All our products are designed, cut and sewn in our store with an in-house textile atelier, in the heart of Amsterdam. We drop new styles every two weeks, normally in very small quantities.

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

  1. Make products that don’t create waste or pollution
  2. Make durable products
  3. Use recycled materials and achieve garment recyclability

New Optimist garments do not contain any animal products. All fibers of New Optimist garments are natural and plant based.

 

Commitment to the Planet

New Optimist commits to making clothing according to circular design principles. We aim to make garments with a long lifetime, recycle and/or reuse materials, and produce the least amount of waste or pollution feasible. We believe that a company doesn’t achieve sustainability with one solution but rather a fundamental commitment to benefitting people and society.

Commitment to Society

As a social enterprise, New Optimist offers apprenticeships in the atelier for people at a distance from 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 combining atelier and storefront operations to showcase the joy in fashion production. Our intention is to reconnect people to the process of garment making by bringing 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.

New Optimist’s 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.
  1. 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.

Goals

Environmental:

  • Goal: Provide garment recycling
    • Phase 1: Provide information on how/where to dispose of the garment.
    • Future: Accept returned garments to send to a textile recycling company.
  • Goal: Repair Service
    • Phase 1: Offer a maintenance guide for products.
    • Future: N.O. accepts broken/damaged pieces for repair

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.

Material Traceability

  • Goal: Provide garment traceability to consumers
    • Phase 1: Provide information on input origins, production and garment after-life.
    • Future: Provide information on production innovations.