Can a traditional US workwear brand be recycled into a new recycling brand? Yes, it can. It's the story of The Big Favorite (TBF), a brand founded in the 1930s known for selling reliable cotton workwear for hard-working Americans.
In 2020, Eleanor Turner, nephew of The Big Favorite's founder, has taken the brand’s high-quality and reliable roots and repurposed them for launching new daily basic underwear and undershirts based upon circularity. Today the brand offers super soft, well-fitting, 100% recyclable Pima cotton tees, tops, and underwear.
As in the world five million kilos of underwear go in landfill every day, she decided to start a take-back program for the brand's undergarments with the aim to divert typical textile waste from landfills and transform it into new yarn.
She designs undergarments that are long-lasting, accessible, and easy to recycle as an alternative to today’s take-make-waste status quo. She also recreated the idea of underwear many associate with the cardboard feel and outdated fit of average department store undergarments with super soft plastic-free Pima cotton that deoesn't itch when one takes them off.
Participating TBF's Circular Saving Process is easy. Once a TBF piece is worn out, any consumer can wash the item and scan the QR code on the garment's label or find instructions in its website to create a free shipping label and send it via USPS mail. When the company receives the shipment, it will grant a “forever discount” for a future purchase, or can be donated to a good cause. The company will recapture the under stuff, sanitize it, and partner with textile recyclers to shred it and turn it into new yarn to be used again.