Apparel labelling and RFID specialist Avery Dennison has partnered with NGO Fashion Revolution, which works to put traceability under the spotlight, to create a patch that can be used to not only embellish garments but help repair those that would otherwise be thrown away.

Made with up to 90% recycled yarns, the patches – which can be ironed or sewn on to garments – are manufactured at Avery Dennison's Panyu facility in Guangzhou, China, which operates world-class thermal printing, RFID applications, printed fabric labels, heat transfer labels and woven labels. 

The tecycled yarns are made with post-consumer waste, consisting of responsibly sourced and certified materials, which are then cleansed, scoured, ground up and dyed, then woven as warp or weft yarns.

According to Avery Dennison, this process means the firm has purchased more than 74 tonnes of recycled yarns in the first quarter of 2017 for North Asia alone, substantially reducing the need for virgin yarns and the waste materials destined for landfills.

"Patching, mending, customising, repurposing...these techniques matter. They help us to reconnect with manual skills which aren't just about scrolling up or down our phones, and they make our clothes last longer, slowing down mass consumption and creating a strong emotional connection," says Orsola de Castro, founder and creative director at Fashion Revolution.

Helen Sahi, senior director of sustainability at Avery Dennison, adds: "When people think of environmental issues they often consider plastic overflowing from the sea or polluted city air. Yet, some of our most harmful pollutants are hanging up in our wardrobes. An estimated US$460bn worth of clothing is thrown out every year. In fact, the fashion industry creates 1.2bn tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year — more than all flights and shipping combined."