Earlier this month, Swedish brand Röjk announced that by 2020, their entire line of apparel will be 100% natural and biodegradable. The sustainability focused company wants you to feel that when your old hoodie or jacket has reached the end of its life cycle, you can choose to either recycle it or put it in the ground and grow vegetables from it.
“Other brands fight over who can bark the loudest about using recycled synthetics, and sure, they may be better than non-recycled ones, but they are neither biodegradable nor natural and they still contribute to demand from the supply chain. This is not the way to rid our oceans and forests, or even food, of micro plastics,” Linus Zetterlund, marketing director at Röjk, told the team at ISPO.
Röjk is already quite focused on sustainability. For example, their Rover Anorak is made from Bluesign-certified EVO bio polymer fabric — a fabric created out of 100% resin oil from castor beans that are harvested in the wild, do not require any additional watering, and do not compete with food chain.
But the company wants to take it one step further by not only making the fabrics, zippers, drawcords, and trims biodegradable, but the colors used in the dying process as well. Röjk teamed up with Archroma to use dyes made from recycled foods such as nuts, vegetables, spices and so on the from the food processing industry — these dyes are already used by outdoor brands such as Patagonia and Kathmandu.
The company has also promised that all their packaging materials will be 100% biodegradable no later than 2023.
With a line comprised mostly of base layers and mid layers, I can imagine it will be easier for Röjk to go fully biodegradable than a brand with a full suit of technical outerwear. Nevertheless, Röjk is setting a great example for the rest of the outdoor industry.