Standard Issue | Care For Life

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 Standard Issue CEO Emma Ensor who tells us about the brands Care for Life initiative that focuses on the longevity of wool and keeping garments in use.

Care for Life Service

Standard Issue designs its collections with a circular life cycle in mind. The environmental footprint of each garment is looked at across its life, and this informs the brand's design process from the beginning. It prioritises the use of natural fibres to ensure the end-of-life options are as low impact as possible, its products are made locally in Aotearoa using a production process designed to minimise waste, and the brand engages with its customers on the best pathway for their garments once they have reached the end of their useful life.

The Initiative

Standard Issue provides a range of options to its community once a garment is damaged, no longer wanted by the customer or reaches the end of its life.

How it came about

Through a thorough waste audit of the entire business, Standard Issue recognised it had a responsibility for the full life of the products it makes. CEO Emma Ensor had a desire to ensure the business cared for its products once they were in the hands of customers - and beyond, so the brand made a promise - to ensure that everything in the business is reviewed as part of their zero-waste policy and to care for the full life of the garments it produces. This inspired the brand to develop its Care For Life service in 2020.

Care For Life

  • Renew: If it's mendable Standard Issue will help mend it through its skilled team of menders.

  • Reuse: If it needs a new home/life Standard Issue will help rehome it.

  • Repurpose: If it reaches the end of its useful life, Standard Issue works with a New Zealand-based textile recycling company that repurposes raw, waste materials into household and commercial textile products.

Emma says, ‘Through Care For Life, we are taking responsibility as a brand, and the customers learn that they are also part of the system.’

Educating Customers

Standard Issue’s Care For Life service encourages customers to learn how to care for their garments. It gives customers an understanding of where and how their clothes are made, what is involved in repair and reuse pathways, as well as how textiles can be repurposed into products other than clothing.

Even the smallest holes can stop someone from wearing something, so using the Standard Issue Care For Life service is an easy way to keep clothes in use for longer.

Staff are an active part of the programme and work closely with customers to discuss the best care options.

Emma says, ‘It's quite amazing how some customers have been holding onto pieces for over 10 years because they have been wanting to fix it and didn't want to let it go because of a small hole!’

Its Impact

Standard Issues Care For Life service encourages its community to engage in conversations about how to increase the lifespan of clothing and reduce environmental impact by buying better, investing in quality, care and repair and reducing waste.

It also provides the brand with a lot of useful information about the use and life of its products once they are in the hands of customers, which can feed into future product design.