Whilst the world has collectively fast tracked the importance of sustainable manufacturing over the past year as a response to impacts felt by COVID, there is a long way to go. But how do we get there? Consumers are educating themselves and are learning to understand the impacts their purchasing decisions can have. This means brands who have not introduced ethical and sustainable plans in their production and operating procedures is no longer a sustainable business model.
THE REFORM STORE is here to inspire and empower our community to rethink and reform the way the shop and live with an ethical and sustainable end to end experience.
We are committed to educating our community by making sustainability accessible and easy.
We can look to TEVA as a great case study to discuss how brands are listening to consumers and the positive changes they have made to reduce their impact and become more of an ethical and sustainable fashion brand.
TEVAs are multi use fashion sandals! Originally made as active sandals, purpose built as supportive and comfortable hiking and everyday footwear they are now a leading fashion brand with many alternative labels looking to them for inspiration in their designs. The classic Teva was born in the Grand Canyon back in 1984, when a river guide rigged two Velcro watchbands to an old pair of flip flops and created a shoe that wouldn’t float away. Three decades later, they’ve grown up into an icon of comfort and utilitarian style.
This functional fashion design means these sandals are multi use and can transfer from casual looks to going out style, that in itself can be celebrated as sustainable design thinking. But what are they doing to further their fashion sustainability initiatives?
As of 2020 TEVA are producing their iconic strap sandals with traceable, verifiable recycled plastic using REPREVE® yarn. That means over 9 million plastic bottles will be kept out of landfills and will instead be repurposed as the webbing on the sandals strapped to your feet. Additionally to the recycled straps, TEVA are investing in sustainable alternatives for their main materials, are implementing less water use and waster in all packaging, and they say this is just the beginning.
THE PROCESS BEHIND REPREVE® YARN FOR TEVA
Plastic bottles are collected, cleaned, shredded and turned into little pellets. In the case of TEVA, that’s over 344,000 pounds of plastic that won’t end up in the ocean, being mistaken for sea turtle food.
The cleaned and prepped pellets are then spun into yarn, and that yarn gets woven into ultra-strong webbing primarily used in the upper of TEVA sandals footwear. About 8,000 kms of it actually. That’s the equivalent of hiking from the east coast of Australia to the west, and back again! Hopefully in your repurposed plastic TEVA sandals.
Using repurposed plastic means we reduce the amount of virgin plastic that is created each year.
WHAT IS VIRGIN PLASTIC AND HOW DOES REPREVE CONSERVE RESOURCES?
Virgin, of course, is the resin produced directly from the petrochemical matter, such as natural gas or crude oil, which has never been used or processed in the past. In simple terms, its brand new plastic.
REPREVE is not just finding new life for recycled materials. Compared to making virgin plastic, making REPREVE offsets using new petroleum, emitting fewer greenhouse gases and conserving water and energy in the process. That makes a big difference for our future.
BUT EVEN RECYCLED PLASTIC ISN’T SUSTAINABLE, SO WHY USE IT AT ALL?
Plastic is a go-to for durable material, particularly in soft goods items like footwear. But it’s place is not to end up in landfill harming the environment and increasing our waste. We want this useful material to be at the centre of the circular economy where slow fashion is at the forefront and materials like plastic can be reused and recycled.
We want brands to follow in the footsteps of TEVA and initiative changes in their design thinking and manufacturing, to incorporate high quality materials with tran-seasonal long-lasting products that can be re-worn again and again, resold and repurposed.
TEVA is on it’s way to becoming a fully circular brand by using repurposed fibres and reducing the amount of virgin plastics in their range.
There’s a long way to go, and we as consumers have the power to force brands into making better decisions. But brands themselves need to be leading change, and we applaud TEVA for starting this process.