Closing the Loop: How recycling can revolutionize the golf apparel industry.
"A circular economy is a bigger idea than incrementally reducing the harm of our current model." ( Ellen MacArthur Foundation , 2020, p.2)(1)
In recent years, it has become clear that a new, sustainable and regenerative model of consumption and production is needed. One such model is the circular economy, which aims to use resources for as long as possible and extract the maximum value from them. At the end of their useful life, the aim is then to recover and recycle the products and materials. This model is a significant departure from our current linear "take-make-waste" economy, which contributes to natural resource depletion and environmental degradation. As indicated in the quote at the beginning, a circular economy is not just about incrementally reducing harm, but about a fundamentally different approach to doing business. For golf apparel, this means rethinking the way we design, manufacture and dispose of clothing to reduce waste and promote sustainability.
Circular economy thus helps address key global challenges such as climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss. For the golf apparel industry - and the apparel industry as a whole - this means making products from safe, recycled or renewable raw materials that are designed for multiple uses. A circular economy provides better products and services for customers, fosters a thriving fashion industry, and regenerates the environment while prioritizing the rights and equality of all people involved in creating value.
How can we as a company address these challenges?
At paxariño, we place a focus on ensuring that our clothing is made exclusively from safe, renewable or recycled materials, for one. Secondly, we focus on ensuring that our products are fully recyclable or compostable. Finally, we naturally place the highest value on the quality and durability of our products.
Safe, renewable and recycled materials:
How do we define which materials we use? There are several factors for us to consider here. Important for us is:
- Is the material made from renewable resources grown in a sustainable way?
- Are chemicals and toxins used in the manufacturing process?
- How many resources are consumed in the production process?
- Under what working conditions are the fabrics produced?
- How much waste is generated during production?
Based on these factors, we chose organic cotton and TENCEL ™ Lyocell, among others. Organic cotton is grown without harmful chemicals and pesticides, which reduces pollution and benefits the health and well-being of the workers involved in the growing and harvesting process. It also helps conserve water and promote soil fertility, as organic cotton farming often relies on natural methods such as crop rotation and composting.
TENCEL™ Lyocell is made from sustainably sourced pulp and produced in a closed-loop process that recycles up to 99% of the biological solvents used, resulting in significantly lower emissions and water consumption than conventional textile production. The result is a breathable, lightweight and soft fabric that is ideal for use in clothing and other textiles. (2)
Recycle and compost:
In addition, our decisions are influenced by how our clothes can be reused after they have been used. In this regard, it is important to us that:
- The products can be fully composted and no waste is left behind.
- The products can be easily disassembled back into their components.
- The fabrics are easy to recycle
Organic cotton and TENCEL™ Lyocell are also easy to recycle and compost, which is critical to building a circular system for fashion. Unlike synthetic materials, these fibers are biodegradable and can break down naturally without harming the environment. When organic cotton and lyocell garments reach the end of their life cycle, they can be composted and turned into nutrient-rich soil. Composting not only reduces waste, but also helps regenerate the soil for a more sustainable ecosystem. In addition, these fibers can be recycled and reused, reducing the need for new materials and extending the life of the original product.
Quality and durability:
Durability and reuse are essential components of our vision for a closed-loop apparel system. Our sustainable fashion products are designed to last longer, resist wear and tear, and not need to be replaced as often. We want our products to last and our customers to enjoy them for many years to come. To achieve this, we use high-quality, durable materials and production processes. We also want our products to be versatile and timeless, so they can be worn in different ways and styled for different occasions.
Consequently, adopting a closed-loop clothing system is critical to addressing the pressing global challenges of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss. At paxariño, we are committed to using safe, renewable or recycled materials, producing fully recyclable or compostable products, and ensuring the longevity of our products. By taking these steps, we can create better products for our customers, promote a thriving fashion industry, protect the environment, and prioritize the rights and equality of all stakeholders in the value chain.
- Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Vision of a circular economy for fashion, 2020, p.2 (https://emf.thirdlight.com/link/nbwff6ugh01m-y15u3p/@/preview/1?o)