Sometimes, the idea of perfection is paralysing and overwhelming to the point that people would rather do nothing than do something, not 100% "right". However, we believe that we don’t need a handful of people living a completely sustainable life, but we need millions of people doing it imperfectly.
Today fashion consumption is at an all-time high and this contributes to a large percentage of pollution and waste worldwide. In order to be entirely sustainable, brands should create and produce nothing at all, as every product leaves a carbon footprint. However, this approach is unrealistic as the apparel and textile sector is the 4th biggest in the world and millions of people rely on it to survive. Therefore, we believe it’s important to look for realistic long-term solutions that focus on creating safe and ethical working conditions for people in every chain of production while mitigating the negative impact on the environment.
However, sustainability is a complicated, constantly evolving journey, and every step forward must be celebrated. Unfortunately, the topic of sustainability has become tainted as people often think it is being forced upon them, take on an all-or-nothing mentality, or are turned off that sustainable products, such as organic and fair trade, cost more. The truth is: everything comes with a cost. Fast fashion has arisen with discounted clothing made so poorly that 60% of it is thrown out within a year, only to be worn once or twice. By purchasing cheap and harmful fabrics, there is an immense environmental and public health toll being paid.
Lately, sustainability has been used as a buzzword to guilt-trip and convince people to buy their green products, but to us, sustainability is about creating a real impact instead of using it as a marketing strategy. While our primary focus has been on our designs and making the best streetwear possible, every single production-related decision since day one has been made with sustainability in mind – hence how the name Broken Planet was born.
We strive to do things the right way, not take cheap shortcuts, and produce pieces made ethically, even if the process takes longer. Sustainability is our standard, and as we continue to make clothes, we will continue to find new ways to become even more environmentally friendly. We understand that although there are already enough clothes in the world, people are still consuming more, so we are here to provide a better option through organic and recycled fabrics made ethically, which also ensures that our clothes are built to last.
Being in one of the most polluting industries - fashion, which is second only to the oil and gas sector, we are well aware that there is still significant progress to be made. However, we are doing our best to be transparent about our sustainability journey and the things that we are working on improving. We hope to inspire others to begin making more sustainable choices – no matter how small.
Sustainable fabric choice is one of the most impactful ways to reduce harm to the environment. For instance, 20% of industrial water pollution comes from textile treatments and dyes, which use over 800 chemicals that factory workers breathe in. These toxic chemicals pollute our water and soil and are absorbed by our largest organ – our skin – when we wear them, presenting a real danger to our health.
Conventional cotton is "the world's dirtiest crop. It uses 24% of the world’s insecticides and 11% of global pesticides, degrading our soil, polluting our groundwater, and harming local biodiversity. Healthy soil is not only about nutrient-dense food production but also vital to act as a carbon sink to absorb the excess CO2 humans create. Conventional cotton also uses an enormous amount of water; for example, it takes 2,700 litres of water to produce one cotton t-shirt.
For these reasons, we have decided to only use the more sustainable GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified organic cotton or recycled cotton. GOTS certification ensures that everything from cotton harvesting, processing, manufacturing, packaging, labelling, and distribution meets rigorous environmental and ethical standards.
Organic cotton is grown without any harmful chemicals, so it is hypoallergenic and safe for people with sensitive skin, allergies, and even babies. Organic cotton uses 91% less water than conventional cotton, as most crops only use rainwater that later becomes stored in healthy soil. Organic cotton also produces almost half (46%) of the greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventionally grown cotton. As organic cotton is mainly picked by hand, this fabric is of higher quality, softer, and more durable than conventional machined cotton.
Out of the 80-150 billion clothing articles produced annually, only 15% is recycled or donated. The remaining garments sit in landfills, with non-biodegradable fabrics slowly decomposing for up to 200 years.
We have chosen to use recycled fabrics like nylon and polyester to divert this waste from landfills. Clothing made from recycled fabrics also uses less water and energy as there is no production process. All of our recycled materials are certified by the Global Recycled Standard (GRS), which verifies the recycled material's entire supply chain and transparency.
10% of all debris in the ocean is composed of nylon from old fishing nets. By repurposing nylon, we are not only reducing landfill waste but also cleaning up our oceans. Nylon is infinitely recyclable and can be used repeatedly without any loss in quality. While nylon is currently made from oil, there are efforts to make bio-nylon made from plants that are biodegradable.
Recycled polyester is made from recycled plastic water bottles that otherwise would end up littering our oceans and landfills. For example, it takes about five plastic bottles to make one t-shirt. The quality of recycled polyester is just as good as virgin polyester while requiring 70% less energy to produce and 54% fewer carbon emissions. By reusing polyester, oil and gas can stay in the ground instead of being extracted to create more raw materials.
Our sunglasses are made from 100% recycled polyester and packaged in recycled cardboard.
Denim jeans are made from cotton and use about 7,500 litres of water per pair of jeans, making denim one of the most environmentally taxing fabrics. The blue colour is created from synthetic indigo dye, which uses poisonous chemicals like cyanide and formaldehyde that get dumped into our rivers and food supply. The factory workers breathe in these chemicals, causing lung and respiratory diseases. Distressed jeans use extra chemical washes to get that worn look. Fashionable stretchy jeans are made with synthetic, petrol-based fibres that cannot be recycled or decomposed
There is a massive production of denim, with about six billion pairs of jeans made annually, with nearly half of the world's population wearing jeans daily. Broken Planet’s jeans are made from 100% recycled denim. By using recyclable fabrics, we are mimicking the cycles of nature by giving new life to old denim.
All of our factories have scored in the top percentile regarding workers' involvement and protection, rights of freedom, occupational health and safety, protection of the environment, fair wages, and ethical business behaviour. We specifically vet our factories to ensure no child labour, bonded labour, or precarious employment is reported.br>
Our organic cotton is grown in Vietnam and our recycled fabrics are produced in China, where the materials were initially recycled and processed. Although China has a poor reputation for unethical labour, we are proud to support factories that are creating safe work environments and caring for their employees. The Foreign Trade Association (amfori) performs annual factory audits at our partner factories in China to ensure our ethical standards are met. China is also one of the most technically advanced countries in the world, offering us the latest technological advancements, which allowed us to produce clothes more efficiently and sustainably.
Our packaging is plastic free, with our garment bags, mailers, and shipping labels made from 100% biodegradable material that will decompose in 18 months and 3-6 months if composted. Our sunglasses are shipped in recycled cardboard. We also use a third-party service that collects and recycles all cardboard boxes and packaging that we receive from our stock deliveries. For shipments in the UK, we use emissions-free shipping.br>
If a customer places several orders, we always ship all of the items in one package to minimise the need for extra shipping. We also reduce shipping by having in-house sample and pattern developers who create final products without the need for shipping or flying before bulk production.br>
If any of our clothing gets returned for being faulty, we never dispose of the garments but instead sell them for a reduced price during our "Mystery Drops." We strive to minimise returns with our customer service team, who helps people find their perfect size before purchasing. We're also developing a new way to find your ideal size on our website easily.
In 2021, we started Broken Planet Foundation. Instead of donating money to other foundations, we decided to create our own to ensure that the money and resources were going to the right places and being used in the most impactful way possible.br>
It is a long and tedious process to establish our own foundation, having to pass multiple checks and standards beforehand. We are currently in the final stages of the process and are pending approval.br>
So far, we have raised over £100,000 through Friends and Family raffles. People can enter raffles on our website for £3 each during our drops to win only 15 exclusive Friends and Family hoodies.br>
We plan to do 1-2 missions every year to help vulnerable communities worldwide. Our Foundation team is working hard to find these areas in need and the most impactful solutions for each. We do not want to simply provide money and resources; we want to be a part of the entire process, go there, and help make the change happen. Every mission will be filmed and released as a mini-documentary so people can see where their money for our raffle tickets went.br>
Once our foundation is approved and officially established, we will announce our first mission, which will happen in early 2023.
We are constantly searching for more sustainable solutions within our business, such as finding new ways to incorporate recycled materials into our products. Below are some aspects of our business that could be improved upon and done more sustainably.br>
Travelling, especially long flights.br>
We are well aware of the environmental impact of travelling by plane; however, often, there is no other alternative (i.e., trains). Photoshoots in different countries are a crucial part of our brand, as it allows us to connect with our audience worldwide.br>
The shipping industry has many flaws, and we ship to customers globally. For deliveries in the UK, we use emission-free deliveries, but there is still room for improvement.br>
Even though we do not get many returns, we still try to minimise returns as much as possible. Most of our returns are due to an incomplete or wrong address, so we are working on a better system to help avoid this.
Recycle or donate your unwanted clothes.br>
Instead of throwing old clothes away, donate them to your nearest community outreach organisation or thrift store, which typically has recycling options too.br>
Choose quality products you really love and will cherish for a long time.br>
Choose brands that invest into sustainability.br>
Your clothes are an investment. By purchasing sustainable clothing, you are sending a message for more environmentally friendly options.