South African outdoor clothing brand K-Way has worked with international company Re:Down to create a small range of winter apparel that uses recycled down filling and energy-efficient production methods.
K-Way reports to be the first African brand to have struck up a partnership with Re:Down, which has developed a method by which used down can be collected, cleaned and re-integrated into textile production processes.
The Re:Down range, available exclusively from Cape Union Mart, consists of two jackets and two body warmers for both men and women. They're made with a seamless nylon fabrication which helps prevent down migration and reduces cold spots. According to the brand, the manufacturing process for the range is designed to be energy-efficient.
K-Way spokesperson Brendon Le Riche says the vision behind the new Re:Down initiative was to create a range of products that has a lower impact on the environment. This, he says, was achieved through the use of Re:Down fill which, together with the production process, reduces energy, post-consumer waste and creates a circular economy in the outdoor apparel industry.
Re:Down's work revolves around recycling down and feathers extracted from post-consumer goods to be re-used as filling material for new products - including apparel, sleeping bags and bedding. The focus is on zero waste and Re:Down upcycles 97% of all raw materials received or collected, so that less waste goes to landfills. The methods used to recycle down and feathers use 74% less water compared to virgin down, no chemicals are involved in the process and 3% of the energy used is from solar power.
In addition to down and feathers, other materials collected and processed by Re:Down include fabric shells, which are chopped into small pieces and end up in non-woven insulation, and broken feathers and down fibres, which are upcycled into organic fertiliser.
Reduced impact on the environment
“In today’s climate, social and environmental responsibility is taken very seriously and Re:Down aims to adhere to that call. Through the production and design of the range, it demonstrates compassion and understanding that our customers care about the planet. More so than ever, they want to make a difference, reduce their carbon footprint and conserve our natural resources.
"This range provides the consumer with the peace of mind that these garments have a low impact on the environment, allowing them to feel good about buying and wearing the apparel," says Brendon Le Riche.
He concludes, “We constantly strive to do things better, more ethically and more sustainably. The product range demonstrates forward-thinking that puts the good health of the environment and our local community first, in order to conserve precious resources. By using sustainable upcycled components in the garments, we ensure the longevity of our industry and take the necessary steps to preserve our natural resources for the future well-being of the planet.”
The Re:Down range is available in Cape Union Mart stores nationwide. The retailer will launch a Re:Down in-store campaign on 22 June 2020.