“A circular economy is based on the principles of designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems.”
Ellen MacArthur Foundation
At Underworks we are committed take leadership in the transition towards a circular economy. For a long time, society has adopted a take-make-waste model of production and consumption. To preserve the land, communities, and the ecosystems we live in we need to mimic cycles in natural systems, where waste is a part of the past and materials stay in use for as long as possible.
In a circular system, fewer resources are used at the end of a product’s useful life, materials can find a new life through composting, repurposing, repairing and recycling. Not long ago, we used to repair socks that had holes in them, knitted our own socks and turned unrepairable socks into cleaning cloths. Nowadays apparel is taking large amount of space in landfills and incinerators and this needs to change. Various Australian local governments have published roadmaps towards the circular economy and we as a business feel that it is our responsibility to adopt practices through which our products do not end up as waste. We can do this by using more natural materials that can degrade into the soil and create healthy nutrients to enrich it.
We can also adopt more innovative materials that can be recycled at similar value. This means we can use your old socks and underwear as valuable raw materials to make new products in the future. We can also actively encourage our customers to extend the life cycle of their socks by repairing them or repurposing them into cleaning wipes, craft material or gift wrapping and by recycling rather than throwing them out.
Steps we take
1. More natural fibres
2. Increase the use of recycled fibres
3. Reduce and improve packaging
4. Sock take-back and recycling