• Julie Dobcheva

Impakt_ID and Kool And Konscious are Leading the Transition Towards Circular Swimwear

Updated: Jul 27, 2020

The pioneering platform for circular fashion, Kool And Koncsious, have utilised Impakt_ID to demonstrate the full transparency of their first brand product and it's production cycle. The marketplace launched the first circular swimwear, NOT A VIRGIN, and wanted to account for the full environmental impact, the life cycle of both the product, packaging, and transportation, as well as footprint neutralization solution. And this is where we came in.

The problem with plastic

Today global plastic production amounts to a whopping 359 million metric tons annually. That’s nearly equivalent to the total weight of the human population produced in plastic every year. When it comes to swimsuit production, currently, the majority of swimwear is produced from synthetic petroleum-based plastics like nylon, polyester, and spandex, which take hundreds of years to decompose. Inexpensive to make, an estimated 65 million tons of these plastic-based materials are generated every year, adding to 8 million non-degradable tons of plastic already piling up on the Planet. On top of that, around 85% of recyclable clothes are not actually recycled because of the sophisticated sewing structures, making the process very complicated. Knowing the scale and impact of the problem led Kool And Konscious to imagine a different, circularity-powered swimwear product which will further advance the cause of sustainability.

To contribute to Kool And Konscious's vision, we embarked on a journey together to create the digital history of the first circular swimwear and its lifecycle through our plug-and-play technology, which enabled the brand, and its consumers, to understand and mitigate the mark they leave on the planet.

Inspired by transparency

The QR code attached to every Impakt_ID-powered item opens the window to a world of transparency and traceability down to a single product level, empowering consumers to make informed choices. For a sneak peek to this world, let us introduce you NOT A VIRGIN, a limited-edition, fully circular swimwear, crafted with great attention to detail (and to our planet!). There is a beautiful story behind the birth of the swimwear which proves that bold fashion and sustainability can form a symbiotic relationship.

The lifecycle of a circular swimsuit

Synthetic fabrics – like nylon, polyester, and spandex – are perfectly suited for swimwear due to their stretch and moisture-wicking properties. At the same time, these plastic-based fibres are not biodegradable and often end up in the oceans due to the absence of well-developed waste management systems. A preferred alternative to the virgin polyester is the recycled polyester that contributes to preserving natural resources and reducing the waste in the planet’s water. The best part is that the performance and durability benefits of recycled polyester, including high strength and functional versatility, are the same as traditional polyester but with a lower environmental impact. With NOT A VIRGIN, Kool And Konscious are using unwanted fabrics and reimagining a new life for them.

When scanned, the Impakt_ID QR code attached to the garment links to its digital “twin” which gives customers full visibility on the fibre composition: every piece is made of 100% ECONYL (regenerated nylon yarn from discarded fisher nets), 100% degradable elastics and recyclable sewing threads. In Impakt_ID we believe that the access to accurate information on product provenance has a critical role to play in the transition to circular fashion as it increases the likelihood of the item being recycled after use.

  • The garment’s story further unfolds for the customers in the form of a map that points to the exact locations where textiles originated from. This adds another layer of transparency and traceability for the customers looking for additional proof behind the credentials of the brand. It can speak of the brand’s efforts at reducing environmental footprint via sourcing locally as much as possible.

  • Fully disclosing the packaging composition and craftwork behind ensures elevated transparency and adds precision to the calculation of the total environmental footprint. We made sure nothing got omitted from the equation.

  • The section “Who made my piece?” tells the story of the designers and seamstresses that weave their creativity, passion and values in every single item. This level of integrity humanizes the brand and triggers an emotional response in customers.

By looking beyond sustainability to provenance and craftsmanship, and getting consumers to understand the layers of complexity involved in bringing a product to market, we hope that we can help move the mentality beyond the throw-away culture towards an appreciation for beautiful items made with care for people and the planet.

Knowledge empowers impa(k)tful change

Traceability and trackability are the fundamental blocks to calculate and ultimately reduce, product-level environmental impact. Leveraging over 50,000 data points, we have developed a quant-based algorithm that, when fed with accurate product data, derives a precise footprint analysis at a single-item level.

The first metric that beautifully visualizes upon scanning the QR code is the impact score. Made entirely from recycled and recyclable materials, it’s no wonder that the circular swimwear NOT A VIRGIN generated an extremely low amount of CO2 emissions (9 times less than the average) and 0l water waste. To put the impact score into perspective for consumers, the results are plotted on a vertical, against the average for a status quo counterpart.

The impact score can also be seamlessly integrated into any brand shopping platform, be it Shopify, Magento, or a custom one. To get a feel of the interface, visit Kool and Konscious where the impact score is visible for every item, educating and inspiring customers to act right by choosing transparent and conscious products. Or book a demo here – we’ll be in touch with you shortly after.

Accountability in action

The end goal of equipping both brands and customers with trustworthy data is to empower them to take account and reduce their footprint. The Offset solution in Impakt_ID is there to facilitate the process of footprint mitigation by providing a selection of trusted and fully traceable projects. We did all the pre-work to make sure magic happens in a click of a button.

Scrolling to the bottom of the NOT A VIRGIN digital twin, customers can see how the brand chose to mitigate the impact (however minimal it is) by planting one Mangrove tree for every swimsuit produced.

Join the mission

With the technology behind Impakt_ID we aim for challenging the current state of the industry and lead it into a conscious long-lasting change. If you are eager to join the mission and lead with transparency and meaningfulness, get in touch here.

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