Isle of Wight-based sustainable fashion platform Teemill is offering circular economy t-shirts which shoppers are incentivised to return to be recycled into new products. Teemill’s business model encourages online entrepreneurs to design their own t-shirts which the company manufactures, prints and ships to customers – sending their partners the profit. The company, which prides itself on the sustainability of its t-shirts, has now launched a new material, which it calls Remill, made from the post-consumer waste of its own customers.
Customers can return their old t-shirts, once they no longer wish to wear them, to Teeemill’s Freshwater factory in exchange for a £5 ($6.50) voucher towards a replacement. Teeemill’s t-shirts are made from organic cotton and the company has also invested in technology to print in real-time and on-demand, ensuring that each item is only manufactured when it is needed. And they are made at Teemill’s vertically-integrated UK factory which is powered by renewable energy, and audited for a wide range of social and sustainability criteria, including on water and chemical use.
“Our products and packaging are made from natural materials, not plastic. And every product we make is designed to be sent back to us when it is worn out,” the company says on its website. “We make new products from the material we recover, and the cycle itself is renewable. Our products are designed be returned and remade, new from old, again and again and again.”
Remill was launched after Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking agreed to provide a six-figure funding package and hire purchase facility from its Clean Growth Finance Initiative which supports companies seeking to reduce their carbon footprint. More than 50,000 online stores connected to Teemill’s platform are now able to make use of this circular supply chain and offer Remill products to their customers.
They include charitable organisations WWF International and War Child UK, as well as eco-friendly search engine Ecosia and social media influencer Very British Problems.
Mart Drake-Knight, co-founder of Teemill, said: “Remill proves that a fundamentally different way of operating is possible today. “Now that we’ve built the digital infrastructure to power a circular economy, our goal is to scale it by sharing access to our technology via our platform. “With natural materials and renewable energy, brands can create designs that never have to go into landfill. That, for us, is the future of fashion.”