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Closing the Loop with a Circular Economy

Could your wool sweater save the environment?

Would you buy a sweater that had been dipped in gasoline and fell apart after wearing it only once?

As crazy as that sounds, it’s what millions of people do on a daily basis, without realizing that they just paid money for a garment that is full of toxins and contributing to the skyrocketing toxic waste threatening our planet.

And it’s not their fault. Since the Industrial Revolution back in the early 1900’s, society has been trained to accept the chemical-ridden and unethical production of clothing - otherwise known as the fast fashion industry - as “normal”.

But it’s far from normal.

It’s cheap, trendy, and based on a one-way, linear system causing great harm to both people and the planet.

And for those exact same reasons, we’re here to say “NO MORE”.

The world has changed, our lives have changed, and the environment is also unfortunately changing in ways that will bring an end to civilization as we know it.

Just some of the shocking statistics:
  • By 2050, experts predict there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
  • Our topsoil is degrading so rapidly due to toxins and conventional production processes, that we will run out of topsoil in about 60 years. 
  • Without topsoil, the earth's ability to filter water, absorb carbon, and feed people plunges.
  • By 2030, the climate crisis is predicted to push an additional 100 million people into extreme poverty.

But we can change our fate - simply by changing the paradigm for what we accept.

And not only is it doable, it’s available to us now. It’s called a circular way of business and life.

The fell-good, do-good circular economy

“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them. - Albert Einstein”.

Most consumers don’t think about the lifecycle of a piece of clothing or any product they buy at the time of purchase. But in fact, what goes into a garment or package of food is just as important as how it was made, who made it, and where it goes after the user is done with it.

Waste and pollution are not accidents, they are consequences of decisions made at every stage of the production process, when 80% of the environmental impacts are determined. 

80% of all environmental impacts are determined

during the production process.

By changing the model and responsibility in the pre-production and production phase, we can ensure waste and pollution is not created in the first place

This is why it’s not just about WHAT you buy, but also WHO you buy from that matters.

What goes around, comes around

What is a circular business model?

You’ve heard the phrase, “What goes around, comes around” - and that is exactly what is being deliberately engineered in the circular economy. It takes into consideration all stages of a product’s lifecycle and considers the impact it will have on people and the planet at every stage - exactly what we do at Nui.

The types of questions we ask are:

  • Where the materials are sourced?
  • What it is made of (does it deplete non-renewable natural resources?)
  • Are humans, animals, or the environment negatively impacted in the making?
  • How long will the product last and how can it’s lifecycle be extended?
  • How will it be delivered and what resources will it require?
  • What is the packaging made of and how can it be made so it doesn’t create waste?
  • What happens to it at the end of its life?

In other words, ZERO WASTE, with minimal impact on our natural, social, and environmental resources. 

Stepping up sustainability

Nui Circular Economy

At Nui, we have always tried to push the boundaries of what is possible - beyond what is considered “normal” by the status quo. As one of the first brands to promote natural and organic fibers back in 2004, few were talking about sustainable business and the health of our planet. 

Today, with the demand for sustainability from businesses at all levels increasing, it is no longer an option for brands to ignore it. And we applaud their efforts, and look forward to more positive change.

But the change is slow, and because of the damage that has been done, it’s no longer enough to just be sustainable.

Climate scientists say that once global average temperatures increase above 1.5 degrees Celsius we will be at a point of no return. The fashion industry is responsible for up to 10% of global carbon emissions and at the rate they are going now, the industry is on track to double emissions by 2050.

Which brings us to merino wool, and why we at Nui chose to hero this special renewable fiber.

Merino wool is a renewable resource. It comes from healthy sheep, and when wool is sourced from organic and regenerative farms, it ensures that the health of the farm workers and the sheep are not compromised. 

Merino wool itself is a resilient fiber. It is naturally resistant to stains, odor, wrinkles, and even fire, so no chemicals have to be added. As a natural fiber that is breathable, it requires less washing and drying, so it saves water, energy and our most precious resource as humans, time. 

Premium merino wool is as durable as it is resilient, so it lasts longer. And because Nui designs for growth, one garment can far outlast a child for years beyond a standard children’s garment.

Merino wool is also magical! Just as it naturally regenerates once it is sourced, at the end of its life as a piece of clothing, it disappears. Biodegrades back into the earth. It can also make you money! Because it retains its high quality throughout it’s life, it can be recycled and resold for a premium price.

This is what a circular business model looks like for Nui:
  • Intelligent design 
  • Natural & Organic fibers
  • Sustainable farming methods
  • Responsible business practices & production of high-quality, 
  • Low-impact dyes
  • GOTs certified
  • Recycled Packaging
  • Rewear - repurpose and regenerate worn clothing

Nui Rewear

And that’s raising the bar on sustainability, with intelligent design and regenerative fashion. It’s an infinite circular system that works.

In today’s world, why would we settle for anything less? 

In fact, why would what the fashion industry accepts as “normal”, actually be accepted as normal?

Don't be so normal

There is no set single standard for sustainability, and in fact, there is no standard for what is normal.

At Nui, we rather like the idea of aiming for a regenerative way of life - it all gives back more than it takes. And that applies to all areas of life - what we buy, how we treat others, and how we treat nature.

Everything is an exchange of life for life whether it’s with your clothing, food, or any product you buy - it’s all coming from the earth. With that lens you’re not just a consumer, but a steward of this earth.

There is always room for improvement - for us, for other businesses, and for society as a whole. We’re up for the challenge and always looking for ways to up our game and raise our own standards of what “normal” is and can be.

Mother Earth has spoken. And we’re here to answer the call.

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