All our products are designed, cut and sewn in our textile atelier, in the heart of Amsterdam.

Our garments are designed and produced following 3 circular design principles:

  1. Make products that don’t create waste or pollution
    • Waste – Materials or substances that are discarded, depleted or no longer put to use.
      • “Through redesign, materials or substances that would become waste are eliminated, become feedstock for another production process, or are safely returned to the biosphere.” (Vision for a Circular Economy for Fashion – Ellen MacArthur Foundation)
    • Pollution – The release or leakage of materials and substances in the natural environment causing harm to living organisms.
  2. Make durable products
    • Durability – The ability for a product to maintain its original functionality and relevance through time and normal use.
      • Physical durability – Refers to the product’s construction and ability to withstand use and time without lessening in functionality.
      • Emotional durability – Refers to the product’s ability to stay relevant over time, whether for the original owner or throughout multiple owners and users. The need for the item doesn’t dissipate.
    • Reuse – The product or material repeatedly serves its function through a single user or multiple users. To use the product or material more than once.
    • Repairability – The ability to which a product can be fixed and maintained over time.
  3. Use recycled materials and achieve garment recyclability
    • Recycle – The process of reducing a product to a material level where it can be reconstructed to make a new product.
      • The energy, labor and technology needed for recycling processes is crucial in evaluating its benefits.
      • In addition to having methods of effective collection and sorting, products should be designed with recyclability and disassembly in mind.
    • Upcycle – To reuse a material for a use that it was not originally intended for.
    • Biodegrade – the natural process of solid waste breaking down. Biodegradability is a component needed for an item to be composted.

New Optimist garments do not contain any animal products. All fabrics of New Optimist garments consist of only plant-based fibers.

Commitment to the Planet

New Optimist commits to making clothing according to circular design principles. We aim to make garments with a long lifetime, using recycled materials, produce the least amount of waste or pollution feasible, find new ways of reusing production waste, and collect the waste for proper recycling. Producing sustainable is a complex topic which needs attention from many perspectives, for us there is not one solution but rather a fundamental commitment to preserve the planet and thereby benefitting people and society.

Commitment to Society

As a social enterprise, New Optimist offers apprenticeships in the atelier for people having a distance to the labor market. These are often newcomers to the Netherlands, with and without a refugee background. Through our partnership with Match and Work and an on- site coach, we are committed to guiding people into professional positions in the labor market.

Commitment to Restoring the Joy of Making

New Optimist is going to work with an open atelier to showcase the joy in fashion production and to offer full transparency of our working conditions. Our intention is to reconnect people to the process of garment making by showing the craftsmanship to the consumer. By putting our ‘behind the scenes’ in the spotlight, we are committed to publicly communicating our internal processes and goals. New Optimist is more than a streetwear brand, it is an invitation to a tangible experience to engage and learn.

Based on the three circular design principles we strive to achieve the following Goals

Environmental:

  • Goal: Provide garment recycling
    • Phase 1: Provide information on how/where to dispose of the garment.
    • Future: Accept returned garments and work together closely with textile recycling companies to achieve the highest feasible recycling rate. Offer a discount for returned garments and simplify the return process by using QR codes and/or blockchain technology.
  • Goal: Repair Service
    • Phase 1: Offer a maintenance guide for products.
    • Future: N.O. accepts broken/damaged pieces for repair
  • Goal: Reduce the environmental impact of our products
    • Phase 1: N.O. uses fabrics made with organic cotton mixed with highest feasible amount of recycled cotton
    • Future: Work with new alternatives provided by our partners from circular systems which can further reduce the environmental impact (f.e. Agrarloop fibers)
  • Goal: tackle overproduction by implementing 3D design and sampling
    • Phase 1: N.O. did a 3D project to test run the development of a style completely with 3D design. From the screen to production
    • Future: Use 3D samples as a common tool to reduce the production of samples. Develop 3D designs for retailers and online shops. No physical salesman samples needed

Social:

• Goal: Apprenticeship program is beneficial for participants

  • Phase 1: Establish steady work for participants
  • Future: Measure social impact by tracking personal development and professional skills. Permeability within the company to develop personal skills in different positions. Provide a save environment to personally grow in someone’s own pace in a professional setting

 

Material Traceability

  • Goal: Provide garment traceability to consumers
    • Phase 1: Provide information on input origins, production and garment afterlife.
  • Future:
    • Provide information on production innovations.
    • Offer a bring back program to prevent garments from being discarded

      and recycle them properly with our future partners