Our home town is Manly, Australia. It’s a special place.
Each morning many of our team are out surfing or swimming around the point to Shelly Beach with giant blue groper fish (see Billy the Groper below) and thousands of colourful fish. We love our environment and we are making choices to help protect it for future generations.
Billy the Groper at Cabbage Tree Bay Reserve, Manly
Fashion… particularly fast fashion is a massive fuck stick for the environment. It hurts in a number of ways: Production, Transport and Packaging. Packaging of the product in single use plastic is arguably the worst offender of all.
Our focus is for all our products to be built to last and we love nothing more than seeing pairs from many years ago still being repped at beaches around the world.
Production and the Product. Good and Bad News.
Our main product is swimwear and there is some bad news but also a fair bit of good news when it comes to swimwear compared to other products.
The Fabric: We’ll provide the bad news first. The main bad news is that our swimwear is made from chlorine resistant fabric that contains polyester which is a plastic but before you get too down on yourself keep in mind that an average pair of smugglers use one-fifth the amount of fabric as a pair of typical board shorts (with knee-length boardies being the worst offenders).
The Production: We use dye sublimation printing to get your smugglers as bright and spicy as technology will allow. Compared to screen printing it uses a lot less water. It is also way ahead of the old heat sealed plastisol prints (remember the iron on numbers at school falling off :)
The other good news is that we use precision placement printing & laser cutting. This means the minimal wastage as possible.
Our production and warehouse are all in Sydney which removes the transport environmental impact of shipping from overseas to Australia.
In 2020 we have made the shift to compostable packaging. Aside from some legacy items that were previously packaged in non-compostable packaging, all packaging (including the postage bags) from 2020 and beyond is a form that can be broken down and eaten by worms!
Investing in the Environment
Our previous packaging was given to us by suppliers at no cost. We now provide the compostable packaging at a cost of more than $40k AUD per year. We see this as a price worth paying.
Board Short Extinction Rebellion
Budgy Smuggler is involved in the board short extinction rebellion campaign. A non-violent movement to prevent 1 billion board shorts from entering our waters. That’s the equivalent of approximately 500 billion straws!
Info for the back-burner...
One option is that there are suppliers that make from plastic bottles. There are a couple of drawbacks here.
- The main one is that we’ve heard people are making the plastic bottles specifically to recycle them as it’s a lot easier than recycling used bottles. This obviously defeats the purpose.
- At this stage it looks like the garments don’t last as long… so just end up in a landfill sooner.
- They still end as micro-plastics.
- Potentially, as it stands, this may be doing more harm than good?
We are looking into how we can find the best balance thought for our long term smuggling sustainability.
Overall we at looking at how we minimise all packaging to either zero packaging (eg. just all delivered in on big box) OR biodegradable/eco-friendly options by the end of 2020.