ROKIT: OUR COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABLE PRACTICE, THEN AND NOW
THINK GLOBAL: ACT LOCAL // RECYCLING FOR A BETTER WORLD
Sustainability is nothing new here at Rokit. In fact, the determination to recycle clothing and clean up fashion waste is our founding principle and remains a keystone commitment now more than ever.
We began thrifting denim from cowboys, returning wearable (and turns out covetable) pieces to the market and cementing our place in London's growing sustainable second hand scene.
Rokit proved an antidote to the mass market, mass production and mass assumption associated with the fashion industry and became a stalwart in the alternative and eco conscious counter-culture taking hold in the 1980s.
Wearing vintage became a lifestyle, it was a way of demonstrating a disconnect with a modernity that was unrepresentative of individuality, anti consumerism and environmental concern.
Second hand supported ethical and sustainable practice and served up socially; welcoming everyone from those on the fringe to those unable to shop new.
Fast forward three decades we’ve recycled millions of tonnes of discarded clothing, accessories and textile, making a significant contribution to the reduction in fashion waste and proudly flying the flag for closed loop consumerism.
Rokit continues to offer an alternative to fast fashion and the dictates of the throwaway culture that legitimately impacts our fragile planet.
No longer written off as ‘dead peoples clothes’, the secondary market is the future of fashion and when modern trends predominantly rehash the past, where better to shop for an original or contemporary look than a brand that stocks a century of style.
We continue to strive for that better world and as more brands stake a claim in the sustainability conversation we encourage more questions. Let’s challenge ourselves and commit to tackle greenwashing and promote the truth that there is no such thing as sustainable fast fashion.
HOW CLEAN ARE YOUR CLOTHES? THE FACTS
Fashion is pollution: the fashion industry is the 2nd largest contributor to global pollution.
Fashion is disposable: We don’t wear most of our clothes and the estimated 85% that goes unrecycled ends up in landfill (often in developing countries) or is incinerated. Yuk.
Polyester is plastic: Most modern textile includes polymer fibres, plastic that is not biodegradable. Synthetic clothing should be reused, recycled and washed as little as often to prevent it from entering our soils, oceans and ourselves! Better still, if you stop buying it, they’ll stop making it.
Fashion wastes water: That’s right. 20,000 liters of water are needed to produce just 1kg of cotton (one pair of jeans). Not to mention the gallons required in dyeing, finishing and washing.
Recycling and conscious cleaning can make a huge difference.
Fashion = C02 : The production and transportation of the stuff we wear is responsible for 10% of global emissions. Reusing, repairing and rewearing can dramatically reduce your contribution to the 20kg of greenhouse gas per kilo of new clothing produced.
Fashion isn’t cheap: Face facts- It costs a lot to make, move and sell clothes. If you’re buying something cheap, something has to give. You can be sure corners were cut ethically or environmentally so try to question how your new top could possibly cost £7? Second hand is the only guilt free bargain.
Clothing kills: Chemical use in the fashion industry is a known cause of disease and death. Sweatshops routinely expose workers to conditions detrimental to their health and ultimately reduce life expectancy. Toxic wastewaters (from fertilizers, dyes and other chemicals/ compounds including mercury) pollute water sources and devastate marine and wildlife.
Animals continue to be exploited and exterminated in the production of new clothing and footwear.
The vegan myth: Most substitute textile is made of new plastic whilst deforestation for natural fibre production destroys ecosystems and is a legitimate contributor to the destruction of ancient rainforests
(approximately 70 million trees felled annually for clothing textile)
If you’re already carrying a reusable bottle, time to think about those new PU shoes!
The message is clear, if we want to curb our contribution to the dirty truth of fast fashion we all need to wear more of what already exists, and cultivate an individual style independent from the pressure to constantly buy new.
REDUCE WASTE: WEAR VINTAGE | CHOOSE SECOND HAND: CHOOSE SUSTAINABLE
Over the pond in Vancouver, Canada our partner company Trans-Continental Textile Recycling processes up to 30,000 kg of used clothing and textile daily. They don’t waste a thing and what doesn't make its way to Rokit will be reused somewhere in the world. TCTR aims to prevent 100% of textile going to landfill and locally, their recycling program has helped to generate millions of dollars in revenue for schools, charities and non- profit organisations.
Back here at Rokit HQ we unpack and process every garment, quality checking each piece, laundering (where necessary and at low temperatures), pricing and sorting for dispatch to stores and website. Just like Trans Co, we recycle EVERYTHING and what doesn’t make the grade is donated to charity or used in the production of non clothing from dusters to insulation. You name it!
We never air freight, instead shipping all our stock by sea, reducing our emissions and subsequent Co2 footprint. In the Uk all our stores are local to our HQ where stock is delivered in an ultra low emissions compliant vehicle, soon to be an electric van. Our web orders are shipped with Royal Mail and Parcelforce, both leading the way in the UK’s logistical electric revolution. Postman Pat goes green!
Our in-house reworked sustainable fashion label Rokit Originals began life as Rokit Recycled, with the aim of reworking undesirable or unsalable stock into new and exciting pieces. In our determination to reuse as much as we can, we don’t waste a scrap. Rokit Originals fashion bags from leather jackets, jumpsuits from jeans, dresses from scarves; manipulating remnant, deadstock and post consumer textile in the creation of contemporary limited edition lines.
An exciting player in the sustainable fashion movement, Rokit Originals continues to push boundaries, to innovate and to invent new ways of utilising old clothes in the production of new.
BTS in the Rokit Originals studio
Remember we said fashion isn’t cheap? Our clothing is priced to ensure the continued fair wage for all of our employees globally. From the individuals who pick the clothing in our Canadian warehouse to the UK production team and finally our staff on the shop floor. We endeavour to keep our prices as accessible as possible but cannot compete with charity shops and the private secondary market such as Depop, where sellers don’t incur the same overheads or VAT.
Our prices simply cover costs and ensure we can continue to thrive ethically and sustainably.
If you’ve ever shopped in one of our stores you’ll be familiar with the classic Rokit brown paper bag. Introduced back in the 00’s in line, we’ve been limiting our plastic use from day dot.
For those of you who shop online, you can be assured that your order will arrive in biodegradable packaging that is made from recycled and renewable sources! (Sugar cane, tasty we know although not edible).
Good quality clothing is inherently sustainable: if reused or recycled. It’s estimated that 95% of discarded clothing textile is perfectly wearable and our commitment to closed loop fashion means returning usable pieces back to market significantly reduces the need for new.
Vintage garments were made differently, where quality over quantity was the mantra and things were built to last. Unlike today where commercial attitudes design for turnaround over longevity, historical garments were made to be worn repeatedly, if not for a lifetime. Investing in vintage not only ensures we keep using what the planet has already suffered to make, but guarantees our customers are buying better than anything produced today!
Stay tuned and we’ll be introducing more ways to care for, restore and recycle your vintage clothes.
Our sustainable mission is by no way complete, and as we all move toward a greener future, Rokit will continue to develop, finding new ways to improve and expand our founding promise to recycle for a better world.