Our journey began with the simple realisation that as lovers of the great outdoors our dearest passions are starting to cost the Earth. We live to ski, surf, hike and bike, yet to do all of these things we acquire ‘stuff’ - big kid toys that are literally costing us the Earth and leading to the demise of our playgrounds. Yet the ‘stuff’ we are acquiring is necessary to comfortably and safely pursue our happiness in Mother Nature’s great outdoors. The answer, to try and buy sustainably, and offset what we can’t recycle.
The fashion industry is now the second largest polluter on the planet, only being beaten by oil companies. In Australia alone 6 tonnes of textiles goes to landfill every 10 minutes!
So Standard Goods came about, we literally recycled the business, by buying Standard Sock Co from a friend, and then reinventing it as a sustainable technical goods company for lovers of the great outdoors.
After many months of research, and the trials and pitfalls of finding the right factory to work with, we are due to receive our first shipment of socks this December.
The journey so far has not been easy. We have chosen to make socks from mixtures of Recover Blue, Recover R3, and Merino. Why these yarns? Well Recover Blue and Recover R3 where easy choices.
Recover Blue is made with 52% Upcycled cotton and 48% RPET from recycling waste plastic bottles, made by Hilaturas Ferre, global fashion recycling leaders who have been collecting textile waste and recycling for years. Last year alone Recover saved the planet
- 43.1 billion litres of water
- 3.2 million kg of pollutants
- 156 million kWh of energy
- 2.9 million kg of textile waste
- 60.7 million kg of CO2 emissions
- 4.4 million of PET bottles
- 7.2 million m2 of landfill space
We want to be part of this fashion revolution.
Recover R3 is Recover Blue with Tencel added, a botanical lycocell yarn that has a similar feel to bamboo and rayon, but is made from a sustainably grown wood pulp using closed loop manufacture where the chemicals and water used to make the yarn are 99% reusable. Making them a very sustainable alternative. They add an incredible softness, temperature control and antibacterial quality to our snow socks.
Recover Wool is a new blend from Hilaturas Ferre, consisting of an upcycled blend of post industrial wool cutting scraps, recycled PET bottles and nylon 6.6, designed for maximum strength and softness, perfect for our ski socks.
Using these yarns has thrown some obstacles into our path, namely the availability of the yarns, your usual sock factories do not carry these as stock items. So everything we make requires a new yarn purchase. All of these are developed and produced in Europe, and to buy them outside of Europe is no easy task, availability in China for instance is limited. This means we have had to find factory partners that believe in what we are trying to achieve as our minimums are low, we need partners happy to go to the effort to buy small amounts of yarns in just for us. Then we have had to design our products with buying in the minimum number of different colours without compromising our design styles. Many of the yarns we are using are only made in a limited number of colours, and unusual colours that are hard to blend, if they blend at all.
In order to close the loop on our manufacture we have had to make some style compromises, put many man hours into finding our partners, and reduce profit margins. But we think it is worth it. At the beginning of this story we had to weigh up biodegradable natural materials, or recycled. This ended up being an easy question to answer - because if we want to achieve the ultimate goal of cleaning up the fashion industry, then the items we make need to meet the end users brief, which is technical gear that works well and looks great, what’s the point in producing goods that do not suit customers needs and will end up in the bin? Unfortunately we can not make a technical sock that controls temperature, wicks moisture, and drys quickly without adding a man made fibre, so recycling became our goal.
We think our goal posts will be forever shifting, and evolving as new yarns are developed and roads are made into closing the loop on fashion. As we grow so will our minimums, and our Standard Goods will begin to include yarns such as Econyl, Repreve and ECO Coolmax, that will blend with Recover upcycled cottons to produce technical base layer garments and bags that don’t cost the Earth.
Be part of the solution...............