered the hurdle of most operations being unable to separate and recycle blended fabric compositions and potential quality issues like fiber impurities or inconsistencies to overcome.

Another key challenge in using recycled materials is maintaining product quality and performance. We tackle these issues head-on by conducting rigorous inspections, employee wear testing, and engaging in co-development efforts to perfect our recycled options. Client feedback further informs product improvements, ensuring that each garment meets the highest standards of excellence. Through our strategic partnerships and relentless dedication, we've overcome these obstacles and forged a more sustainable path forward.

Empowering Change

While our efforts have made a significant impact, we recognize that true change requires collaboration across the industry. The growing pains we continue to experience will have to be overcome through continued investment, innovation, and strong partnerships within the apparel world. Whether it's advocating for policy changes or sharing best practices with our peers, we're committed to leading by example and inspiring others to join us in our mission.

We are proud to share that, because of our initiatives, 20% of our revenue in 2023 was from sustainable products. In the last three years, we have eliminated the use of over 1.6 million single-use polybags by switching to recycled biodegradable packing solutions.

While our clients initially inspired us to be the driving change, we have learned a lot through this process and are deeply committed to empowering them to make informed decisions. We believe that every purchase has the power to shape the future, which is why we're dedicated to providing our clients with the tools and information they need to make sustainable choices.

"As we make strides towards sustainability in apparel, I'm confident that once people see the benefits, others will follow suit. It's about breaking through the status quo and showcasing the possibilities," said Annmarie, Major Account Manager at Image Solutions. "By empowering each client with knowledge, we can guide them towards a more sustainable future."

Looking ahead, our vision for a sustainable future is one where apparel is no longer synonymous with waste and exploitation. Instead, we envision a world where every garment tells a story of innovation, ethics, and environmental stewardship. By harnessing the power of technology, collaboration, and creativity, we can build a future where apparel is a force for good and every purchase positively impacts the world around us.

Thank you for joining us on this journey. If you have any additional questions, please get in touch with us. Together, we can create a more sustainable future for all.