Ambercycle’s mission is to end ‘waste’ in fashion, by creating the ecosystem for infinite textiles. (more on that in a minute). We have no doubt that this mission can be accomplished with a growing community under a common framework all contributing to a collective goal.
To set goals and actionable steps, it is helpful to have a clear vision of what we are moving towards. Even if we start with few in numbers, small collective action will inspire others to join and turn into large impact.
To begin the conversation, we are offering common, accessible language to help guide actionable steps towards eliminating ‘waste’ in fashion.
Ambercycle is the ecosystem for infinite textiles. Our team has spent the last 6 years building out a path for the continuous movement of end-of-life textiles back into the production of new yarns.
a community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment, interacting as a system
Tansley (1934); Molles (1999), p. 482; Chapin et al. (2002), p. 380; Schulze et al. (2005); p. 400; Gurevitch et al. (2006), p. 522; Smith & Smith 2012, p. G-5
Healthy ecosystems are created when their living and nonliving components interact with each other harmoniously. Rather than being extractive or unidirectional, they usually work together in regenerative cycles. The Ambercycle ecosystem follows this same model to bring harmony between society and the materials we use.
in·fi·nite | tex·tiles
textiles that can be used in infinite loops so that they don’t have to be landfilled or incinerated
Synthetic textiles possess attributes such as durability and longevity, and we can break them down and build them back up at the molecular level in ways that we really can’t with natural fibers. These attributes are harmful when synthetic materials have short lifespans and are sent to the landfill or environment.
However, synthetics excel when they are responsibly kept above ground and in circulation. The durability of the molecules allows for infinite regeneration.
This eliminates the need to extract raw resources from the earth and to send valuable materials to the landfill. We already have all the material we need above ground, let’s learn together how to live harmoniously with it in a healthy ecosystem.
The Ambercycle ecosystem entails:
- Collection of landfill-destined textiles
- Preprocessing for regeneration (sorting and cutting / shredding)
- Spinning new yarns
- Integrating regenerated materials back into supply chains
- Creating pathways for this process to happen infinitely
the Ambercycle regeneration process, in which an input of landfill-destined textile ‘waste’ is converted into regenerated materials
Our process refines ‘waste’ rather than refining oil. While the concept may seem intuitive, there are a lot of challenges that have made this difficult to accomplish in the past. One of the largest roadblocks is that most textiles are blends of many different substances.
Purifying them back to their original state and ensuring their high quality has been difficult to date, leaving a vast majority of these items unrecyclable and without use.
Through chemistry, Ambercycle regenerates at a molecular level which allows us to purify high-quality materials from textile ‘waste’ inputs.
the ability to be ambercycled
One step to enabling a healthy ecosystem is beginning to think about the future of our materials even when we are shopping for them. It is one thing to ask ‘where did this come from?’ but a far more impactful question is ‘where is this going to go?’
One part we play is providing the ambercyclable logo on garments. This indicates that the garment can be processed in our systems at that given moment.
You can look for this logo when shopping as a mindful way to think about possible end-of-life solutions for your purchases. This logo is often accompanied by instructions on how to send your garment to us at its end-of-life.
the regenerated alternative to conventional polyester, made from landfill-destined textile ‘waste’ by ambercycling, and designed for infinite regeneration
Polyester is the most used material in fashion, and therefore the main material that we ambercycle today. The output of the process is cycora™, which can be used in any instance where conventional polyester is currently used. cycora™ is made of vintage molecules.
vin·tage | mol·e·cules
denoting molecules of high quality with a rich past and character
Each fiber has a story to tell, and we can help write a part of its narrative. We believe that buying material with a storied past and character is more valuable than buying new molecules made from oil.
If we think about our materials as ongoing stories, we can consciously learn about their past, mindfully play a part in their present, and set them on a continuous path for their future.