OUR ACTION OVER WORDS
Circular fashion is London W11’s raison d’être. It’s the driving force behind our business and we believe it is THE solution to the industry’s environmental problems. We’re delighted to announce the next step in this mission: our cashmere recycling programme.
Through this scheme, we’re inviting you to be a part of creating this change with us by sending us your old pieces. In Europe, we discard around 11kg of textiles per person every year and 87% of that ends up in landfill or being incinerated (source: European Environmental Bureau 2014). That’s not good enough. We believe that once your cashmere comes to the end of its life with you, whether it has moth holes or no longer fits, it’s not waste, it’s a resource! So, we have come up with a solution that will give them new life.
Recycling cashmere not only prevents waste it reduces the carbon, water and energy footprint of regenerated products in comparison to virgin cashmere.
Cashmere is a beautiful, renewable material but it’s also under threat. Climate change and overgrazing from goats due to the growing popularity of cashmere has meant that a quarter of Mongolia’s grassland has turned to desert in recent decades (source: UN Convention to Combat Desertification). Reducing our reliance on new cashmere will help preserve the land and the livelihood of cashmere goats and herders.
Why circular fashion?
The lifecycle of most clothing starts with extracting resources, before being made, sold and discarded at the end of use. A circular approach disrupts this linear pattern to keep resources in use at the end-of-life stage. Circular solutions include rewearing, reselling and, of course, recycling.
One of the reasons we’re so passionate about circularity is that it is a quantifiable solution. A lot of brands talk about sustainability and it can be hard to know who to trust. Our cashmere recycling programme means we can track how much waste cashmere we’ve rescued together. Our product pages will also tell you how much water, energy and carbon emissions have been saved by using regenerated cashmere so you can feel confident you’re making the right decision for you, and the planet.
Our recycling process
It’s also important to us that you know where the cashmere you send back to us is going. Globally, less than 1% of clothes are recycled as clothing (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2017). This is our opportunity to grow that figure.
When you send your cashmere to London W11, it is always passed on to our expert recycling partner in Prato, Italy. They sort the cashmere by colour and break it down into smaller and smaller pieces until it becomes a single fibre again. The fibres are colour blended and then spun, ready for weaving. This amazing process involves no water and there is no need to redye the fabric. A small amount of new cashmere (around 10%) is blended in to ensure that the regenerated cashmere pieces are soft, durable and just as good as virgin cashmere.
Our cashmere recycling programme accepts any items made from 100% cashmere, no matter the condition or where you bought them. To send us your old cashmere for recycling, visit our web page to print off a postage label.
Without circular fashion, we won’t solve the most pressing problems our planet faces, and we can’t be a circular fashion brand without you. Thank you for helping us in our mission towards a better fashion industry.