Tee Tag is a rental business that offers rebrandable workwear primarily for campaigns and events. Todays linear solution use large amounts of cheap, low quality textiles with a short lifetime. The total amount of pollution that stems from textile production is second only to the oil industry and is greater still than that of transportation. This pollution harms textile workers, the consumer and the environment. The system is no longer sustainable: It demands expansion, consuming precious, finite resources, creates vast amounts of textile waste, ignoring the potential for the reuse & recycling of clothing and takes little to no responsibility for its severe environmental impact.
"Today's textile industry is built on an outdated linear, take-make-dispose model and is hugely wasteful and polluting."
Ellen MacArthur (MacArthur, E, 2017)
We talked to people about feeling defeated when facing such a big issue and then being asked to take responsibility. Expecting the consumer to fix this with little to no tools is an ungraspable task. We want the collaboration between a business and their employees to make this overwhelming task more accessible - thereby making change easier, not only at work, but also at home. We believe a little inspiration can go a long way when learning about textile waste and acting out counter measurements. We believe as many others that the change lies in circularity. In a circular economy clothes would be cleaned, repaired and then redistributed.
"Increasing the average number of times clothes are worn is the most direct lever to capture value wand design out waste and pollution in the textiles system."
A New Textiles Economy (Morlet et al., 2017, p. 24)
Tee Tag offers high quality, environmentally friendly clothes made under humane conditions. But this demands durability. By using clothing, textiles and fibres of a high quality we can not only achieve longer use, but clothes that can re-enter a circular economy to exponentially reduce waste. Making durability more attractive and accessible will help save valuable natural resources. By rebranding the clothes for each event we will prolong their lifetime, making them a more affordable and greener solution. We worked closely with businesses and their employees to find a solution they would both be happy with. The idea of wearing used clothes was a relief to most people, as they would no longer need to throw away their uniforms. Some had restrictions and it was clear to us how important it was that we expressed cleanliness, trust and quality through our visual identity.
Ellen MacArtAhur foundation, the (2017, 28. November). One garbage truck of textiles wasted every second: report creates vision for change. From https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/news/one-garbage-truck-of-textiles-wasted-every-second-report-creates-vision-for-change
Morlet, A, Opsomer, A, Dr Herrmann, S, Balmond, L, Gillet, C, Fuchs, L / The Ellen MacArthur foundation (2017). A New Textiles Economy. https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/assets/downloads/publications/A-New-Textiles-Economy_Full-Report_Updated_1-12-17.pdf
Advertising Tee Tag
Example of t-shirt
Packaging around t-shirts
Opening a t-shirt
Labeling on t-shirt
The t-shirt packaged
Elements of the t-shirt
Colouring the t-shirts (test)
Colouring the t-shirts (test)
Studying the preservation of natural resources through recycling & reuse was fulfilling and important to us. To begin with we acquainted ourselves with the everyday realities of the textile industry. We were shocked & appalled by the extent of modern day slavery, child labour and the disregard for the environment. The experience was eye opening. We looked at our own wardrobes and shamefully whispered to each other about how many garments we owned. The whole textile industry is so large, overwhelmingly complicated and difficult to change. We knew we couldn't fix everything, but we could examine the system and identify trends & potential changes in the textile industry. Today's cycle of clothing production, use & disposal is dangerously wasteful. Non-renewable resources are used to produce clothes with little concern for durability, made to fulfil temporary consumer desire for short term trends, which in most cases end up in landfill sites, where they decompose extremely slowly, or are burnt. Todays textile industry uses many non-renewable materials to make garments that have over a 50% chance of being worn & then discarded in under a year(Morlet.et.al.,2017,p.21). The textile industry is responsible for 20% of industrial pollution of water(Morlet.et.al.,2017,p.21). Examining the negative impacts on the environment, there is no doubt that if the status quo is left to continue the damaging effect on our environment will increase exponentially.
Our main priority has been to talk to users and experts, primarily to educate ourselves on the textile industry & inter industry communications, areas of knowledge that were somewhat new to us. We decided to look at short-term workwear after research showed that employees just wanted their uniforms to fit and be clean. We talked to businesses and employees and found that short term uniforms were mostly discarded unable to be recycled because of low quality and non-removable logos. We also asked people about wearing second hand t-shirts as work wear. Most of them were positive about this.
"That sounds super, then I wouldn't have to throw them away."
Feedback about hygiene made us see the importance of expressing cleanliness and being trustworthy. In the beginning we focused mostly on the actual t-shirts in the service, but understood after speaking to the people responsible for ordering t-shirts that including the order system and logistics was crucial and of great value.
"Everything is done via phone and mail[..] I end up needing to go look at old excel sheets. The system is cumbersome."
Head of marketing,Tanum bookstore
Our goal is to reduce textile waste, create a stronger understanding of quality textiles and enable the consumer to affect the environment. We want to facilitate the buying quality of garments for an affordable price, to enable customers to easily quit buying low quality cheap clothes. Our service will give people a sense of pride in themselves and their place of business. Instead of being one person alone people should feel connected and inspired to look at their own wardrobe differently. We want them to feel good about contributing and get inspired to do more. Our tone of voice can not be patronising. Businesses who use a lot of cheap workwear will not be swayed by us looking down our noses at them. By focusing on uniting our goals and needs we will get further.
When working together on a marketing campaign we want to lend our identity to a business to make it clear they are wearing rented reusable workwear but still give a feeling that it belongs to them. We will adopt their colours in touchpoints like with packaging and "My page" on the website with visual elements. The simplicity of our visual elements will make it easier to blend with another brand. Through these measures we want our customers to feel included, a part of our common goal.
At first we had a stronger "environmental style," but after receiving feedback that this could be seen as green-washing we have worked to create a service that does not convey this. Because we are offering a circular service to be used by businesses that are not always circular themselves, this is a challenge we will always have to consider. This is why we chose a calmer environmental expression that also makes us more inclusive.
For the print we would use an environmentally friendly ink developed by the company Refinity that can be applied by hand or with a digital printer. The ink is removed by soaking, rinsing and resoaking in a water and detergent mix, followed by a normal wash. It will leave no trace and the t-shirt can be reused(Fillipetti,J,2012.). Pictures attached are showing the process of removing ink by Fioen. This is under development, but the ink works as we want it to and therefore we have chosen to go for it. The ink needs some adjustment to work fully correctly in the printer.
Our target audience includes the individual responsible for purchasing who orders the t-shirt, and the employees who will wear the uniform. The purchasing individual and the employees require different approaches for engagement. For the purchasing individual we wanted ordering to be simple and stressless, for the product to work, for them to see it as a marketing opportunity and as a way to build a stronger sense of community inside the company. For the employees we wanted to build trust, a sense of pride in oneself and in the company, and to visualise the circularity of it. So we had to consider them both and build user journeys and stories for each one.
The discovery of Tee Tag can happen through recommendations from employees or through social media. After discovery a company will see that Tee Tag is a serious contender through our website. Through our climate test they should be shocked at how much they pollute and pleased to see how much they can save the planet. They can ask for a quote and receive a reply to see that the alternative costs is about the same as they spend today.They log onto "My TeeTag" page and place their order.
When employees receive uniforms their first impression will be that it looks professional and seems like a trustworthy company. The t-shirts are packed in an unusual way which peeks their curiosity. They are intrigued and read the information on the packaging note. They are relieved that they no longer need to throw away the t-shirts.
Employees know the t-shirt is better for the environment and this makes them feel proud. They get a sense of community from doing this together for a good cause and without much strain on their part. While working customers ask about their t-shirts and they happily answer questions and explain the service. A picture of employees can be shared on the companys social media page.
After a campaign employees get a notification to hand the t-shirts back. On the return-box they see this message "Thanks for having me! By using and bringing back this t-shirt you are contributing to a more sustainable textile industry." This should make employees feel proud. The whole experience has the potential to affect how they buy and use their own clothes.
The company will then receive a climate calculation that shows how much they have saved compared to what they used before. They can share this information on social media and hang the calculation in the staff room to see how the employees react to it.
We wanted the website to be simple, organized and professional to increase confidence in us. We want to use all our customers colours on the website, so that every time you reload a page it changes colours monochronically to show how we blend with a company. On this page you can choose to look at previous and current customers so you can see how long they have been using TeeTag and who you can visit if you want to see the service in action. From here you can take a climate test and choose to receive a quote. Let's say you've done this and now you are back on the website to log on. This brings you to your own page that you can customize depending on your needs. You can save templates or change things, if necessary. The climate test will allow customers to view the opportunities for improved environmental outcomes at the company with Tee Tag. This is a way of persuading a customer, inspiring someone to mention it at work, share it on social media or just be aware of us.
Fillipetti,J.(2012,01.juni).refinity removable prints let users redesign their clothing.Designboom. https://www.designboom.com/technology/refinity-removable-prints-let-users-redesign-their-clothing/?fbclid=IwAR0kozhcEswjyd2Td-UAqd9NR5fqlAn4C4p0iX9uFJFCJy03BclDfxmaXVk
Morlet,A,Opsomer,A,Dr.Herrmann,S,Balmond,L,Gillet,C,Fuchs,L/The Ellen MacArthur foundation(2017).A New Textiles Economy. https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/assets/downloads/publications/A-New-Textiles-Economy_Full-Report_Updated_1-12-17.pdf