A new basics T-Shirt brand is set to launch this week, and some fashion experts think it has the potential to substantially alter the traditional model in which apparel is bought, used and discarded.
For Days, as the Los Angeles-based label is called, puts sustainability and “closed-loop” recycling at the front, back and core of its business. The brand has consumers sign up for a membership service in which they receive three, six, or 10 new shirts for $12, $24, or $36. As Vogue reports, For Days makes the tees from organic, USA-grown cotton and earth-responsible dyes.
All that’s nice. But what makes For Days truly different, fashion experts say, is that the brand invites buyers to send the shirts back once they are done with them. No matter how beaten up the tees get, For Days will take the material back and cut it up, pulp it, and recycle the bits into new shirts. Plus, when consumers send in a shirt, they get another in return – and so the cycle starts again. “This makes For Days the industry’s first-ever ‘closed-loop system,’ meaning nothing is discarded,” fashion writer Emily Farra says in Vogue. As such, the company could “drastically alter the future of fashion,” Farra opines.
For Days is the brainchild of Kristy Caylor, an apparel industry veteran whose work interweaving fashion and social responsibility dates back to at least 2011, when she helped launch Maiyet, an ethical luxury brand that partners with global artisans. With For Days, Caylor is initially offering tees, including V-necks and henleys, in four varieties of cotton – a lightweight jersey, a ribbed cotton, an interlock cotton, and a mid-weight jersey. More styles could be added over time.
Whether or not For Days will take off and be the disruptive force some think it could be remains to be seen. But as we’ve noticed recently elsewhere, innovators like Caylor are springing up to challenge the traditional fashion world with new models focused on everything from efficiency, speed and personalization, to eco-sustainability and social responsibility – and sometimes, all those things at once. These brands have the potential to influence the preferences of consumers – especially younger consumers. That could, ultimately, impact the expectations and desires of buyers of promotional products. Smart suppliers and distributors will start preparing now for the changes ahead.