Das Merch X Circular Economy
WHY DOES THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY CONCERN US?
We’ll tell you what the Circular Economy means to Das Merch and how we employ its principles
We’ve already talked about what the Circular Economy is and how it works. Let’s take on more step further and look at our personal approach to the matter and analyse its integration in our business model.
Firstly, Let’s Talk About WHY
Why are we doing this? In short, because we cannot close our eyes to what is happening to the nature of our World. We don’t want to appeal to the moral, but caring for environment has the moral aspect in it fundamentally. Away from the moral side – we set our realistic goals for the future to fight environmental degradation.
Our founder Klaus is producing textiles with our own label Vresh since 2012. We don’t fool ourselves and others: textile is in every sense a “dirty business“. We don’t want to whine or complain, but unfortunately our consumption driven economy ensured that society expects their T-shirt to cost less than their take-away coffee. Did anyone take a closer look and carefully considered how is this even possible? Unfortunately, no. But don’t fool yourself, it happens at the costs of all of us through rapidly damaging our environment. Especially Third World societies feel the costs since they are underpaid and work under harsh conditions.
The big fashion labels with their weekly poor quality collections are very good at making us forget the price the nature and future societies would pay for the joy we get now by buying cheap new clothes. Marie Kondo and Netflix at the beginning of the year kindly reminded us our consumption pattern. They concluded that we still have a long way to go towards more sustainable society
On average, every adult has 95 garments (without underwear and socks). It is estimated that they never wear every fifth garment (19 percent).
Our consumption appetite definitely pleases fashion brands and have a positive impact on their income statements. On the other hand it creates damage that would take decades to restore.
Step by Step
Everyone knows this feeling of restlessness, the urge for changes as well as fear of hurdles to start something new. There were many considerations and conversations in 2018. But Klaus finally realised that the industry needs changes and these changes won’t come from nowhere. Decision was made – sustainability and circular economy approach should be integrated into Das Merch business.
We cooperate with textiles producers in Portugal since 2015. All of them are small family-owned businesses, therefore we were able to establish friendly relationships with each one of them. We can even say that we are like a big family now. But desired changes are impossible without the input of our beloved Portuguese producers. Therefore, it was not just about changing our business, but also theirs. After first conversations, it was clear that we share the same values and envision our future as eco-friendly and socially responsible businesses.
On the same vein of changes, we agreed on implementing eco-friendly solutions in our processes. Even simple ones matter: all lightbulbs used in our supply chain are energy saving, none of fabric remnants are thrown away etc. We agreed that we need to implement sustainable decisions whenever possible, for this purpose we even add 20% to every invoice we receive from our producers.
Our Circular Merchandise Revolution
Further discussion with our partners led us to the decision to use only fully organic and recycled materials. We believe that it is a big step towards what we call Merchandise Revolution. With this decision, together with re-use of fabric remnants, Circular Economy principles are finally directly incorporated into our business.
What the use of organic and recycled fabric means in a nutshell:
- zero fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals;
- significantly less energy consumed;
- no extensive dying;
- less CO2 emissions;
- lower dependance on fossil fuels;
- lower pressure on fresh water sources etc.
Let’s talk about the real world. It is estimated that producing one T-shirt from fully organic cotton saves the same energy as 60W bulb would require for an hour; saves amount of CO2 that an average car would emit in 1km drive; saves more than 400 of fresh water. That is only for one T-shirt, think about if you want to dress 100 employees.
Similarly with recycled polyester. It that doesn’t even lose its quality when recycled. Polyester’s main raw material is fossil fuel and producing it requires vast amount of energy that is prevented by using core principles of Circular Economy.
Circular Economy in the Textile Industry
Here you can see a short summary of the key points that the circular economy in the field of textile production tackles:
It’s no secret that washing damages the color and the fabric of poor quality fast fashion products, therefore we often need to change our clothes. To tackle this problem we aim to produce only high quality products that last longer without losing their initial feel and colour. Also, we are trying to share our knowledge to educate people about the textile industry. How its processes damage the environment. These are the parts we’re already in regarding Circular Economy model, but there are more to come!
That’s Just the Beginning of the Merchandise Revolution
We are working on the next steps. However, it was important to us to be able to offer you and your organisation sustainable clothing solutions as quickly as possible. But we still have a long way to go because sustainability is becoming an increasingly important topic in our production processes. The usage of organic and recycled raw materials as well as production directly in Europe are the first steps towards the sustainable future.
Stay Tuned and Join Us!
So, join us on our journey and support our changes with your orders. In that way, we can work together to ensure that the merchandise revolution would happen. Always remember that merchandise must be qualitative, creative and sustainable to put your brand in the right light. Join the Merchandise Revolution!