It’s no secret that the fashion industry generates a mind-boggling amount of waste. Annually it creates an estimated 92 million tonnes of textile waste, and every second, the equivalent of a truckload of clothes is burnt or buried in landfills. Unfortunately, manufacturers and retailers are at the root of this problem. Statistics show that the fashion industry overproduces by 30-40% every season. With this extra inventory retailers become overstocked, and when the seasons change, unsold products are discarded and sent to landfills.
Knowing this, we recognize we have an important role to play in reducing this waste, and work hard to produce only what our customers actually need. Our goal is always to design small batches of high-quality, sustainable products that have a minimal impact on the environment — but mistakes happen, and sometimes we make too many.
Why We Go On Sale
Luckily, our inventory team has a sustainable exit plan to ensure that products don’t end up in landfills and instead make it into the hands of the people who could use them. Here’s a quick rundown of what happens when we make too many of a particular style.
- The first step is to put excess inventory on sale. This gives our community the chance to not only snag some styles at a discount, but can amplify your positive impact by planting more trees for less.
- After passing through the markdown stage, any remaining inventory is then offered to our closeout warehouse partners, who sell the items in their stores at a discounted price.
- Finally, we donate inventory to charities near our distribution centers. In the event that donating isn’t possible, our team finds the most responsible recycling option.
So far this year, we’ve made donations to two amazing organizations near our Vancouver and LA warehouses.
In February, we donated 426 items to Together We Rise, an organization in LA that helps provide services and resources for youth in foster care. The items we donated went to the Rise Clothing Vault, which provides youth in foster care with brand new clothing through a free personalized shopping experience.
In our hometown of Vancouver, we donated 388 items to Atira Women’s Society. Some of these items made their way to Bette’s Boutique, a free drop-in shop for women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Bette’s creates a dignified space for women to shop for essential items, but also serves as a safe space to rest and access free services such as counselling and legal support.
Over-creating is never our goal, but sometimes it happens, and we want to be transparent about where these items end up. We’re always working to ensure we don’t overproduce, but we also have a plan in place if we do. This way, we can keep products out of landfills and do a little good while we’re at it.
By planting ten trees for every item you purchase, it’s our mission to plant 1 billion trees by 2030. Head to our website to learn more and get 10% off your next purchase.