Just as we are becoming more conscious about the food we consume and the chemicals we put into our bodies, we also need to shift our purchasing decisions to create a cleaner environment through the clothes that we wear. The clothes we wear matters. All clothing is handmade, yet most people have never thought about what the fabric in their favourite sweater is made out of, or who made their clothes. They’re important questions and they really do make a difference.
The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world, just after the oil industry. And as the industry keeps growing, so too, does the environmental damage. Each year, roughly 70 million barrels of crude oil are used to produce virgin stretch fabric (Lycra, Spandex, Nylon). Annually the fashion industry creates more CO2 emissions than all international flights and maritime shipping worldwide, which really shows how negative an impact it has.
The earthly impact of our habits was highlighted in glaringly obvious ways during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, and this has been a catalyst in GritxGrace joining the sustainable fashion movement. Sustainable and ethical fashion is an approach towards sourcing, manufacturing and designing clothes which maximizes the benefits to the fashion industry and society at large, while at the same time minimizing its impact on the environment. GritxGrace is part of a rapidly growing community of businesses who have adopted a responsible commitment to being ethical and sustainable.
Choosing to produce a product more responsibly consists of deliberate actions taken during every step of the way. At GritxGrace, we have consciously aimed to make as many eco-conscious swaps, as small as it may be, along every step of the way, to give you the most authentic experience of choosing to buy more sustainably. Here is what we’ve done:
We partner with suppliers who are focused on sustainability and ethical practices too. As far as possible, we aim for every part of the supply chain to be geared towards a female-owned or female-based workforce, coupled with companies who apply conscious sustainability efforts.
Our production is carried out locally. We stand for fair trade and support our local economy as we want better control in production. We choose to work with local womxn-based manufacturers who are held to high ethical and sustainable standards. This includes fair wages and safe and respectful working conditions.
The tote bags in which your items are packaged in are made of the Virobags – a brand new development in the world of custom reusable and multiple-use shopper bags. Combining the latest in environmentally friendly digital textile printing technology and using 100% recycled fabric made from used plastic bottles, they are able to create true environmentally friendly bags.
Some quick facts about Virobags:
Virobags are made using 100% RPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate) woven fabric.
Virobags recycle backwards and forwards meaning no virgin fibre is used.
Virobags are 100% made in South Africa. From fabric, to print to finished product.
Virobags employ over 70 000 informal waste collectors alone.
Virobags are digitally printed on demand, so nothing goes to waste.
Postcards and swingtags:
Our postcards are printed on 100% recycled, uncoated paper. They are 100% environmentally friendly, and no harmful chemicals are used in production. They also score 92 on the WWF environmental score card, so naturally we had to have them. What blew our mind was that 120 000 tonnes of post-consumer waste is used per annum, saving the corresponding volume of trees from being felled for paper production. The Cyclus Offset postcards are made from 100% FSC® Recycled pulp which produces less CO2, diverts waste from landfill and consumes much less water and energy, as well as eradicating the need for wood in production.
Jute string on swingtags.
Jute is eco-friendly and sustainable because it needs little to no intervention to grow and replenish. In comparison to cotton which is regularly used, it needs less water to survive and no chemical interventions. Jute is the second-most important vegetal fibre after cotton and it is even more sustainable than the insidious cotton, which pops up all over the show. Since it needs less water, maintenance, pesticides, and fertilisation to yield significant crops, jute can become an agricultural eco-friendly and sustainable asset. It’s the little details like this that make a difference to the planet.
We choose to use fabrics that are fully or predominantly recycled, or made in an eco-friendly manner. We use two different fabrics for our swimwear and activewear – ECONYL® and REPREVE® fabric.
Water bottles have long been a talking point for environmental consciousness, using plastic in such a disposable and massive market is harmful to the environment. Billions of empty plastic bottles are constantly being thrown away but Repreve takes the bottles and gives them a new life as fabric. Repreve starts by taking the bottles, and other forms of plastic waste, and melting them down. They then refine the melted plastic to remove any impurities that the plastic may possess. This plastic is then turned into chips, which can be spun into an elastic fiber. These fibers are then spun into fabric, providing stretch and comfort.
Econyl fabric is created using waste from a variety of sources like fishing nets, carpet floorings, fabric scraps, and industrial plastics. Their process focuses on the recycling of nylon to produce textile yarns. What’s unique about Econyl is that the recycled nylon that is produced has the same original purity as virgin nylon. This means that there is potential to continuously recycle this nylon without ever losing any of its elastic qualities. This innovation holds the potential for no new nylon to ever enter the consumer system. Instead, Econyl recycled nylon could continuously provide elastic qualities for fabrics.
Even our clothing label with branded logo is made from recycled polyester. Again, it’s the little things that make producing an eco-friendly product both challenging but incredibly rewarding. If you’ve read this far, we’re on the same page.
We are committed to donating at least 2% of the total sales made online by customers to charities which support our two core values – a minimum of 1% to a charity empowering womxn, and 1% to a charity focused on protecting our planet. We currently support Greenpop. For every 1 out of 10 sales, we will plant a tree. We also currently support 18twenty8 and Susters4Life, and are constantly exploring inspiring charities to support..
We are constantly striving to refine processes and push ourselves to keep operations and products as eco-friendly as possible. If you would like to know more about our conscious efforts or have any feedback and /or suggestions, we would love to hear from you. Please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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