Apparel brands can only generate new revenue by making and selling more goods, and manufacturing consistently results in waste when a garment’s life cycle is linear: sold once, used, and then discarded. In addition to generating industrial and landfill pollution and financial waste, that process also depletes raw material resources.
The Renewal Workshop provides zero-waste, circular solutions for progressive apparel and textile brands through a software platform and garment processing and repair facility. The system tracks data on existing products, offering comprehensive insights on a product’s lifetime value and impacts on the environment and company finances.
Brand partners can sell products certified for reuse and extend their usefulness, while items that cannot be resold become recycling feedstock within the system. Since its founding, the Renewal Workshop has accrued 20 brand partners and saved nearly 110,000 pounds of textiles from landfills.
The global textile industry is currently valued at over $925 billion, and the Renewal Workshop could expand into additional industries such as footwear, which has a growing market size of $250 billion. The secondhand market will reach $51 billion in the next five years with 56 million women in the US buying secondhand. Only 15 percent of textiles are recycled, even though nearly 100 percent of textiles and clothing are recyclable.
The Renewal Workshop currently seeks:
- Advice on increasing the organization’s positive impact and growth to new markets;
- Exposure and more publicity to sign on new brands and companies in Europe; and
- Guidance on establishing itself as a leader in the apparel and home goods markets.
Some of The Renewal Workshop’s notable achievements include:
- Media coverage in Vogue, Outside Magazine, and GreenBiz; and
- Speaking roles at industry conferences, such as the Zero Waste Conference.
The Renewal Workshop currently partners with 20 of the most progressive fashion and home goods companies, including The North Face, Eagle Creek, Coyuchi, prAna, Timbuk2, Toad & CO, Mara Hoffman, Pearl Izumi, and more.
As of December 2018, The Renewal Workshop had saved more than 100,000 pounds of textiles from landfill and the equivalent energy of 17,009 light bulbs for a year.
Cascade Locks, OR, USA
Nicole Bassett Co-Founder, The Renewal Workshop
Reselling Textiles for Zero Waste
Solver Renewal Workshop, which resells used textiles for a zero-waste system, received a $10,000 grant from Solve in 2019 for being selected as a Circular Economy Solver.