When people think of major sources of waste, we tend to think of disposable plastics, or of the sheer amount of paper products we go through daily. One thing that isn’t on the radar for a lot of us is fabric, but there is a frankly absurd amount of it out there! Our clothes, the upholstery in our cars and on our furniture, our household goods, all of it is fabric. And a lot of it will wind up in the garbage, or tossed in the dumpster at some point in time.
Sunbrella, on the other hand, decided to take the initiative to make sure they weren’t contributing to that problem.
Sunbrella Teaches Us All a Lesson on Sustainability
Sunbrella, as a company, has spent a lot of effort to make its products as long-lasting as possible. However, there were always going to be leftover pieces from the cutting room floor, as well as from their customers. One way the company cut down on its waste, according to Sunbrella Sustainability, was to engineer the Renaissance Yarn program. This program collects the unused pieces, and recycles them into a unique fabric when can then be sold on its own!
The company has also enacted a zero waste initiative to ensure that nothing from its manufacturing facilities winds up in a landfill. They also have a program that allows their customers to recycle their old products with the company. While it’s currently limited to domestic partnerships, since the program started over 600,000 pounds of fabric have been successfully reclaimed through it. Fabric that never got so much as an inch closer to winding up in a landfill!
While outdoor fabrics may be a particular niche area of commerce, Sunbrella’s programs and initiatives are a template that could have serious impacts if they were embraced on a larger scale.