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Industry Talk

Sharing stories with the Digital Care Label

Many consumers remove the physical care labels from garments, while brands underutilise them, the company says.

5th October 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Glendale, CA, USA

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable

Glendale, California-headquartered Avery Dennison is partnering with lifestyle brand UpWest, and ReCircled, an apparel and footwear recycling and reuse-focused organisation, to demonstrate how its Digital Care Label solution can be used in an upcycling context.

All garments sold must have a physical care and content label to communicate product information, such as washing instructions and material composition. Avery Dennison’s Digital Care Label digitises this information to provide consumers with a sustainability story around a garment’s origins and where they can dispose of it.

UpWest began exploring how upcycling could extend the life of products, particularly its existing sweater inventory. In partnership with ReCircled’s team of re-imagineers, a collection of upcycled chenille items was developed – winter blankets, dog-sweaters and mittens – to be launched online in October.

Avery Dennison was enlisted to provide the digital triggers and data connectivity essential to complete the circularity loop.

Consumers can scan the QR code at purchase with Avery Dennison’s digital hang tags, and post purchase via the Digital Care Label. The QR code on these tags and labels can be be scanned to outline the item’s story, provide guidance on garment care, and allow engagement with the UpWest brand.

Currently many consumers remove the physical care label from a garment, while brands underutilise it. This increases the risk of the garment ending up in landfill rather than being resold, upcycled or recycled. By contrast, Avery Dennison says its new Digital Care Label helps advance the circular economy as recyclers and upcyclers can be confident of composition and resellers will be able to check authenticity.

 “This pilot provides a great way for consumers to engage with these comfort-focused lines,” said Sarah Swenson, global senior sustainability manager at Avery Dennison RBIS.  “UpWest and ReCircled have created an enticing narrative that will allow customers to feel positive about making eco-friendly choices.”

 “We wanted to combine both upcycling and new ways to interact with our consumers,” added Rob Smith, director of production and sourcing at UpWest. “Avery Dennison provides a holistic solution that allows us to pique consumers’ interest, and is a game changer in terms of giving us another route to share our story and our purpose.”

Ambercycle, Avery Dennison’s first partner for its Digital Care Label, is an end-of-life textile recycler which creates garments from polyester destined for landfill. The collaboration saw intelligent care labels being attached to Ambercycle’s garments, with a QR code linked to an app.

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