This was a deep dive into how Avery Dennison’s Digital Care Label solution can be used in an upcycling context. Not only were UpWest sweaters granted a second life thanks to being ‘re-imagined’ into new items, digital triggers also made the new products traceable and transparent for consumers to continue the sustainability journey.
Jon Day, MDM for digital product & sustainability, Avery Dennison said: “We wanted to see what it would look like to really scale up upcycling, and show the possibilities of extending the life of a garment.” He said that while Avery Dennison has been around for 80 years, the company’s focus is very much about facilitating circularity in fashion for a greener tomorrow. “Today we have a fully-fledged vision for digital innovation for consumer engagement – truly advancing the circular economy.”
Similarly, UpWest is continually seeking ways to benefit the planet, explained Rob Smith, the lifestyle brand’s director of sourcing & production. As part of this mission, the company began exploring how upcycling could extend the life of products. They began talking to ReCircled, which was founded in 2019 and has circular fashion processing facilities in Nebraska and Colorado in the US, and Tuscany in Italy. A collection of UpWest chenille sweaters was ‘re-imagined’ by ReCircled, resulting in a range of winter blankets, dog sweaters and mittens, which launched online in October 2021.
UpWest and ReCircled enlisted Avery Dennison to provide the digital triggers and data connectivity essential to complete the circularity loop. Consumers simply scan a product’s QR code at purchase with Avery Dennison’s Digital Hang Tags and post-purchase via Avery Dennison’s Digital Care Label. Helping engage consumers, the QR codes take shoppers on an information journey. The digital experience, activated through a smartphone, provides guidance on garment care and allows customers to engage closely with the UpWest brand.
This pilot has showcased Avery Dennison’s ability to provide a total solution – a physical trigger to a digital experience, data management, and applications for brands, consumers, and the wider apparel industry to utilize.