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The Closed-Loop Fashion Solution

Everywhere Apparel

6. Clean Water and Sanitation 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities 12. Responsible Consumption and Production 13. Climate Action

Overview

Everywhere is a fiber technology and recycled textiles company that transforms waste into new materials. They produce high quality apparel with the innovation called the closed-loop system, which enables them to make clothing with the least possible environmental impact.


Authors

Lucas Olszowski

Lucas Olszowski

Elizabeth Ashmead

Elizabeth Ashmead

Sabina Abiera

Sabina Abiera

Anton Nuovo

Anton Nuovo

Sophia Vivenzio

Sophia Vivenzio

School

Loyola Marymount University

Loyola Marymount University

Professor

Jeff Thies

Jeff Thies

Innovation

Everywhere’s business innovation includes their closed-loop system and their patented yarn technology. The closed-loop system works by using CirCot yarn to make fabric. The fabric is then used to make Everywhere t-shirts and hoodies in white and black--to avoid using dyes and contributing to toxic wastewater. Everywhere sells their apparel as wholesale to businesses and as retail to individuals. Once the consumer is done wearing their t-shirt after a few years they scan the barcode on the shirt’s tag to print a return label. The consumer can then ship their shirt back to Everywhere and receive a $10 store credit for their next purchase. Everywhere also encourages their business clients to return all of their deadstock fabric materials. The returned shirts and scraps are collected and sorted by color, then shredded into a spinnable cotton fiber. The fiber is spun into CirCot yarn, and the process starts over again.

Everywhere’s other innovation is their patented yarn technology, which takes a step further from the typical process of making recycled yarn with polyester. Everywhere invented an additive which is added to the polyester fibers in the extrusion process. Once the additive integrates into the fibers it is able to attract harmful microbes in marine and landfill environments. The best part about this innovation is that the process can be conducted on existing textile machinery, allowing for the solutions to be easily and widely adopted in the industry and achieving maximum impact.

Everywhere’s innovation emerged from issues caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. As large in-person events had to be canceled, businesses were sitting on a lot of deadstock materials from promotional t-shirts and apparel. Many businesses reached out to Everywhere looking for a way to recycle all of their waste, and it was with their biggest client that Everywhere piloted their recycling system. The Everywhere team and their client designed a program where Everywhere provides 100% recycled t-shirts to businesses and people while also providing a recycling service to other businesses.

Everywhere’s mission is to clean the earth while clothing the planet, and they achieve this mission by making clothing with the least possible environmental impact. In utilizing this closed-loop recycling system, Everywhere is able to reduce the amount of waste that would otherwise end up in landfills, and save up to 800 gallons of freshwater every year. In terms of their business-to-business closed-loop service, Everywhere’s core objective is to work with companies that have an interest in sustainability and be able to provide them with the impact data from their purchases. Irys explained, “When you’re choosing between very similar products and you can see the environmental impact of recycled products, we hope that most people will go with our solution.”


The Closed-Loop Fashion Solution

Inspiration

Structurally there are two different tracks of Everywhere’s business. Their consumer-facing brand is the selling of closed-loop 100% recycled cotton apparel, while their intellectual patents are in use to have a greater global impact. The closed-loop system was their answer to create a profitable consumer product engine that represented their desire for a cleaner and predictable life-cycle for apparel. On a larger scale, Everywhere’s IP portfolio enables them to act as more of a materials-science company and license their technology globally to well-established brands in order to reach a broader audience.

The original idea for a closed-loop system came about during the Covid-19 pandemic. Everywhere’s biggest client for wholesale apparel reached out to them looking for a way to recycle their deadstock materials that never got used due to event cancellations. This is what inspired the team at Everywhere to operate a closed-loop recycling service.

The closed-loop system was developed because Everywhere saw a market opportunity that would benefit them in the long term. Everywhere’s goal of having a profitable consumer product engine was achievable because the closed-loop apparel industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. So, Everywhere was able to access immediate cash flow, and capitalize on the sustainable mindset most consumers currently have. In terms of Everywhere’s patented innovation, their long-term goal is to develop more innovations for materials like inks and adhesives that are used in everyday objects. By having more materials on the earth that have a positive - or at least neutral - impact on the environment, Everywhere can be a major player in the sustainability industry.

Overall impact

Everywhere runs on a closed-loop cycle with virtually no deadstock material. Leftover materials that are used in production have been designed to have other uses in the supply chain so that there are no leftovers. This circular production model allows for the company to stay responsible for their consumption and be able to provide their usage with their customers. This protects the environment and sets an industry standard of how products should be produced. Through large secondary index measures such as the Higg Index, Everywhere is able to measure exactly their impact in regards to emissions and water saved using their processes versus competitors. This gives Everywhere a competitive advantage in their industry of large brands who need massive quantities of a product. When choosing Everywhere, these large brands can boast their low impact and sustainable purchases, making them choose the better choice. Giving consumers the opportunity to choose sustainable raises the standard for consumers forcing change in the industry. As the industry improves, the environment is at a lower risk of more damage.

In the short term, the effects of Everywhere are minimizing the impact of textile production and encouraging competitors to do the same. They have seen competitors change their ways in order to compete with Everywhere as consumers increasingly prioritize sustainability over anything else. As a start-up Everywhere has kept its variety in product design small and has zero color options to avoid the negative impacts of color dying. As technology advances in the future, Everywhere plans to have colors and track their supply chain themselves. Irys explains how Everywhere would be able to do this by “placing trackers on their materials per production lot in order to calculate the impact at each stage of the process”. This following of material is quite difficult, however with the right sources and technology will be possible.

Business benefit

The closed-loop system innovation enables the company to create and position the brand in a way that allows them to appeal to a sustainably-minded customer base. These people are the same ones who donate and send over their used clothing for recycling to be created into new products. The innovation attracts the target market and makes the business appealing to the people. It creates value for Everywhere and the apparel that they make.

To add to this, it distinguishes them and sets the products apart from other brands, since they are an Earth-first apparel brand. It is an essential part of their story and the purpose of the company, which gives them a competitive advantage. With the innovation, they are able to market themselves as beneficial for the environment, which cleans the Earth while clothing the planet. Every decision that the company makes works towards the goal of having the least environmental impact and at the same time manufacturing high-quality clothing for consumers.

Social and environmental benefit

Everywhere’s technology for recycled cotton holds many societal and environmental benefits, specifically in the areas of preserving water, reducing carbon emissions & reducing landfill waste. For every 100 Everywhere shirts used instead of organic cotton, over 112,000 gallons of water are saved, landfill waste is reduced by 62.5 lbs and CO2 emissions are cut down by a factor of 5.

Everywhere’s technology even holds comparative societal advantages over alternative recycled products like recycled polyester. Although recycled polyester may seem like it benefits the environment, its production results in massive amounts of wasted water when creating the fibers, unlike the recycled cotton Everywhere uses. Other benefits to recycled cotton include No dyes or chemicals, no use of microplastics, and a reduced carbon footprint.

Everywhere’s recycling system is not only applicable to their own garments, they also receive massive amounts of clothing from partnering companies (eg: company t-shirt deadstock from events) and use them in their garment production. Not only does Everywhere have a completely sustainable production system, but they also improve the environmental impact of the companies around them.


Interview

Irys Kornbluth, Co-CEO of Everywhere.us

Photo of interviewee

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Everywhere Apparel

Everywhere Apparel

Los Angeles, CA, US

Business Website: https://everywhereapparel.com

Year Founded: 2020

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

Everywhere.us is a fiber technology and recycled textiles company that makes and sells t-shirts and hoodies out of 100% GRS-certified (Global Recycle Standard) recycled cotton with the least amount of environmental impact. Everywhere uses a closed-loop system to manufacture their clothes. On top of being an apparel company, Everywhere offers a closed-loop corporate employee apparel program, and recycled raw materials supply solutions for brands around the world. Led by a team of Stanford-educated entrepreneurs, and with sustainability at the heart of everything they do, Everywhere is cleaning the earth while clothing the planet.