7 Fashion Brands That are Giving Garments New Life

Giving clothing a second chance.

Recycling, repairing and reusing fashion.

(Svittlana / Shutterstock.com)

Do you follow the new trends in fashion every season? That means adding new clothing and accessories to your wardrobe four times a year. But did you ever think about what happens to clothing that is no longer being worn?

The fashion industry has a problem. In the US, only 15 percent  of all textile waste is recycled or reused, according to the organization Planet Aid, while in Europe, the textile industry ranks as the fourth most impactful sector after food, housing, and mobility. 

The industry's environmental footprint is substantial, recounts Impakter. Addressing the challenges posed by textile waste and its impact on the environment is crucial for making fashion sustainable and alleviating climate change. 

When natural fiber materials like cotton, linen, and wool are discarded, they can become sources of methane emissions, contributing to climate change, according to a blog on ScrapNYC. Synthetic materials, on the other hand, such as polyesters take up to 200 years to decompose, leading to long-lasting pollution of the land and water they occupy.

Thankfully, some clothing companies are rising to the challenge. Goodnet has compiled a list to help you shop responsibly.

A Simplified Male Wardrobe

ASKET is dedicated to simplifying the male wardrobe by offering a timeless collection of versatile garments that will always remain stylish. Their approach focuses on creating a permanent collection, perfect for building a capsule wardrobe, according to Ape to Gentleman.

As a Swedish brand, ASKET goes against the trend-driven mindset and instead promotes sustainability and conscious consumerism. The brand actively contributes to the circular economy by emphasizing repair and recycling

The company’s  website provides comprehensive repair guides, enabling customers to fix common issues at home such as loose buttons, small holes, or broken seams. Additionally, ASKET offers spare parts for purchase, including buttons, labels, zippers, and drawstrings, allowing customers to easily replace worn-out components as needed

A Circular Initiative

Patagonia's commitment to sustainability and circular practices is deeply ingrained in the brand's DNA, with its Worn Wear program tracing back to the 1970s, reports The Guardian. Worn Wear encompasses a range of circular initiatives, including personal repair and care tools such as DIY kits and online tutorials, resale and repair services, and a line of upcycled vests and bags.

In the US, customers participating in the repair-and-resale program have the option to send back eligible items via post or in-store drop-off. In return, they receive a voucher for up to 50 percent of the resale price of the item. The repaired second hand garments are then resold at a reduced price.

Patagonia operates 72 repair centers worldwide where Patagonia items can be repaired free of charge or for a nominal fee. The company's commitment to repair is substantial, with over 100,000 items repaired last year alone, and a continued dedication to expanding their repair initiatives in the future.

Recycled T-shirts from Patagonia.

(Sander van der Werf / Shutterstock.com)

A Garment Worth Cherishing

The timeless Barbour jacket is a garment worth cherishing, as its charm and character grow with age. Older waxed jackets possess a unique appeal, having molded to their owner, weathered the elements, and acquired a gentle fade. With a tartan lining, these flexible cotton jackets are made to last, according to Ape to Gentleman.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Barbour (@barbour)

However, it's important to ensure that your jacket remains functional. You wouldn't want keys falling out of pockets or water seeping through the shoulders. The beauty of a Barbour jacket, besides its iconic status, is that you can send it back to the British brand for repairs. Additionally, Barbour offers tins of specialist wax, allowing you to easily reapply the waterproofing wax at home and preserve the jacket's durability. This commitment to reparability and maintenance ensures that your Barbour jacket can accompany you on many more adventures.

Dedicated Repair Shops

Within every Nudie Jeans store, you'll find a dedicated repair shop for worn and damaged denim garments from the Swedish brand, reported The Guardian. This in-store repair program had humble beginnings approximately 15 years ago, starting with each store having a hemming machine primarily for adjusting jean-leg lengths. However, as Nudie Jeans' staff began utilizing the machines to repair their own jeans, word quickly spread among customers, leading to the establishment of an official repair service.

The repair service gained popularity as Nudie Jeans introduced additional equipment, including darning machines for patching up denim. In 2012, the brand launched its Reuse take-back program, offering customers a 20 percent discount on a new pair of Nudie Jeans in exchange for their old, worn-out pair. The collected jeans were either resold, utilized for patching in repairs or earmarked for recycling projects.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Nudie Jeans co (@nudiejeans)

Over time, the Reuse program expanded to encompass all Nudie garments, allowing the discount incentive to be used for purchasing second hand jeans. The program's success is evident from the numbers: in 2022 alone, Nudie Jeans repaired an impressive 65,386 pairs of jeans, resold 3,984 pairs, and collected 20,722 post-consumer jeans. 

Exchangeable Soles

Naot is an Israeli company with a wide footprint in the US and Europe due to the comfort, durability, and elegance of its shoes. One of the interesting aspects of some styles is the ability to purchase a new footbed or cushioned sole for those that become worn out. The idea of a removable footbed allows you to insert a custom orthotic if necessary, and by replacing it when it wears out, you can extend the life of your footwear. 

The FAQs on the Naot website assist shoe owners in identifying the correct insoles to purchase and provide a list of Authorized Naot Repair Facilities.

Second Time Around

Kathmandu, the outdoor clothing brand from New Zealand, has introduced Kathman-REDU, a program aimed at refurbishing faulty, returned, or unsellable items to bring them back to a sellable condition, reported The Guardian. The program initially launched in Kathmandu's Richmond and Galleria stores in Melbourne, with plans to expand its reach in the future.

As part of the program, customers can donate their used or faulty Kathmandu items at 24 designated stores across Melbourne. A portion of these donated items will undergo cleaning, repairs, and refurbishment before being made available for resale. This initiative ensures that these items find new life rather than being discarded. 

Kathmandu has also partnered with recycler Upparel to implement a drop-off used clothing program. Clothing collection bins have been placed in 24 Kathmandu stores throughout Melbourne, allowing customers to donate their old, used, or faulty Kathmandu gear. Suitable items collected through this initiative will be repaired and reintroduced into retail as part of the Kathman-REDU program.

Under the Radar

Considering it’s the world’s bestselling denim brand, Levi’s Tailor Shop is surprisingly under the radar. But it’s well worth a visit if you’re near one of the locations, according to Ape to Gentleman.

The expert tailors and seamstresses working there cannot only help you achieve the perfect fitting jeans – by shortening hems, adjusting the waist or tapering the legs – they’re also able to repair your denim, personalize it using patches or embellishments and even upcycle your jeans into something new entirely.

Using the ChooseCircular™️ reuse impact calculator, powered by Trove, Levi’s has determined that since the introduction of their used program in 2020, customers have made a significant environmental impact. On average, for each item purchased used instead of new, they have saved approximately 8.39 kg of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) emissions and around 0.75 pounds of landfill waste.

This jeans company will recycle your worn clothing.

(onajourney / Shutterstock.com)