Fashion is the second most polluting industry behind oil. Up to 26 billion pounds of textiles and clothes will end up in landfills this year. Scary numbers, right? What if brands just decide to use what already exists, instead of creating new fabrics? Like Outliv, an accessories bag brand. Well… not just that, but accessories made out of recycled materials. SWEET-AS!
Outliv recently launched in New Zealand, a country surrounded by beautiful oceans and nature. So it was kind of obvious that the founder would consider earth and water when creating the brand.
Water, because it takes over 7,000 litres to make one pair of jeans. Also because in China unaccountable untreated waste and the dyes from manufacturing new textiles is flushed into local waste pipes. Yep! Now this river has tuned indigo blue (visible from space).
When it comes to earth, the leather industry needs to slaughter 430 million cows annually for us to continue buying wallets, handbags or shoes at the current growth rate. Not to mention that workers (and children!) perform hazardous tasks knee-deep in toxic chemicals to treat leather.
With this data, there was no way that the founder would contribute to manufacturing new fabrics, and add to the ever-growing fashion, pollution problems in the world. Instead, they choose to inspire positive and environmental change in the fashion industry.
Outliv has a true commitment to recycling; all used to make the bags is taken from 100% recycled clothing with low to zero waste in the production process. The brand uses vintage and second-hand genuine leather and denim, as well as retro patterned lining fabrics. The brand saves them from going to landfill.
“Our aim is to produce as little waste a possible. Achieving almost zero waste is always a challenge however it’s a challenge we embrace throughout the production of each bag” Amy Conlon, Founder of Outliv
Each garment is cut to reduce waste and also ensure the offcuts can be used for other pattern pieces. Amy also mentions that “One of the benefits of our Design and Production model is that it enables the flexibility to be creative with fabrics that might typically be classed as waste. We love the creative challenge to design out waste!”
Even the patch on the outside of the bags is made from recycled clothing.
Every bag is unique, no two ever identical. Only for those who appreciate the love and commitment to the planet’s health, and so appreciate quality over quantity.
Because of the uniqueness of the materials, the design is largely a solo effort. However, for production Outliv scales up depending on the volumes.
“I take a hands-on approach to the cutting stage as this is where I get to design each bag based on the fabrics I use for the exterior and linings. All the bags have unique patterned linings.” Amy Conlon
The bags are then all bundled per item with a design sheet and then delivered to the machinists right in New Zealand where they construct the bags.
The impact of accessories made out of recycled materials
Outliv not just takes. For a brand recently launched to market, it is incredible the impact they have already managed to make! Since a pair of jeans takes an average of 7,600 litres of water to make, and a leather jacket around 30,000 litres (holy moly!), in just 2 months Outliv has saved 1,2 million litres of water. Pretty cool uh?!
The brand also contributes to other causes aligned by partnering with planet-friendly organisations, which give back to the environment.
Like Sea Cleaners, an organisation that has removed over 5.1 million litres of rubbish from the coast in the past 15 years. Outliv’s debut collection will support them to clean-up Waitemata, Manukau and Northland Harbours, estimating take out of the oceans between 10,000 to 20,000 litres of waste.
Outliv also volunteers to support Mercy Hospice on their fundraising events. They have been focusing their efforts to have an event coincide with the New Zealand Fashion Week this year. The goal is to prove that second-hand clothing is awesome… especially when buying it you are helping the community and environment around you.
And if you love brands made out of recycled materials make sure you check out Crystal Flow (10% discount with our special code), Think Love Live, EcoAlf, AndAgain, Deriva Sailmakers, E-globbal and many others!
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