Sustainability in the textile industry - the sustainable movement

Introduction

Thanks to Lennart Blok from Alterego en Tim Hoekstra, we have been able to produce a fantastic video that reflects in an original way what Oxious stands for and what our drive is. The short movie reflects the mission of creating transparency, equality and awareness in the textile supply chain. In this article you will learn more about who Oxious is and our movement towards a more transparent textile industry.

Content

  1. Sustainable entrepreneurship in a polluted industry 
  2. Oxious shows that it could be done differently
    1. Turkey 
    2. More than textile
    3. Community
    4. Conscious distribution
    5. Looking for new connections
  3. The future 
    1. 100% circularity 
    2. New projects, new chances
    3. Explanatory role in the textile industry
    4. Plastic free world
    5. Planet positive
  4. Are you interested? 

Sustainable entrepreneurship in a polluted industry

There is a lot of ground that needs to be covered in the textile industry to make the production process more sustainable. For producing new textile, you will need thousand of liters of water and besides that, there is an exponentially growing amount of textile garbage. Oxious shows that there is another way of operating and shows this throughout their towels. By consciously making use of recycled textile, we are able to save the biggest part of water in our production process. With the women's project, we offered woman from a small village in turkey qual opportunities and chances. This means fair wages, insurance and building up an pension.

Entrepreneurship from the heart

We are Esther and Loes, two entrepreneurs with a mission to change the textile industry. Oxious originated as a sustainable alternative in promotional gifts where transparency and honesty are at the heart of the company. This vision is reflected in the name Oxious; Oxious; a combination between Oxygen because we are conscious in every step in the production process. Conscious because we are aware of every step in the production process.

Oxious started as a business to business supplier, enabling us to make an impact on other companies. Together with our distributors, we provide tailor-made gifts for various non-profit organizations, retail brands and companies. For example, we offer letterbox gift packaging that can be delivered to homes on behalf of businesses, allowing the company to show that their customers or staff are valued. Each box describes how we produce the products to include the recipients in our story. 

We felt that we could make more of an impact and chose to expand the sustainable movement to retail. Our Online webshop has recently been opened and the number of retail outlets is growing simultaneously!




Oxious shows that it could be done differently

"We don't believe in the old-fashioned economy where revenue and margin are the most important assets of entrepeneurship. it is much more important to be transparent about the proces."
Esther Smit
Co-founder Oxious

At the moment, the textile industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world. The production of textiles requires large amounts of land, water, energy and chemicals and CO2 emissions are extremely high. This process leaves a huge ecological footprint and the waste pile grows existentially.

 

Due to the rise of "fast fashion" the turnover rate of clothing has become a lot shorter, causing an enormous increase in the production of textiles. The fashion industry is driven by profit margins and facilitates consumer buying behaviour. In addition, child labor is still used in poor areas in the production or recycling of textiles. These are movements that we want to counter and with our story we want to create a sustainable movement that everyone can participate in.

 

At Oxious, the hammam towels are made from 50% recycled material and 50% OEKO-tex certified virgin cotton. The recycled materials are yarns made from waste textile collected from various locations. Waste from our workshop is also collected to ensure our zero-waste policy. No paint is added in this recycling process, so we work with the colors that can be delivered at that time. This is definitely challenging, but it awards Oxious with satisfaction and even more pride in the end result; a transparent, honest and sustainable product of top quality! The carrier that Oxious has designed for the hammam towels is made from recycled jeans, bringing new life to old garments and gradually reducing the waste pile in the textile industry.  

 

Our sustainable movement has been rewarded by Global Sustainable Enterprise System (an organization that assesses and supports companies in sustainable and circular entrepreneurship). GSES has classified our hammam towels as the first product with a Sustainable A status in 2020 and eerste product geclassificeerd met een Sustainable A status en inmiddels is ons product zelfs uitgegroeid tot een beoordeling van Sustainable AA status! Daarnaast is onze hamamdoek gecertificeerd als ‘Class 1’-product volgens de ‘Circulair Product Footprint’-index.

 

Collection Impression

Oxious offers a standard collection in the Online webshopWe offer personalised hammam towels as well. For example adding a company logo, company name or a personal note. Contact your supplier of promotional gifts yourself, or ask us to discuss how we can realize the best product for you. We produce our personalised towels for both large and smaller companies. Below you can find two examples of dutch companies. Vaan Yachts en Atelier Jungles, they make sure that their sustainable mission will be translated into their corporate gifts.

Turkey

In 2016 we ended up in a small mountain village in Turkey where the craft of weaving originated. We decided to set up our atelier here and start the Womens project op te starten.

 

Working outside the house has already become normalized for women in the big cities in Turkey however, there is a big contrast compared to the small villages. Women who weave in the villages do this from home and receive a small refund for their services. This should change!! We believe that those women deserve opportunities with fair income for the work they do.

 

Initially, three women responded to our vacancy and visited us with their husbands, insecure and quiet. During the years the number of women grew. Now, 14 women are employed and it is wonderful to see what personal developments they have made in recent years. The women have developed into independent women with self-confidence who can guide each other and have the technical knowledge to work with the weaving machines themselves. Two of them even got their driver's license and were the first women in the village to do so!

 

With the work that the women do in the studio, they receive fair wages above the established minimum wage in Turkey, they are insured and they build up a pension here. In the meantime, other weaving businesses have been inspired to also employ women so we can proudly say that the Womens project is a success. This is how we create a new balance!




More than textile

"By telling our story in a transparant way, everyone gets a chance to be part fo the sustainable movement."
Loes Stapper
Co-founder Oxious

The sustainable movement goes beyond the production of the hammam towels as we are conscious in every step we take. This means that we pack the towels consciously and send them responsibly to the customer or end-consumer.

 

Oxious is aware of the large amounts of trees that are cut down for the production of cardboard, trees that provide us with clean oxygen. Because we value the reduction of resources, we have entered into a partnership with PaperWise . PaperWise is an organization that instead of trees, uses agricultural waste as a raw material for the production of paper and cardboard. Using agricultural residual material as raw material for paper and cardboard has many advantages:

  • Reduce CO2
  • Reduction of residual waste in agriculture
  • Reduction in felling trees
  • Agricultural residual waste is more effective than using wood chips 
  • In terms of quality, agricultural residual waste is many times stronger

Our sustainable packaging is produced in collaboration with PaperWise or from recycled cardboard. The packaging produced from agricultural waste is fully biodegradable and therefore it can be used as compost for your own vegetable garden.




Oxious is always looking to reduce its ecological footprint. For example, parts of the transport from Turkey that used to be by road have been replaced by train connections and boat transport. We overcompensate for the CO2 that we still emit during transport through the collaboration Trees for AllWe support them in their projects to plant new trees that will provide us with clean oxygen and increase animal habitats in, for example, the rainforest.

Community

In order to create a sustainable world, it is important that everyone is given the opportunity to develop and contribute to society. Unfortunately, too many groups of people in the world have been deprived of these opportunities. In order to offer people who are distanciated from the labor market opportunities, various sheltered workshops have been set up. Oxious has the sustainable carrier produced by Stichting Stunt en Talentfabriek 010two local organizations that help individuals to socially activate themselves and reintegrate into the labor market.

 

Women are more empowered, involved and given more rights in the last decades. Yet in poorer areas you see that women have unequal opportunities in the labor market and receive very small earnings for the work they do despite the drive and ambition they have. Return to Sender was founded with the mission to help these women build a life for themselves and their families through fair and sustainable trade. The revenue from the products they make, as the name suggests, goes directly back to the maker. Oxious fully supports this project and we are proud of our partnership.

 

 

Conscious distribution

The last step in our process is the distribution of the sustainable hammam towels, a step in which we also seek the right balance. Oxious likes to connect the brand to distributors who share the same sustainable movement ideology. It is nice to see that there are many distributors who are consciously involved with the products they offer and are committed to making an impact in the world.

 

In order to translate the ambitions of our brand to our customers, we came into contact with Heldergroen. Through them we were able to properly portray and position our vision and movement in the market.

 

Oxious has been able to grow through distributors who support our story. Greenmotion was the first like-minded distributor to embrace our story in a range of sustainable business gifts. Many distributors followed and many great collaborations were established and we built a sustainable network. In addition to promotional gifts, we have introduced our story to retail. We are delighted to partner with Prospects In our retail adventure. Prospects Prospectt offers products with an inspiring story that support the sustainable movement.

Looking for new connections

Oxious is continuously looking for like-minded companies that want to join forces with us to make more impact. After all, together we can achieve much more than alone. Are you a company that:

  • Be part of a sustainable movement?
  • Want to make impact with your products?
  • Be aware of the transparency in the supply chain?
  • Says STOP to exploitation and pollution 

 

Get in touch with us throughout the contactform, by telephone or make an appointment at our location and perhaps we can look forward to a great collaboration!

The future

100% circularity

Oxious is continuously optimizing the sustainability of production processes and to enhance the no waste policy in the production process. Towels with weaving errors are reused by partners who make new products from the fabric, such as a bag project made by Talentfabriek010 commissioned by the municipality of Rotterdam, another example is Ressies, they use the towels to make surf ponchos with employees who are distanciated from the labor market. We strive for 100% circularity and in addition to using waste from the textile industry, we are constantly developing to insert more and more post-consumer textile waste in our products. Esther started the Circular Cotton Initiative in collaboration with other female entrepreneurs. Circulair Katoen Initiatief The ambition of this initiative is to achieve products with at least 60% post-consumer recycled textile products without the addition of recycled PET.

New projects that create chances

We are currently working on a new project in refugee camps on the Syrian border, where women are given the opportunity to produce sustainable bags for us and thus build a new life. We hope to tell you more about this project soon, so keep an eye on our social media channels: Linkedin & Instagram 




Explanatory role in the textile industry

Recently Oxious started a new project to obtain the B-corp certificate. Fair production has been of importance for us since day one. A B-Corp certification is exclusively for companies that, based on their intrinsic motivation, strive for the highest standards of social and environmental performance, responsibility and transparency. This project has just started and we can't wait to share the progress with you!

"We are nature and we are part of nature, that's what I love about Oxious; the circular mindset. You get something and you take something"
Tim Hoekstra
Beach Artist

Plasticfree world

A plastic free world To convert the waste cotton into usable yarns for the hammam towels, a binding substance is required in the process that is made from recycled PET bottles. As great as it is that PET can be converted into reusable material, this process also has its drawbacks; small particles of plastic can be released into the water when washing the products. This is not a development we stand for, which is why we use minimal amounts of recycled PET in our collections. We are continuously looking for new innovative solutions in which we can use our recycled materials without releasing fine particles of plastic into the water. We follow developments in our network such as Up-Set Textile, which is committed to developing sustainable yarns and textiles without the addition of plastic. We are monitoring the progress and hope to be able to work with the solutions soon.

Planet positive

Planet positive Oxious strives for a climate neutral production process. We are investigating the possibilities to take the next important step; building a CO2 neutral production company. We are already busy getting this project off the ground, literally… we are looking to purchase land to realize this sustainable dream. Follow us Linkedin & Instagram in this sustainable mission.

Are you interested?

Would you like to know more about our approach, take a step towards a more purpose-driven and transparent way of doing business or know more about our product range? 

 

Make an appointment with the Oxious team and we'll talk soon!