The Sustainability Journal
SUSTAINABILITY UPDATE APRIL 2021
Welcome to our Sustainability Journal! The place to go for all up-to-date info on sustainable innovations at OutsideIn, where I’ll also be adding any exciting news as and when it happens!
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Christabel and I’m the Production Manager here at Oi!
Over the last few months, we have grown a lot in our Fashion Department! From a fast-expanding team to more machines and much more on the cards, the next few months are packed with exciting things to come!
To give you a bit of a recap since my last update in the winter when we released a HUGE winter collection filled with hats, fleeces, sweaters, we have since had a few big sales to make sure we waste as few products as possible and that every garment - whether headwear or outerwear - finds a home!
Another thing we’re so proud of is our Depop. Our Oi Depop shop has completely taken off (big shoutout to Rebecca for single-handedly making this happen!) and this is doing wonders in reducing our waste across the company. Depop finds a home for surplus and damaged stock as well as unique creations and samples. Depop has maintained an incredible level of interest from our Oi Fam and it ensures that we can keep clear of piles of samples and leftover stock - which we LOVE to see.
The Fashion Team has now also been trained on TWO new machines! Firstly, the embroidery machine - which I’m sure you have seen on our socials! This is a huge achievement for several reasons but the main one being that we can now sample and manufacture our products in-house! This has not only benefited our ability to predict numbers and reduce waste on-site but it has also meant that we no longer have to drive back and forth to deliver and collect products off-site thereby cutting down on shipping and travel.
Secondly, we have a new screen-printing machine which we are currently training on at the moment! Although we are very new to this discipline, it also allows us to create smaller production runs and unique designs for drops. Having our own screen-printing machine means that we won’t need to meet any minimum order requirements or have excess items for our larger-scale productions. A massive shoutout to Lauren P, Rebecca and Erin (our Fashion Technicians) on keeping this running and knocking down many (many) obstacles along their journey of setting this up!
Over in design and manufacturing, we have been working hard to make sure that how we are sourcing and producing the clothes is not only consistently innovated but that the sustainability of each item is also continuously improved. As you know, we source our Poms and Beanies from our partner factory in China, May (our lovely point of contact) has been working closely with me and Lauren (our Knitwear Designer) to get our hats to the place where they are an item we are happy and proud to produce.
The first step was to find alternative materials with lower environmental impact. I am so happy to say that we are now sampling Poms and Beanies for our NEW winter range that are made from both RECYCLED acrylic and RECYCLED polyester! This is a major move as we know we are reusing while also innovating, which is essential in developing a clearer idea of our impact as a company.
I’m also so excited to share that we are moving into the production phases of our new and improved fleece designs (shoutout to Keris, our Junior Designer on spearheading this!) which make use of this supply chain of recycled polyester in polar fleece. We have ALSO made the switch to biodegradable polythene bags for our headwear packaging to significantly reduce plastic.
Alongside this, we are working with our partner factories in Portugal and India to ensure the highest quality products are produced with more sustainable methods and materials. We are in the process of transitioning all of our sweaters, hoodies and T-Shirts to be made with organic cotton, and we are currently sampling different dying methods to cut down our water usage in the dying process.
To show you where we are at with our usage of materials, here is the current breakdown of products on our site:
I hope that by September, and with the shift in these processes, we will be able to cut down our material consumption to these projections.
Organic cotton will replace all polyblend and non -organic cotton garments. This will be used across hoodies, T-Shirts, sweaters, and socks. Recycled polyester will replace polyester, transforming the interior lining of all our headwear, our fleeces and the lining of other garments too. Recycled acrylic will similarly replace acrylic in every Pom and beanie. All plastic packaging bags for individual garments and hats will be produced using biodegradable polythene. This, to match the quality of our current packaging for shipping orders!It’s been a BIG couple of months of curiosity and spending time caring for every detail, but we are looking forward to making even more improvements and moving into 2021 with confidence and clarity in our product development! So as I say, keep an eye on this page to get the latest news as we go along!