RECYCLING

Recycling is pursued in two different ways at Hunkemöller and, indeed, in most of the fashion industry: i) How we deal with waste products and resources – this includes how we educate and encourage customers and stakeholders, and ii) The materials we choose to make our products – both materials that can be recycled and those that are made from recycled elements. Here we share our main initiatives in these two areas.

THE FOUR DIFFERENT WAYS WE CAN RECYCLE

PRE-CYCLING: Pre-cycling is eliminating the need to recycle or dispose of waste by not creating waste. This is a step that should be taken before you have to recycle!

RECYCLING: This is the term we’re most familiar with and is the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects.

UP-CYCLING: Also known as creative reuse, this is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless or unwanted products into new materials or products. A key aspect is that the new product is of better quality.

DOWN-CYCLING: This is the re-cycling of waste where the recycled material is of lower quality and functionality than the original material. It is key that the new product is of lesser quality.

THE FOUR DIFFERENT WAYS WE CAN RECYCLE

PRE-CYCLING: Pre-cycling is eliminating the need to recycle or dispose of waste by not creating waste. This is a step that should be taken before you have to recycle!

RECYCLING: This is the term we’re most familiar with and is the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects.

UP-CYCLING: Also known as creative reuse, this is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless or unwanted products into new materials or products. A key aspect is that the new product is of better quality.

DOWN-CYCLING: This is the re-cycling of waste where the recycled material is of lower quality and functionality than the original material. It is key that the new product is of lesser quality.

FASHION & RECYCLING

Did you know that, on average, we each buy 68 new fashion items per year? Did you know that sometimes a piece of clothing is worn only seven times and will be thrown away after? Creating new fibres and fabrics requires a lot of resources and this generates waste as well. Why throw away your lingerie and other clothing if they can re-enter the fashion process? One way to give your clothing a second life is through re-wear and reuse; you could, for example, donate your items to a charity or a second-hand organisation, throw it in your local collection bin, or use your textiles for other purposes (such as cleaning cloths and remake collections). Sometimes the state of your clothing item might be beyond repair, which makes recycling the perfect alternative!

If you can pass on or donate unwanted clothing, do this first. If an item is not suitable to donate, then recycle it – simple!

FASHION & RECYCLING

Did you know that, on average, we each buy 68 new fashion items per year? Did you know that sometimes a piece of clothing is worn only seven times and will be thrown away after? Creating new fibres and fabrics requires a lot of resources and this generates waste as well. Why throw away your lingerie and other clothing if they can re-enter the fashion process? One way to give your clothing a second life is through re-wear and reuse; you could, for example, donate your items to a charity or a second-hand organisation, throw it in your local collection bin, or use your textiles for other purposes (such as cleaning cloths and remake collections). Sometimes the state of your clothing item might be beyond repair, which makes recycling the perfect alternative!

If you can pass on or donate unwanted clothing, do this first. If an item is not suitable to donate, then recycle it – simple!

DONATION

The clothing recycling process starts with all of us. It begins when you decide to hand in your items to an authorised clothing collection point. As bras and lingerie are textiles, they can (often) be disposed of at a textile bin/container! Check out your local recycling possibilities.

COLLECTION

Donated textile items are then collected by authorised organisations. Collections take place from public collection points, shops, charities and even residential homes. Remember, any clothing not good enough to be passed on can be donated at most clothing recycling points.

SORTING

After the textiles have been collected, it’s time to sort the items. Textiles that are still fit for re-wear might be resold or donated. Other textiles will be recycled, usually sorted by the type of material and colour. Sorting by colour means there’s no need to re-dye. Some textiles are not fit for re-wearing or recycling. This is mostly the case when the textile has paint or oil on it.

PROCESSING

After sorting, it’s onward to the actual recycling. The processing of second-hand textiles into recycled fabric differs for each type of material. For polyester-based textiles which are mechanically recycled, for example, garments are shredded and then granulated for processing into polyester chips. Afterwards, these chips are melted and turned into new fibres for use in new polyester fabrics.

FABRIC PRODUCTION

After the recycling process, donated clothing and textiles often become new fibres, which become new fabrics: fashion becomes fibres become fabrics become fashion! The fabrics that use recycled materials are now a priority for fashion designers as they aim to create increasingly more sustainable collections. Meet our design team

TRANSPORTATION

These new fashion items, created with fabrics and materials made from recycled products, of course need to be transported. This is where together we can make a bigger difference with transport and logistic teams taking steps to fully load deliveries, optimise route planning and so reduce travel journeys and fuel consumption.

YOU!

Et voilà! Fashion and lingerie items using recycled materials are back on display ready for you to choose your favourites. Many brands now highlight products that are more sustainable. You can make a real difference by choosing from these collections.

DONATION – AGAIN

And when you’ve out-grown that perfect PJ set, don’t hide it at the bottom of your wardrobe and definitely do NOT bin it – keep it in a clothes and fabric recycling bag ready for dropping off at a clothing-recycling point. It’s that easy to make a real difference to cut down waste and protect the environment. Here are more ways you can make a difference: our 20 for 2020 tips.

BETTER MATERIALS

We are now prioritising the use of better materials. Two examples are:

Sustainable materials: those grown and manufactured in a responsible way that preserves natural resources and respects human rights.

Recycled material: any that would otherwise be useless, unwanted or discarded except for the fact that the material still has useful physical or chemical properties after serving a specific purpose and can, therefore, be reused or recycled. Producing recycled materials is less resource-intensive than producing them from scratch, which results in reducing pollution and energy consumption. Find out more in the materials section.


BETTER MATERIALS

We are now prioritising the use of better materials. Two examples are:

Sustainable materials: those grown and manufactured in a responsible way that preserves natural resources and respects human rights.

Recycled material: any that would otherwise be useless, unwanted or discarded except for the fact that the material still has useful physical or chemical properties after serving a specific purpose and can, therefore, be reused or recycled. Producing recycled materials is less resource-intensive than producing them from scratch, which results in reducing pollution and energy consumption. Find out more in the materials section.

Bring Sexy Back.

BRING SEXY BACK

In February 2016, we started ‘Bring Sexy Back’, a campaign in our Dutch stores which asked our customers to bring back their unwanted clothing, of all types, from any brand and in any condition. We, in turn, made sure these items were donated to people who really needed them and in return for every full bag of clothing we received, we offered a 10% discount voucher that can be used on one item from our stores.

Although our Bring Sexy Back campaigns do not run every day in every country, we also have processes in place to ensure returned items or products that can no longer be sold are donated to charities which then raise funds and place products back in the fashion circular economy. Here’s an example from Newlife.

Another example of how we support others to use waste products for good and help communities is our CEMBA mattress project, which helps flood refugees.

Bring Sexy Back.

BRING SEXY BACK

In February 2016, we started ‘Bring Sexy Back’, a campaign in our Dutch stores which asked our customers to bring back their unwanted clothing, of all types, from any brand and in any condition. We, in turn, made sure these items were donated to people who really needed them and in return for every full bag of clothing we received, we offered a 10% discount voucher that can be used on one item from our stores.

Although our Bring Sexy Back campaigns do not run every day in every country, we also have processes in place to ensure returned items or products that can no longer be sold are donated to charities which then raise funds and place products back in the fashion circular economy. Here’s an example from Newlife.

Another example of how we support others to use waste products for good and help communities is our CEMBA mattress project, which helps flood refugees.

PLASTIC HANGER RECYCLING

Plastic hangers have long been one of the most potentially damaging parts of clothing retail operations. That’s why hanger recycling has been a top priority for all our teams. We’re making good progress with 100% plastic hanger recycling in The Netherlands and Germany. We, of course, have more to do.


PLASTIC HANGER RECYCLING

Plastic hangers have long been one of the most potentially damaging parts of clothing retail operations. That’s why hanger recycling has been a top priority for all our teams. We’re making good progress with 100% plastic hanger recycling in The Netherlands and Germany. We, of course, have more to do.

JOIN IN BY RECYCLING

Recycling (or pre-cycling, up-cycling and down-cycling!) is one of the easiest and most effective ways you can help us make a difference.

Our 20 for 2020 page gives you some top tips on what you can do.

JOIN IN BY RECYCLING

Recycling (or pre-cycling, up-cycling and down-cycling!) is one of the easiest and most effective ways you can help us make a difference.

Our 20 for 2020 page gives you some top tips on what you can do.