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Apparel, Textile Leaders Team Up for Sustainable Manufacturing

A three-pronged partnership between textile industry veterans has the potential to create a more sustainable apparel supply chain.

Cotton recycler Recover has teamed up with tech-enabled design house and manufacturer Happy Punt and one of Seoul’s leading apparel exporters, Hansae Co., Ltd., for a multi-year partnership aimed at providing end-to-end, sustainable solutions for the fashion industry. The commitment will give brands and retailers the opportunity to leverage Recover’s recycled cotton fibers across their product lines, helping combat the environmental issues posed by the sector’s heavy use of the water-intensive crop.

With a combined 130 years of experience in the industry, the firms hope to disrupt the traditional apparel design and production process by harnessing cutting edge technology and pulling from their own best practices. By 2022, they said, they aim to bring the first collaboratively produced collections to market. The trio’s goal is to provide an easy “plug and play” solution for brands looking to advance their sustainability profiles, while providing a quality product for consumers.

The partnership will offer brands a suite of services, from 3D-design to pattern-making, tech packs, sampling and production, and aims to support clients through every step of the supply chain and bring those capabilities under one figurative roof. The partners will also leverage their collective global reach, with offices based in Seoul, Barcelona and New York, allowing ease of access to clients on three continents.

That proximity to customers will allow the collaborators to more efficiently manage its technical design services, garnering reviews and approvals with greater ease, they said. As a part of the move toward more sustainable processes, the partners encourages the use of 3D design to reduce physical sampling, and ultimately, curb waste.

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What’s more, with Recover and Happy Punt based in Spain and Hansae’s operations scattered across seven countries, including Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Haiti, along with South Korea, the partners’ services leverage the advantages of nearshoring and offshoring across the globe. Hansae boasts 35,000 employees across its global manufacturing workforce.

Recover plans to increase its production to support the program, upping volume to 200,000 metric tons of recycled cotton fibers per year by 2025. That output has the potential to save almost 3 trillion liters of water annually and allow about 500,000 acres of land to be diverted away from cotton cultivation to other agricultural uses.

Following the partnership’s introductory spring 2022 collections, it plans to make the sustainable manufacturing program a permanent offering for existing and prospective clients.