Recycled textile clothing standard informs fashion consumers

The R Cert recycled textile clothing standard just saw its biggest footprint to date with its release alongside the Recycled Collection by Esprit A/W 2014 collection, which is now available in-store in nine markets across Asia and Europe and online.

The R Cert is a consumer-facing recycled textile clothing standard that educates and verifies to consumers that a brand recycled their own pre-consumer textile waste into their own recycled textile clothing, using a minimum of 20 per cent recycled fibres.

Consumers can track their recycled textile garment’s journey from factory to retail by scanning a QR code on the garment’s hangtag or through www.rcert.org to discover the recycling process and the environmental savings achieved through this type of recycled textile clothing.

“The R Cert injects clarity for consumers about the recycling process and enhances consumers’ knowledge and appetite for recycled textile clothing. Our research shows that consumers show a preference towards wearing pre-consumer recycled textile clothing but they claim to lack access to this in the market[1]. Meanwhile, more brands are showing interest in using recycled fibres in their collections. The R Cert responds to these consumer and industry needs. Our launch alongside Esprit is a significant step for recycled textiles, which are widely thought to be a viable contender for the future of the mainstream sustainable fashion industry,” said Christina Dean, Founder of Redress.

According to the 12th five-year plan from the Government of China, there are plans to establish and improve the recovery of recycled fibre textiles, and by 2015 to increase recycled fibre use to about 15 per cent. This demonstrates a broader push to promote recycled textiles. In support of this, the R Cert helps brands to reach this market opportunity, as it unites consumer knowledge with supply chain innovation.

Responding to a consumer desire for more sustainable options

The Recycled Collection by Esprit A/W 2014, the third collection of its kind in as many years, was designed for Esprit by sustainable fashion designer and the winner of The EcoChic Design Award 2013, Karen Jessen.

The eight denim styles were created using 43 per cent recycled denim and an independent environmental audit revealed 37 per cent savings in greenhouse gases, 19 per cent savings in water and 17 per cent savings in electricity per garment in comparison with a 96 per cent virgin cotton and 4 per cent spandex dyed garment. The five jersey styles were created using 35 per cent recycled textiles and independent audits found 37 per cent savings in greenhouse gases, 74 per cent savings in water, and 18 per cent savings in electricity per garment in comparison with a 100 per cent virgin cotton fibre T-shirt.

“We are proud to use the R Cert for the third Recycled Collection by Esprit. This collection represents a small but significant step in our continued move back to our original brand roots of providing sustainable fashion options to our consumers. We value the R Cert as a form of transparent communications with our consumers about this relatively new recycling process. As a third party verification, something we know consumers respond well to, the R Cert helps us to communicate this important information with clarity,” said Josep Sabate, Head of Global Quality Management & Sustainability, Esprit.

Media enquiries
Hannah Lane
Email: hannah@redress.com.hk

For more information on the Recycled Collection by Esprit please visit: www.rcert.org/?page_id=1394
For high-resolution downloadable product shots and other images visit: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/70g9j4i6fads1dv/AABKTixM-_qsovpXBiOuJKFma

About Redress (www.redress.com.hk)

Redress is an NGO with a mission to promote environmental sustainability in the fashion industry by reducing textile waste, pollution, water and energy consumption. They achieve this via educational sustainable fashion competitions, shows, exhibitions, seminars, research and by a recycled textile clothing standard. They collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders including multiple fashion designers, textile and garment manufacturers, retailers, schools and universities, multilateral organisations, governments, NGOs, financial institutions and media organisations.

Recycled Collection by Esprit environmental savings: Jersey: The estimated greenhouse gas, water and electricity savings stated in the R Cert animation for the Recycled Collection by Esprit A/A 2014 jersey garments were calculated by an independent third party, RESET Carbon. The greenhouse gas footprint was based on an internal assessment from cradle-to-garment-gate. The electricity and water footprint were based on an internal assessment from fiber-to-garment-gate. The comparison was made between Esprit’s 35 per cent recycled cotton and 65 per cent recycled PET T-shirt against a piece-dyed 100 per cent virgin cotton fibre T-shirt. Redress makes no assurances as to the validity of these third party calculations.

Denim: The estimated greenhouse gas, water and electricity savings stated in the R Cert animation for the Recycled Collection by Esprit A/A 2014 denim garments were calculated by an independent third party, RESET Carbon. These figures were based on an internal assessment from cradle-to-garment-gate. The comparison was made between Esprit’s 43 per cent recycled cotton and 57 per cent virgin cotton non-dyed denim garment against a 96 per cent virgin cotton and 4 per cent spandex dyed garment. Redress makes no assurances as to the validity of these third party calculations.

Consumer Research

In 2012, Redress and The Hong Kong Design Institute conducted research on how to profitably reuse pre-consumer textile waste in Hong Kong’s fashion industry supply chain in ways that minimise negative environmental impacts. For more information visit: www.redress.com.hk/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/HKDI_research-highlights_27sep_final_ENG.pdf

[1] Redress and the The Hong Kong Design Institute, How to profitably reuse pre-consumer waste 2012

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