Fashion is the second largest polluting industry in the world after oil. For an industry infatuated with beauty and style, it’s an undoubtedly ugly statistic.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. With a little bit of organisation and a good dose of moral integrity from fashion brands, as well as some active participation from customers, we can work together to make the industry more sustainable.
Our latest step towards creating a circular business model, that is responsible for reintegrating items at the end of their life cycle, is our new take-back program for footwear. All of your old Etiko sneakers and thongs can now be returned to our store in person, or by post, and will be recycled. In return, we’ll give you a $10 gift card for your old sneakers and a $5 gift card for each pair of thongs.
The long-term goal is to turn the old soles into new shoes, but for now, Etiko’s old sneakers and thongs will be recycled through a Melbourne-based company who will shred the rubber for use in outdoor furniture.
We are also hatching plans to take-back our entire clothing range for recycling, and hope to launch this scheme later in the year, making us the first ever Australian fashion label to take-back every item we produce. Now, how’s that for accountability?
At Etiko, the environment has always been at the forefront of what we do. We chose to create functional and utilitarian clothing that bucks seasonals trends because we don’t want to partake in fast-fashion fads.
We carefully select organic textiles and sustainably grown rubber that isn’t derived from petroleum, and refuse to use animal products. We also seek out the most biodegradable and minimal packaging options, which is why our shoeboxes and underwear packages are made from recycled cardboard.
What's more, Etiko is on track to being completely carbon-neutral by 2020, a good 30 years earlier than the Australian Fashion Industry’s target of 2050.
While a lot of our accountability is self-motivated, because we don’t want to be like the other guys who produce purely for profits; our customers keep us striving for more.
Your strong values and consistent support shows us that our efforts are not in vain, and there is an appetite for fashion that is truly ethical. While doing the right thing certainly costs us more money and minimises our already small profit margins, we take great pride in proving what’s possible for ethical businesses in Australia and across the world.
Please support our latest endeavour and help us achieve our closed-loop goals. Send back your old shoes to Etiko Shop 22, The Mall 50 Dorset Square, Boronia Vic 3155, Australia
By Nick Savaidis
Background image via Pinterest