Textile Pioneers (TP) is a company founded in Copenhagen in 2008 that starting from 2015 with decided to produce apparel pieces made with sustainable materials only. Since then, it aimed to use textiles and yarns made with 100% recycled waste materials or at least including a high percentage of waste fibers. The company supports its clients in moving from conventional textile production methods to sustainable ones and, more recently, it has also launched its own eco-friendly brand A-Pioneer, introducing basic t-shirts and sweatshirts made from 100% trash directly to the end consumer to create awareness of these sustainable options.
The main material the company uses is recycled cotton produced in India from cotton scraps from textile factories. TP believes that by using recycled cotton for new textiles it can help lower its impact as the growing of cotton alone is considered as the most damaging crop in the world for the environment and humans as it requires huge amounts of water (up to 2,700 liters of water for a single t-shirt) and pesticides.
"We can recycle different material waste and use them in different ratios, according to the kind of materials and their quality,” he added. “We will produce a new circular collection for a customer that will be launched in f/w 2022 and will be made from Danish househld waste (PCW). This process will take place in Portugal and Turkey," he explained.
For producing the new fibers from old garments, TP has teamed up with NewRetex, a partner that scans all the old pieces and sorts them according to color and fiber type. Then it can produce new fibers by shredding the old garments mechanically, or, if the old garments are made from 100% polyester, they are melted and spun into new yarns obtaining a new garment made with 100% recycled polyester.
“The sorting of old garments is done in Denmark, then the production of the fiber happens in Portugal or Turkey, although the polyester garments are processed in Germany, then they can send garments, fabrics or yarn, according to the request of the client and - if they request it - they can follow the process from old garments over fibers,” explained Mogensen.
TP is also involved in using specific cotton types. In fact, it works with 3,000 cotton growers from Salem, in the South of India, who grow cotton according to GOTS certified methods and operate according to Fair Trade practices.
Among TP’s clients there are brands like Minimum, an international fashion brand with Danish roots, also offering t-shirts made with100% recycled materials; Disillusioned Millenial, a US based sustainable brand, and Gensyn Bar, a bar in Copenhagen whose personnel’s uniform are 100% recycled material t-shirts and hoodies that are also available for re-sale to loyal fans.
In order to answer a request from many consumers, TP has also recently launched its own brand - A-Pioneer - that offers mostly basic t-shirts and sweatshirts made with 60% pre-consumer recycled cotton and 40% from recycled plastic bottles collected in India.
It is sold through the company’s own e-commerce at prices that range from €30 for a t-shirt and €65 for a sweatshirt. “Initially we wanted to sell our products at higher prices like €50 for the t-shirt and €110 for the sweatshirt, but we decided to keep lower prices. This way we can better compete with other t-shirt brands and promote a more sustainable approach. This is our mission, and we are constantly looking for partners and companies that can help us make our sustainable fashion project grow and expand,” explained Mogensen.