RUBY Apparel | Keeping Materials in Use

Mindful Fashion's Sustainability Spotlights showcase initiatives from our members that advance circular and sustainable clothing and textiles. If you have a sustainability initiative to share get in touch.

This month we caught up with RUBY Apparel Product Development and Sustainability Manager Sarah Parker who told us about the company's push to increase the longevity of its products and keep materials in use, whether that be through repair and resale of garments, or through recycling, composting and waste initiatives that reduce waste at RUBY HQ.

The Initiative

Ka pai Ruby, it’s great to see your commitment to preserving natural resources (aka waste reduction)!

At RUBY HQ and in its stores, keeping materials in use and reducing waste is always front of mind.


Ruby's has a focus on extending the useful life of its products through its Ruby Says Recycle initiative, its Matchmaker service, rental and repair offerings, and its take back scheme.

When it comes to textile waste, Ruby thinks carefully about yield and fabric consumption, to minimise this waste. Seams are added so that the pattern pieces can stack more efficiently, the width of the fabric is considered when making a pattern and ratios adjusted for different sizes so that it can cut more efficiently. Regardless, when cutting garments from lengths of fabric, “waste” is created.

Ruby's Auckland-based bulk production cutters and in-house sample cutters separate all fabric off-cuts into fibre types so it can repurpose or recycle in the most efficient way. Since 2019, Ruby has not sent these excess materials to landfill.

Ruby has experimented with different ways to create value from this "waste" including through its LIAM X GEO KNITS SLOW, a collaboration of knit pieces made using fabric off-cuts.

Once Ruby has exhausted all possibilities to reduce, reuse and repurpose excess materials, it has partners that use them to create products for other industries such as Textile Products and Upparel.

Retail Initiatives


Other Materials

In its HQ Ruby has a range of bins set up to make it easy for the team to sort materials for the right end-purpose, for example composting food waste and end of life compostable packaging, packaging that we reuse, general curb-side recycling, soft plastic recycling, plastic hanger recycling and paper & card recycling or reuse. Signs are plentiful to help educate staff on making the correct choice.

As a last resort it has a landfill bin for things that cannot be composted, recycled or reused. Ruby also works with charity partners and IT recycling companies for reuse or repurposing.

Check out Ruby's suppliers list below to learn what you might need at your business.

Read more about Ruby's work to reduce waste and keep textiles in use in it's Toolbox for Change.

Bins and Suppliers

Soft Plastics: Bins provided by Green Gorilla, collected by Abilities

Compostable Food Waste/ Paper towels: Bins provided by Green Gorilla, paper towels collected by Abilities, and Food waste collected by Green Gorilla.

JJ’s: Commingled Recycling

JJ’s: Commingled Recycling

General Recyclin
g: JJ’s - Commingled Recycling & Auckland Council

JJ’s - Flattened Cardboard

JJ’s: General waste

Broken plastic hangers:
These are sent back to the supplier to be recycled into new hangers

Reusable bags: These are internally re-used at Ruby