Rockay’s performance socks made from 100% recycled fabrics change the rules in the sports apparel industry.
How many times have you actually checked the materials of your clothes, the sources and brand transparency of the items you’re purchasing? It seems like it’s easier to dump the old T-Shirt and buy yet another one at a super cheap price.
This behavior fosters fast fashion and contributes to environmental pollution, water scarcity and the ultimate damage to the ecosystem.
When is enough really enough for an average consumer today?
While the “guilt” of overproduction and overconsumption goes both ways (suppliers and consumers) — some brands actually take a different approach with their manufacturing efforts and take a more sustainable path.
Before we dive into the ways to put brakes on fast fashion, let us first understand why this is such a threatening problem to the environment and our society.
Environmental Effects of Fast Fashion
In recent years, two problems have emerged as troublesome: the environmental damages of unethical manufacturing of clothes and the uncontrollable appetite for purchasing more garments.
Some predictions suggest that in the next 10 years, the fashion industry’s water consumption will increase by 50 percent, which is more than 118 billion cubic meters, along with its carbon footprint that will go up to 2,791 million tons. The waste that’s created from manufacturing and dumping old clothes will reach 148 million tons. These numbers are not easy to comprehend, but they’re certainly threatening to the point we can’t even imagine.
To break this down, according to The World Resources Institute, it takes about 1,200 liters of water to produce one cotton shirt. Additionally, about one-fifth of industrial water pollution is caused by clothing manufacturing. Only for fabric dyeing, the clothing industry uses 5 trillion liters of water annually, which experts compare to 2 million Olympic-sized swimming pools.
The oceans are not the only ones that suffer from pollution. The negative effects expand deeper into the atmosphere. The 2018 Quantis research study suggests that the apparel industry is responsible for about 8 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions because of the huge amounts of CO2 that are released into the atmosphere.
The increased societal demands for purchasing is becoming problematic more than ever, as manufacturing giants are already running out of resources because of the damage that’s been made to the ecosystem.
The Role of Forward-Thinking Millennials
A crucial role in this threatening world of pollution, fast fashion and overconsumption play forward-thinking millennials who choose to provide solutions and alternatives to the mainstream fashion. They’re the ones who launch ethical startups, apps, organize all kinds of summits and non-profit initiatives to raise awareness and show by their own example that there is an alternative and a better solution.
One of them is a Danish ultra-marathoner and entrepreneur Daniel Chabert Pfefferkorn, the founder of a fully sustainable sportswear brand Rockay.
A 27-year-old runner and environmental enthusiast fosters sustainable manufacturing, packaging and everything that has to do with Rockay. Daniel started with performance socks from his passion for running. He put his brand’s story on a serious sustainability mission: to help clean up our oceans and become part of the global sustainability movement.
Rockay Socks Made From 100% Recycled Materials & Ocean Waste
Rockay’s environmental mission resulted in partnering with ECONYL®, a company that collects, sorts and cleans nylon waste from landfills and oceans to produce a premium quality regenerated nylon. The final textile yarn that’s made from this process means that Rockay products are made without impacting the planet.
Rockay’s team is very particular about their product range and there’s no massive production if the team hasn’t recognized the need to add another product. Even then, Rockay allows for enough time for research, testing, manufacturing and then testing again before the product sees the light of the day.
Therefore, whoever puts on Rockay socks also becomes part of the sustainability movement and directly helps in reducing ocean pollution and securing a cleaner and healthier world.
Rockay has also thought of other ways to reduce environmental impact. The team partnered with Polygiene, an advanced Swedish technology, to add their unique ‘Stay Fresh technology,’ which prevents the growth of odor-causing bacteria. Essentially, this means that you can wear Rockay sock longer without washing. Just leave them to dry after use. Fewer fashing cycles also mean using less water, chemicals, energy and money.
Lastly, Rockay leaves nothing to chance when it comes to their sustainable efforts. Everything is transparent and done according to the standards of ethical manufacturing, fair labor treatment and product quality. Its manufacturer Comfysocks A/S is certified in accordance with:
• GOTS – Global Organic Textile Standard
• GRS – Global Recycled Standard
• ISO 9001 – Quality management system Standard
Ways We Can Be More Sustainable
Now that we’ve seen a positive example of a high-end brand that’s fully ethical and sustainable, let us explore some ways we all could use to act more sustainable and stop fast fashion.
1. Buy Less
You can simply ask yourself if you really need the 10th black T-Shirt or the fifth pair of almost the exact same jeans, and try to control your shopping desire. A lot of the unnecessary clothing items come from a false belief that they will make us happy. In reality, this is only short-term and we should think of other ways to find happiness, like going outdoors, hiking, spending time with family and friends, cooking, learning a creative skill, etc.
2. Choose the Materials Carefully
Make it a habit to always check the specifications of the clothing you’re buying, especially the materials. Opt for more sustainable fabrics, such as recycled cotton, organic hemp and linen, the aforementioned ECONYL, Tencel, among others.
3. Recycle Or Donate Old Clothes
There’s no reason and certainly no use for anyone to dump your used clothes. With quick research, you can find places and stores in your local community that accept used clothes or clothing donations for lower-income families. This will be a noble and ethical way to get rid of the clothes you no longer want.
4. Shop Ethically Online
The modern age and digitalized world have made it easy and transparent to search for ethical and sustainable brands online. You can find all the necessary info to make the right purchasing decision, all from the comfort of your own home.
5. Shop Second Hand
This is always a good option. You’re helping to end the chain of endless new shopping, while also saving money and helping to create a recycling and conscious community. If you’re into vintage clothing, this is also a good way to combine different pieces of clothes and look chic.
These are all simple and easy ways to change your habits. It’s just a matter of your will.