Teemill, an Isle of Wight-based sustainable fashion platform, has launched a new “100% renewable, sustainable” clothing material called Remill. The material – which can be used to manufacture “virtually all” the different types of clothes people wear today – is made from post-consumer waste.
Teemill’s organic cotton items are printed in real time and designed to be returned to their factory once worn out, where new products are made from the recovered material. This is a real life example of “the circular economy”, the company says. More than 50,000 online stores connected to Teemill’s platform are able to make use of this circular supply chain and offer Remill products to their customers.
Consumers are incentivised to keep worn-out material flowing back to be remanufactured with a discount coupon, activated by scanning the interactive wash care label in every product.
Existing partners already benefiting from this new technology include charitable organisations like WWF International and War Child UK, as well as eco-friendly search engine Ecosia, and social media influencer Very British Problems. The platform is free to sign up, enabling anybody online to build their own sustainable fashion brand.
Remill sets out to offer an “innovative solution” to fast fashion. Unlike recycling, which usually has a limited number of iterations before ending up in landfill, circular remanufacturing is about closing the loop – the ultimate “re-use” goal for values-led designers. While many previous efforts at textile recycling use polyester, Remill is made from only natural, biodegradable organic cotton, it says.
“This way, Teemill is not just closing the loop, but cleaning it up, too.”Mart Drake-Knight, co-founder of Teemill, said: “Remill proves that a fundamentally different way of operating is possible today. Now that we’ve built the digital infrastructure to power a circular economy, our goal is to scale it by sharing access to our technology via our platform. Access lets people participate and co-create the products they want to see in the world. Fun, fresh clothing – without costing the Earth. With natural materials and renewable energy, brands can create designs that never have to go into landfill. That, for us, is the future of fashion.”
Ed Partridge, Corporate Partnerships Manager at WWF International said: “Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at WWF – and our online store is no exception. With circular manufacturing and a print-on-demand supply model, we can now offer sustainable clothing that is not only designed to last but is also made from natural materials as well as post-consumer and remanufactured textiles that are more sustainable. This way, our supporters can help raise awareness and engage with our campaigns, safe in the knowledge that their support isn’t inadvertently amplifying the environmental effects caused by fashion waste.”
With 1 million tonnes of overstocked clothing going straight into landfill or incineration each year, Teemill created the technology to print in real-time and on-demand, ensuring that each item is manufactured only when it’s needed. “By driving efficiencies through technology and automation systems, the company is able to reinvest its proceeds into increasing sustainability – ultimately enabling them to adopt and share a circular economy for fashion.