VANCOUVER, BC, April 8, 2024 -- Next-life logistics solutions provider, Debrand, announced the North American debut of their circular lanyard project with global textile recycler, Eastman, at this year's Sustainable Fashion Forum in Austin, Texas. This partnership aims to demonstrate the circular textile process for the wider apparel industry by applying intentional design of conference lanyards to enable the product's reuse and recycling at its end-of-life. The ultimate goal is to reduce the environmental impact of conference lanyards by diverting them from landfill and protecting our planet's resources.



"While textile recycling has been integral to our lanyard project in the past, we recognize that true progress lies in embracing the waste hierarchy," said Lina Londono, VP of Sustainability & Solutions at Debrand. "By prioritizing reuse, we not only reduce our environmental footprint but also foster a culture of mindful consumption and innovation. Our commitment to evolving our strategy to evergreen lanyards reflects our dedication to sustainability principles and ensures that we're continually striving for more impactful solutions."


Debrand will be providing evergreen lanyards designed with circular principles that will be sanitized for reuse at future events. Circular lanyards that are damaged or contaminated will be recycled by Eastman. The lanyards are 100% polyester for durability and will be collected and pre-processed by Debrand at the end of the conference.


"My vision for the Sustainable Fashion Forum has always been to challenge the status quo and inspire transformative change within the industry. Debrand's circular lanyard project with Eastman exemplifies the kind of innovative, collaborative solutions we strive to showcase," said Brittany Sierra, Founder and CEO of the Sustainable Fashion Forum. "By reimagining the lifecycle of our conference lanyards, we're not only reducing waste but also igniting conversations about the sustainable practices of events and demonstrating the power of collaborative action in driving meaningful change within event planning and execution. This initiative serves as a microcosm of the broader shift towards sustainability within the fashion industry, showcasing how small yet impactful changes can drive significant progress towards a more sustainable future."


Debrand selected Eastman as a partner to demonstrate how a collaborative ecosystem within the later stages of the supply chain can drive the design, production, distribution, pre-processing and circulation of circular products available en masse. Eastman has the groundbreaking advanced recycling technology needed for this project. Through Eastman's carbon renewal technology, they can break down hard-to-recycle plastic and textile waste to its molecular level to create new products. This technology helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional fossil-based processes and diverts waste material from entering landfills.


"We're thrilled to collaborate with Debrand on this circular lanyard project," said Claudia de Witte, Eastman Textiles Sustainability Leader. "Through our carbon renewal technology, we're able to transform end-of-life textiles into new, high-quality products, such as Naia Renew fibers. This partnership underscores Eastman's commitment to collaborating on innovative solutions that drive circularity and sustainability across the supply chain."


ABOUT DEBRAND'S CIRCULAR LANYARD PROJECT


More than 1.5 billion people participate in business events and conferences each year, with billions of dollars spent on conference merchandise that rarely considers the product's end-of-life path. A 2020 survey finds that 60% of conference attendees prefer events that apply sustainable practices, with over 25% strongly preferring such conferences. Small changes like circular lanyards, which are produced specifically with the intent of reuse and recycling, can have lasting impacts on reducing waste.


Debrand piloted their initial circular lanyard project at Textile Exchange 2023 in London, UK, where lanyards for the event were collected and recycled into yarn that could be repurposed for future garments using European textile recycler Coleo. In this latest iteration with Eastman, the goal was to design evergreen lanyards with reuse in mind, supplemented by recycling if needed, and collaborating with regional North American partners to reduce the project's overall footprint. These small-scale projects provide an example of scalable circular solutions for larger events, and it's an opportunity to showcase to attendees how an item that is often overlooked can create a large impact in the sustainability space and be a point of reference when observing consumer behaviour (ie. identifying what percentage of attendees actually return the lanyards).


This year, Debrand is projected to divert at least 1,000 tons of used textiles from landfills (125% year-over-year growth) through resale, reuse, recycling and recovery channels–the weight equivalent of 12 Boeing 737 aircrafts. With a reputation for exceptional service and tech-enabled solutions, Debrand specializes in next-life logistics for the global apparel and footwear industry. 


ABOUT DEBRAND


Debrand is the leading textile sustainability solutions provider partnering directly with the world's top apparel brands like Everlane, lululemon, Aritzia, and Canada Goose. Founded in 2008, Debrand helps clients build systems of sustainability into their next-life operations by providing proprietary, tech-enabled sortation services that send damaged or excess inventory to the highest-value channels through our vetted network of textile resale, donation, repair, recycling, and responsible disposal partners. Based in Canada with facilities across the United States, Debrand is on a mission to propel the textile industry's sustainable future, finding ways to optimize the planet's finite resources by unlocking the potential in untapped products. To learn more about our work and impact, visit debrand.ca.


ABOUT EASTMAN


Founded in 1920, Eastman is a global specialty materials company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With the purpose of enhancing the quality of life in a material way, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. The company's innovation-driven growth model takes advantage of world-class technology platforms, deep customer engagement, and differentiated application development to grow its leading positions in attractive end markets such as transportation, building and construction, and consumables. As a globally inclusive and diverse company, Eastman employs approximately 14,000 people around the world and serves customers in more than 100 countries. The company had 2023 revenue of approximately $9.2 billion and is headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA. For more information, visit www.eastman.com.


ABOUT THE SUSTAINABLE FASHION FORUM (THE CONFERENCE)


Standing at the forefront of thought leadership, the Sustainable Fashion Forum (SFF) is a modern media company and annual conference founded by Brittany Sierra, dedicated to fostering grey-area thinking that inspires the fashion industry to reimagine accepted paradigms and push the boundaries of what's possible.


A premier event where nuanced conversations, community, and collaboration collide, the Sustainable Fashion Forum bridges traditional industry silos to cultivate innovative thinking and out-of-the-box solutions aimed at solving fashion's most pressing problems. By encouraging attendees to approach these untapped opportunities through a new lens, the SFF conference sparks creativity and drives forward-thinking solutions at the intersection of fashion, sustainability, business, and ethics. For more information about the Sustainable Fashion Forum conference and media platform, please visit https://www.thesustainablefashionforum.com.


Media Contact: Kim Hong, kim@debrand.ca








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