Only 1% of the 53 million tonnes of fibres produced each year are recycled back into production in the fashion industry. This summer, Oslo-based premium cap manufacturer Varsity Headwear has joined forces with DHL in a partnership to produce a limited edition of 200 sustainable caps using Sequel fabric, made from discarded plastic from both land and sea. The brim is also made from 100% recycled plastic and the soft shape of the caps has allowed for smaller shipping boxes, increasing transportation efficiency. Speaking of transportation, the production of this particular cap has moved to Estonia and with the fabric being produced in Portugal, this has reduced transportation emissions by more than 80% and a total saving of more than 20,000 km in transportation distance. The final product is made up of 67% recycled plastic waste, with a 65% reduction in package volume, and it’s shipped in the brand’s bespoke hard case that is reusable and eliminates the single-use box.
DHL and Varsity’s focus has also been on scrutinising all areas across production, packaging, and transportation. The actual idea of the partnership emerged following Varsity’s carbon emissions assessment of all products and processes in 2020. The results, the brand states, were on the whole positive and it was clear that transportation and logistics of caps were significant to overall CO2 emissions. This collaboration provides Varsity with a great opportunity to effectively ”in-set” and look at ways to improve processes alongside their biggest shipping partner, DHL, in line with the UN sustainability goals of Decent Work and Economic Growth; Industry Innovation and Infrastructure and Responsibility around Consumption and Production.
Varsity aims to reduce carbon emissions by 20% by next year by using more sustainable methods of transportation and optimising logistics by producing more seasonal or ”special” collections closer to the brand’s main markets. The brand’s next step is to develop an end-of-life recycling system and pilot project for the resale of Varsity caps, both in Norway.