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Leading the Way in Sustainable Branded Apparel: Part I

April 22, 2024

PART I: The Traceability and Ethics Driving Our Recycling Focus

In a world where sustainability has become more than just a buzzword, Image Solutions is making strides in the realm of recycled materials and closed-loop recycling. Through innovative initiatives and strategic partnerships, we are determined to increase awareness, traceability, and ethical sourcing practices for branded apparel and uniform suppliers. Clients want more transparency into where materials originate and assurances that products are made responsibly with minimal environmental impact. In this three-part blog series, we're excited to take you behind the scenes of our initiatives, starting with the traceability and ethics driving our recycling focus.

The Motivation Behind Our Recycling Focus

The apparel industry has traditionally struggled with a need for more transparency in the supply chain, often sourcing fabrics and materials from numerous global locations with limited visibility into their origins or how they were processed. This lack of transparency raises significant environmental and labor ethics concerns, driving consumers to seek greater awareness. Simultaneously, we believe the pressing issue of textile waste, amounting to approximately 90 tons annually, with 85% destined for landfills, underscores the critical need for apparel recycling. It's imperative for our industry to address these challenges ethically and collaboratively, working towards sustainable solutions.

Our drive to incorporate recycled materials stems from a commitment to traceability and ethical sourcing. Increasing demands from clients and end-users alike drive the urgency to implement meaningful recycling initiatives beyond greenwashing. People want to know the whole story behind the products they use and wear – where materials originated, how products were made, and that ethical choices were prioritized throughout the supply chain.

"Clients want offerings they can proudly share with employees about making a positive impact," says Annmarie, Major Account Manager at Image Solutions. "Employees today want to feel they are contributing to sustainability through their work apparel."

By incorporating 100% recycled cotton into select products, we are pushing the boundaries of traditional apparel manufacturing. The utilization of cotton waste and supply chain transparency ensures that these garments tell a story of environmental stewardship.

Prioritizing an Ethical, Sustainable Focus

Image Solutions has made traceability a top priority across our recycled material offerings. Through strategic partnerships with select factories and mills, we've embarked on a journey to transform recycled materials into high-quality apparel, ensuring full traceability of the supply chain – from cotton origin to the final product. This traceability is backed by stringent documentation such as yarn affidavits, Global Recycling Standards certificates, and more. Our dedication extends beyond mere compliance; it serves as a testament to our unwavering commitment to ethical manufacturing practices.

"We have full traceability in terms of the material origins, what supply chain entities it moves through, and exact production locations," said Li-Ann, Development and Production Specialist at Image Solutions. "Providing that level of confidence regarding ethical sourcing is crucial for recycled apparel."

By leveraging cutting-edge technologies and proprietary processes, we can provide ethically sourced options backed by comprehensive traceability. We partner with factories and mills that analyze ecotoxicology factors to ensure environmentally conscious manufacturing decisions and protect natural ecosystems. Our collaboration with forward-thinking suppliers has not only elevated the quality and performance of our products but also reinforced our ethical standards, setting a new benchmark for the industry.

Traceability isn't just about meeting compliance standards – it's a core ethical principle that underpins our commitment to environmental stewardship. People today crave the confidence to know their apparel choices aren't further depleting the planet's resources. Our recycling focus empowers them to make a positive impact while looking and feeling great in what they wear to work. Together, we can redefine the norms of the apparel industry, creating a legacy that transcends generations.

Click here to read Part II of our blog series, where we delve into our innovative recycled materials and closed-loop recycling capabilities.