We are a brand deeply involved in the refundation of a new fashion industry and the sustainability of the garments is one of our core values. R3UNITE chooses to only use materials that are as far as possible sustainable, both for the environment and for the workers involved in the production.
We only rely on sustainability-conscious suppliers that can ensure a solid experience in the industry and the quality of made in Italy. We rely on ecological, recycled and innovative materials. We use organic GOTS certified cotton and silk for our garments, recycled PVC and paper for our tags and labels, and bioplastic for our packaging.
The quality of the fabrics is not only a way to make our garments more valuable and appealing, but it helps to extend the lifecycle of the garments. With the emergence of the fast-fashion model, part of the fashion industry founded its success on large-scale production of low-quality garments. This led to an overproduction of fabrics and increased waste and environmental impact. In addition, this type of production guided common consciousness to the idea that a garment can be considered “old” after wearing it only two or three times. Our mission is to change this drift and this is why our garments are all seasonless and designed to last over time.
GOTS certified organic cotton and silk
Cotton is made from a plant, but even if we could think about it as a naturally organic material, the conventional growing techniques are not so natural.
Cotton is one of the most widely grown crops in the world, and one of the most chemical-intensive. These chemicals are among the most toxic as classified by the Environmental Protection Agency, and they have tremendous impact on the air, water, soil, and the health of people in cotton-growing areas.
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) was developed through collaboration by leading standard setters, defining requirements that are recognised world-wide and that ensure the organic status of textiles. From harvesting of the raw materials, to environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing, to labelling.
It was introduced in 2006 and is the most world-wide recognised certification for the cotton. In summary it states that:
· textiles must be 95% organic in origin;
· toxic chemicals used in some conventional textile processing, like formaldehyde, heavy metals, and brominated flame retardants, cannot be used;
· manufacturers can’t use finishing methods that pose risks to workers;
· manufacturers must have environmental policies and procedures to monitor and improve the environmental performance of their facilities;
· organic textiles must be stored and transported in a way that prevents contamination by prohibited substances;
· packaging material must not contain chlorinated plastics;
· any paper or cardboard used in packaging material of GOTS goods must be recycled or certified as sustainable;
· textiles must meet specific quality standards regarding how they hold up to washing and color fading;
· workers have to be treated well with safe working conditions, no child labor, fair wages, a cap on how many hours they can work a week, and more.
In a similar way, GOTS certified silk meets the same requirements of cotton. In addition, being a textile fibre of animal origin, it is made from silkworms eating 100% organic, ensuring the highest silk quality.
Bioplastic and recycled materials for tags, labels and packaging
Although the production of textiles for the garments represents the majority of the environmental impact of the fashion industry, tags, labels and packaging are often made of materials by nature more polluting, like plastic.
From textiles to food, today we count a total plastic production of 310 millions tons, compared to 15 millions in 1964. Plastic is still largely used in every industry, with a tremendous environmental impact, both because of the pollution that comes from its production and because of the long disposal times.
R3UNITE chooses to limit the use of non-recycled plastics as much as possible. Our brand labels are made with plastic recycled from used bottles, sustaining a principle of circular economy that allows waste to become part of the production process again, limiting the environmental impact. Our packaging equally limits waste: it is made of bioplastic certified with the “OK compost” labels that guarantees it as biodegradable.