Our mission is to inspire self-confidence to modern women around the world, while addressing key sustainability issues in Australia's fashion market.
To us, sustainability is the ability to maintain natural resources provided to us by the Earth. We see it as our responsibility, where possible, to replenish all that we use and properly discard of the waste we create to prevent pollution to our beautiful home. Sustainability also encompasses the people creating the garments we treasure, to ensure the fashion industry is promoting liveable wages and good working conditions for its workforce.
An important part of our design process includes choosing natural base cloths that have options for reusing, repurposing, and recycling. You will notice that most of our garments are made from 100% cotton or cotton/linen blends as these are natural fibres that are biodegradable, making them better for the environment in terms of long-term pollution. Of course, the production of these fabrics do not come without their sustainability challenges, and there are certainly still many things to be addressed in the fabric manufacturing chain, however we do the best we can to source local, suitable and sustainable fabrics for our collections. Local, small scale production means little to no dead-stock, and collections are released for pre-sale prior to the collection drop to ensure anyone wanting a particular piece can be sure to order one in time.
Thinking about our personal experiences in fashion as both a consumer and producer, something we believe really needs to be addressed is the lack of communication between manufacturers and consumers about garment disposal. Many brands offer organic or biodegradable fabric options, just as we do, however these garments do still end up in landfill. 100% cotton can be gone in five months when composed properly, and linen as little as two weeks if it is pure (source), however landfill is not a proper composting environment for these fibres. So the question becomes, is it sustainable to leave our garments rotting on the planet until they finally breakdown?
We think we can do better.
RETURN TO REPURPOSE
Return to Repurpose was idealised by designer, Tamika Sewell, when facing questions about how brands can work with customers to help with the recycling of their products. How can we take accountability for the disposal of our garments? How can we help and support our customer in this process? Is there a way we can bridge the gap between textile recycling depots and the consumer? If this gap is bridged by the brand, will customers be less daunted by the idea of recycling their loved clothing? There are all questions that Tamika set out answer in the Return to Repurpose initiative.
Return to Repurpose is a system we are implementing in our business to enable our customers to return their garments to us at the end of their life. Whether they are badly stained, damaged, or perhaps just not worn anymore – we are offering to take back our garments so we can put them into a waste stream relevant for the fabric composition. Undamaged buttons, zippers, and other notions are removed from the garments and kept by us to reuse in future collections, or donated to other local artisans for reuse.
RETURN TO REPURPOSE
Frequently Asked Questions
Return to Repurpose is a take back service we offer our customers. As part of this process, we take the responsibility of garment disposal from our customer and offer to do this on their behalf.
To participate in Return to Repurpose, fill out the contact form on our website with the name of the garment/s you're looking to return to us (you can find this information on your order confirmation email, or when you login to your account on the website). If you can't find these details, please attach a photo of the garment for us.
Once we receive your form, we will create a shipping label and email this through to you so you can post the garment/s back to us for free. Simply wrap the clothing in brown paper, stick on the shipping label and take to your nearest post office!
No. This is a completely optional process.
Return to Repurpose is completely optional. We suggest Return to Repurpose if you outgrow the garment, it is severely stained, damaged beyond repair, or maybe you don’t wear it anymore.
Yes! We appreciate you taking the time to take care of the planet we share.
No. We suggest contacting Upparel to send these in yourself.
Nothing! We take care of the rest for you.
No. This service is simply for those wanting to ensure their garment is going into the correct waste stream (reuse, repurpose, recycle or compost) after the end of it's life.
Depending on the amounts we have, and the condition they are in, some hardware may be removed from garments and donated to Worne World in Melbourne to be resold to designers. In other cases, hardware remains on the garments as Upparel often donates wearable clothing to disadvantaged individuals.
We care about where our clothes end up at the end of their lives! We understand that fashion accounts for a lot of landfill, and this is the last thing we want for our clothing. Accepting responsibility for our creations, and taking the pressure off of our customers in the process is, in our opinion, a step in the right direction.
When creating the brand, founder Tamika Sewell thought back to her personal experiences in fashion as both a consumer and producer and something that kept surfacing was the issue of the lack of communication between brands and consumers regarding garment disposal.
Many brands offer organic or biodegradable fabric options, just as we do, however these garments do still end up in landfill. 100% cotton can be gone in five months when composed properly, and linen as little as two weeks if it is pure, however landfill is not a proper composting environment for these fibres.
Return to Repurpose aims to address both of these issues by offering our customers to opportunity to return their garments to us at the end of their life. Whether they are badly stained, damaged, or perhaps just not worn anymore - we are offering to take back our garments so we can put them into a waste stream relevant for the fabric composition.