Sustainability

 

The world deserves a new set of standards. Sustainable fashion is just one of them.

It’s nice to buy clothes that are fun and make you feel good. But the fast-fashion business model that our culture currently follows is destroying our planet. The commodification of people, the excessive waste, the environmental damage-- these things aren’t fun or good in the slightest. This careless attitude towards our planet and the people on it is not in alignment with the values of anybody we know (or want to know, quite frankly), and it’s simply unsustainable.

So, where do we start? Everywhere: from fiber, to fabrication, to fit, and function. We look at our pieces from every angle to make sure that we’re doing everything that we can to limit our environmental impact. Welcome to Sustainable Fashion 101.

Recreated fabric

The fabric that we use in our pieces is knitted out of #1 plastic (AKA BPA-free Polyethylene Terephthalate, or PET.) Actually, all polyester is made from PET, but ours is a little different. Some might say a little better. Us, for example. See, our Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified fabric is spun from GRS Gold Level certified recycled yarn. That means we’re making something new out of something old and doing it as ethically, sustainably, and safely as possible.

The story of our fabric begins in a regulated factory where workers are protected by a charter of rights (that includes a right to safety, health, and a fair wage, to name a few). The recycling process itself goes a little something like this: plastic bottles are sorted, washed, chipped, re-washed, melted, extruded into pasta-like noodles, and cut into pellets. Then the pellets are re-melted, and re-extruded into superfine threads that are spun together into yarn. Finally, the yarn is knitted into fabric and dyed with non-toxic dispersed dye (no weird colorants in our sustainable fashion, thanks).

three women wearing Recreative Apparel colorful leggings and bras made with recycled polyester fabric

side view of a woman wearing Recreative Apparel Avalon high-waist leggings in deep purple

Safe for the environment and for you.

The resulting fabric is certified Oeko-Tex Standard 100 safe for the wearer and the world. That means that no toxins from the plastics, dyes, or manufacturing process could possibly be absorbed into the skin. This Oeko-Tex certification combined with the GRS Gold Level certification (which can only be earned when there is a water treatment system in place at the factory, and no toxic additives are used as process chemicals) results in a seriously planet (and people!) -friendly recycled product.

Using recycled materials doesn't just help save our oceans and land-- it also does away with the need for raw materials that are involved in the production of traditional nylon (like crude oil). Manufacturing recycled polyester also uses less water and energy, and emits less greenhouse gas than conventional methods. So if anybody tries to tell you that the recycling process is harder on our environment than simply letting plastic float around the ocean, you can tell them exactly where to...Google.

Some day in the future, technology may find a way to continuously recycle polyester garments with no degradation of quality. That would result in a world where polyester manufacturing was a closed-loop system...and that sounds fantastic. For now, our sustainability-superior fabric contains as much recycled material as we can squeeze in there, without compromising the longevity, functionality or texture of the garment.

Made to perform and last.

That’s right. Not only is our compression fabric sustainable, eco-friendly, and safe, it’s among the softest and most high-performing in the world. It’s breathable (but squat-proof), moisture wicking, anti-bacterial, UV-protective, and pil-resistant to keep you looking and feeling good for a really long time. Remember when polyester used to suck? Thank you, technology!

Sustainable fashion doesn’t end there. Recreative Apparel is committed to investing in new eco-friendly materials as they become available. We don’t know what we’ll be able to accomplish as innovation and technology improves within the sustainable fashion industry, but we’re ready to find out.

Putting the “fashion” in “sustainable fashion”.

The current fast-fashion business model of overproduction and oversaturation creates a cultural urgency of “more”. More clothes, more food, more cars...regardless of whether we need it or not. At Recreative Apparel, we like to say “enough”. You have enough. You are enough-- just the way you are. We want to recreate the mold, to champion a new standard for creating and enjoying fashion. That’s why we strive to make pieces that people want to include in their regular wardrobe-- not just their fit kit.

Quality over quantity.

We start by hiring industry specialists to do our production, and we produce locally as much as possible in small, meticulous batches. By commissioning adults who have chosen sustainable fashion design as a career, we nourish the community that we want to see grow. Working with people who share our values ensures that our pieces are made with a passion and intention that fast-fashion producers only dream of.

Our pieces are fabricated in Vancouver, BC-- all the way from design to sewing. Producing locally reduces the amount of traveling that our products need to do, which reduces our carbon footprint. It also supports our local industry, which is a great thing to do when you love where you live. Currently, our patterns are cut to make sure as little fabric as possible is wasted-- and we hope to one day master the art of zero-waste production.

Always moving forward.

As sustainable fashion leaders, we are always seeking out new innovative ways to improve our craft. But you can’t lead if you’re not willing to learn! We need your help. If you have any questions, suggestions, or feedback, please reach out to us. We’re all in this together!

woman wearing Recreative Apparel leggings in fire red and carrying a yoga mat in a reusable vegan cork tote bag