When I’m on the hunt for a new addition to my wardrobe, I generally start by checking out my go-to sources for sustainable clothing — my sister’s closet and my favorite resale shop. There, I know I can find quality, gently used pieces that will fit my style, budget and eco-footprint. While shopping secondhand is a great way to reduce waste, there are some items I just prefer not to receive as hand-me-downs or purchase used.
Thankfully, I found an eco-friendly alternative to buying new yoga pants (one item I’m not fond of getting used): renewed yoga pants. Online retailer The Renewal Workshop offers name-brand pieces diverted from the landfill that are expertly mended and cleaned to like-new condition. Their products check all my boxes for a guilt-free purchase — sustainable materials and business practices, quality items, and a great price.
The Renewal Workshop partners with brands like prAna (popular with yogis and outdoor enthusiasts) to source unsellable returned items and excess inventory that otherwise would contribute to the 14 million tons of clothing and textile waste landfilled every year in the U.S. This circular economy approach to sustainable clothing is the brainchild of The Renewal Workshop co-founders Jeff Denby and Nicole Basset, who developed a zero-waste system to divert, clean, repair and upcycle clothing.
Every aspect of the process was carefully crafted to save natural resources and eliminate waste. Once the sustainably sourced clothing reaches the company’s factory in Cascade Locks, Ore., it is washed using waterless, liquid CO2 cleaning tech that removes stains, smoke, mold and more to restore items to a good-as-new clean.
“Renewed apparel is a new product category for customers who are looking for a high-quality sustainable apparel,” Basset said. “Every time a customer buys renewed apparel, they are making the apparel industry more circular.”
The renewal process begins with quality clothing from trusted, eco-conscious retailers including Ibex, Toad&Co and Mountain Khakis, in addition to prAna and others. While many items only require a deep cleaning, about half the garments are repaired before receiving a good-as-new stamp of approval. Repairs range from fixing a broken zipper to re-stuffing winter coats, all of which is fully disclosed on the individual product page for the item.
Each item is thoroughly inspected to ensure all components work properly, and no pilling, fading or signs of wear can be found before it is officially certified by the company as Renewed Apparel, meeting both the standards of the original brand and The Renewal Workshop. Plus, The Renewal Workshop stands by the quality of their work, offering to issue a refund and take back items that don’t meet customer expectations.
The Price Is Right
What’s good for the planet can be good for your wallet, too. The Renewal Workshop’s sustainable clothing sells online for 25 to 40 percent off original retail prices. Because each item is custom renewed, every tee, pair of yoga pants and jacket is a one-of-a-kind, eco-friendly addition to your wardrobe at a fraction of the cost and footprint of buying new.
Next time you’re shopping for new (or new-to-you) clothing, consider the positive impact the purchase of renewed apparel can make on the environment.
Feature photo courtesy of The Renewal Workshop
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