COUNTRY ROAD REVEALS TOWARDS CIRCULARITY PROJECT WITH NUMBER ONE SUPPLIER, KASHION
Our inaugural Towards Circularity collection is made with 30% recycled cotton fibres sourced from our own production runs, and includes sweat tops, pants and T-Shirts. Unlike regular recycled yarns, this pioneering process means we are using leftover Country Road fabrics to create new Country Road garments.
More than 12 months in the making, the Towards Circularity project included various trials in spinning and knitting to guarantee fibre quality. The range achieves the strength, durability and quality we’re known for, while reducing waste. This project alone has the potential to divert 100,000 kilograms of textile waste from landfill per year – almost the equivalent weight of an entire Boeing 757.
Fabia Pryor, Country Road Brand Impact and Community Manager, says the range will mark a significant milestone for the brand. “We are so excited to launch Towards Circularity with Kashion. Throughout the garment production process, valuable fabric is usually lost due to cutting or faults. We’ve worked together to create a more circular process that transforms Country Road off-cuts and factory waste.. This project is the next step in our journey towards greater circular design initiatives across the business”.
Circularity eliminates waste, reduces reliance on natural resources and drives innovation. A circular fashion system reduces demand for new resources by keeping existing materials in use for as long as possible.
For this project, Kashion partnered with a mill that is pioneering recycled fibre yarns. As a garment manufacturer, Kashion does not provide yarn or fabric manufacturing services, so needed to find a factory which would work with them to create new yarn.
Kashion Sales Manager, Lisa, explains “the big challenge was to find a spinner who had the ability and was willing to support us. There were only a few spinners who could develop it”.
In collaboration with the spinner, and after repeated trials, a yarn was created that blended 30% of the shredded pre-consumer waste cotton fabric from our production runs with 70% virgin cotton. This ratio is a tried-and-tested technical constraint, as the recycled fibres need to be blended with new fibres to attain the desired strength and durability.
“For the recycled cotton program, we have to sort off-cuts by colours and different fabric quality. Strict collection requirements are necessary to ensure the final recycled yarn is good quality, otherwise it will not be up to standard to knit into fabric. So, the big change in the internal process is in how to sort off-cuts properly and reuse them,” says Lisa.
The added processes of sorting the rescued fabric has created new jobs. This circular approach is a potential source of reliable employment for less skilled workers, allowing them to take their first steps into the garment industry.
Once the spinner has blended the recycled and new fibres to create fabric, it is sent back to Kashion to create garments such as T-Shirts and sweats for our Woman, Man and Teen ranges. In future, we hope to develop more styles in this fabric, bringing a greater circular approach to our most-loved garments.
Towards Circularity launches in store and online from Monday, 7th February 2022.
Source: Country Road