If 2020 has taught us anything, it's to not be surprised. MANRAGS, the bloke sock makers who I suspect originally came up with the idea of collecting old socks in exchange for new ones as a marketing promotion, are now officially in the textile and fashion recycling business. They have already salvaged nearly 1 million items, weighing 100,000 kg and not surprisingly, they are about to change their name.
MANRAGS are one of the Birchal equity crowdfund rockstars of 2020 as their mission to collect unwanted fashion items from people's front door steps was a perfect fit for millions of people in the various state based versions of COVID lockdown. Australians have taken to the model with gusto and so it seems, have a number of businesses who are partnering with the venture.
How the MANRAGS model works is that you purchase a pick up collection or your unwanted fashion items for $25 and that covers you for up to 10kg of items. In exchange, you get a $25 credit voucher to spend at MANRAGS.
Many businesses who are wanting to do more to recapture and potentially reuse their own fabrics are now partnering in the model and two who contacted us this month were Sustainable Hosiery and Ettitude. Essentially the companies mimic the same model, but the voucher is for their own products. MANRAGS collect the unwanted items.
Sustainable Hosiery have linked to their own recycling program, whereby anyone can book online to have up to 10kg of unwanted clothing, including hosiery, picked up from their homes by simply paying a $25 deposit which is then fully redeemable at their online store (with a minimum spend of $75). Sustainable Hosiery say they were researching options for ages before finding MANRAGS especially as they plan to expand their offering to include a greater variety of essentials wardrobe basics that are both ethically made and environmentally friendly. And it means they have a holistic solution for their greater production of and potential textile waste.
"THIS IS A GREAT SOLUTION FOR US AS IT MINIMISES THE IMPACT OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUPPORTS THE LOCAL AUSTRALIAN ECONOMY AS TEXTILES ARE SORTED AND DISTRIBUTED TO CHARITY ORGANISATIONS WHERE THEY CAN BE REUSED OR RECYCLED INTO PRODUCTS SUCH AS INSULATION AND SOFT-FALL SURFACES."
Ettitude make quality linen products and have called their version of the program LOOP and are using the collection service to close their own textile production loop. Ettitude CleanBamboo™ fabric is produced in a closed loop system that recycles and reuses water, making it a highly sustainable alternative to cotton and linen and an affordable and easy to care for alternative to silk.
Bamboo lyocell is one of the most sustainable textile materials of the 21st century, consuming 1/10 of the water vs conventional cotton sheets. ettitude’s technology recycles and reuses water up to 200 times, recycling 98% of water in the process. Where it can, ettitude seeks out ways to minimise waste, such as utilising fabric offcuts to create packaging for its products and now recycling products after use.