Through our activities to ‘green the outdoor industry’, members of the Re-Action collective have become acutely aware of the amount of unsustainable promotional and branded clothing that is donated to our members. These items include race t-shirts, event clothing, corporate clothing and staff uniforms.
Usually, businesses needing branded items will approach companies who source new garments. These are then printed or embroidered with the company’s logo. These items often have a horribly short life span for several reasons. Promotional products in particular are often made of poor quality fabric in a ‘one size’ format that definitely doesn’t ‘fit all’. Once an event is over, the item is no longer relevant or desirable. Think of the tens of thousands of Leclerc, polka dotted XL t-shirts handed out all along the route of the Tour de France for example.
What happens to this clothing? We can tell you it probably lingers in the bottom of a drawer until the owner eventually gives it to charity (read this article on why this is a terrible idea) or bins it (also very bad).
What if there was a better way to create branded clothing?
Re-Action has been working with Curv, a new social media platform for joining communities and taking social and environmental action. To raise awareness of their platform, founder Karl wanted to make some branded clothing for Curv supporters.
Together with Re-Action co-founder Gavin, they came up with the idea of branded patches and ‘Project Patch’ was born. This solves 3 problems in one go and has another advantage too.
Firstly, it reuses waste material that might otherwise end up in landfill.
Secondly it means a new item does not have to be manufactured.
Thirdly it means people can breathe new life into an item of under-used clothing from their wardrobe.
So how does it work?
- Curv (or any other organisation) partners with Re-Action
- Re-Action orders a logo stamp, cuts patches from waste material and creates a ‘patch pack’. This includes the branded patch, a needle, some thread and a link to a tutorial library to learn how to stitch the patch on.
- Curv (or other) supporters buy that pack for £5 (helping fund the materials and supporting Re-Action’s work at the same time). They then sew the logo onto an under-worn item of their own clothing. This gives the item a new lease of life and provides visibility to their chosen organisation.
What’s the added advantage?
The added benefit is that Re-Action members are helping people make their very first stitches by providing the materials, tutorials and encouragement. Who knows, this may lead to them gaining the confidence and skills to tackle small repairs to their clothing in the future, further helping keep waste out of landfill and in use for longer.
Could Re-Action’s ‘Project Patch’ help a million people make their first stitch?