The Environmental Sustainability Award: The Renewal Workshop

Award Type: 

Longlisted for a Business in the Community Responsible Business Award

 
Action and Impact
The clothes industry, by design, is a linear model, with raw materials harvested or extracted, clothing made, sold and used, and at the end of their life there is no system to capture the value invested.
The Renewal Workshop believes it has the answer as new kind of clothing company that turns discarded clothing and textiles into new product, partnering with brands and retailers to recover value from their unsellable returns and excess inventory.
 
Instead of going to landfill, partners’ garments arrive at the company’s Oregon, US facility. They are sorted and cleaned before a quality team inspects each garment and develops a plan for its renewal. The so-called Sew Techs then work their magic, turning the garments into renewed clothes which are then styled, photographed and rolled into recyclable packaging and ready to be sold again. Anything that can’t be renewed is either recycled or made available as an upcycled material.
 
Data is collected on everything that flows through the system and is shared with brand partners to help them improve the production and design of future products.
 
“Having worked inside the clothing industry for most of our careers, we saw an opportunity to enable our industry to be a circular business model,” says co-founder Nicole Bassett.