Here at Little Yellow Bird we care as much about what happens to our garments after they’ve been used as we do about how they’re made. Today we’re announcing that we now have access to the technology to recycle all of our garments and turn them back into usable fibre.
The fashion industry is out of control with New Zealanders spending $4 billion on clothing annually, while also sending 100 million kilograms of clothing to landfill each year. This take-make-dispose attitude is destructive and wasteful and we want to change it.
Circularity moves beyond the buy it, use it, bin it mentality that drives current clothing consumption. Instead, re-manufacturing and re-cycling creates a closed-loop system that keeps materials and products in use and minimises the impacts of the clothing industry on the environment.
How it works
Our products, being made from 100% organic cotton are better for the environment if they do end up back in the wild - but it's so much better to take this precious resource and give it a second life where possible - and why stop at two lives?! Now there is no need.
After a successful testing phase we now have the capability through our recycling partner to turn our old clothes into new fibres. Until recently textile recycling options were limited largely to mechanical recycling processes which often compromised the quality of the textiles and were not feasible at scale. New technology that is just starting to become commercially scalable is here, and it’s exciting!
Most clothes are still made with dyes that are difficult to remove, but our GOTS certified AZO free dyes means our garments are an ideal composition for this technology meaning we’re uniquely positioned to start using the technology immediately without needing to make any changes to how we produce our garments.
So once you've worn your LYB products, lent it, mended it, lost it, found it, passed it on; rather than sending it to landfill or the cleaning rag cupboard we'd like to take them back from you so that the fibres can be shredded, stripped to their natural colour and remanufactured into fresh fibres.
Ready to begin your textile reuse journey with us? Here's how to get involved
Any LYB garment, regardless of age, can be returned to us. Please make sure returned goods are in clean condition, and we'll do the rest just let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you purchased your product through our online store we’ll even send you a label to courier them to us for free.
So take a look in your drawers - is there a brand in there that you could nudge to get in touch with us? Working together will have the largest benefit, the earth won't wait and we’re happy to collaborate with any like minded organisations trying to make these changes.
Recycling clothes wherever possible moves us closer to a waste-free fashion industry that produces fewer carbon emissions and reduces landfill. It also encourages the conscious consumption of clothing through changing the way we view and value products. When we buy clothes with the intention of recycling rather than disposing, we’re already closing the loop and changing the way we perceive and use the limited resources we have.
Samantha is the CEO and Founder of Little Yellow Bird and is an advocate for sustainable and ethical fashion.