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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Friday, February 23, 2024

Brands who deserve your dollars: Unspun

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Denim jeans are an item that most people have in their closet, but they are also one of the worst offenders in the apparel industry when it comes to polluting the environment.To grow just enough cotton to make one pair of jeans, 1,800 gallons of water are required. Furthermore, the additional dyeing process and machine washing used to make jeans means that one pair uses around 9,982 gallons of water. So while it is clear the industry needs to change to help the environment, it is sometimes unclear what steps in the production process can be changed to make improvements. 

Unspun is one company trying to change the status quo by making jeans with a software and production method to make custom jeans for each customer. The company defines itself as “a robotics and digital apparel company,” and it has the following ambitious goal: “Our mission is to reduce global carbon emissions by 1% through automated, localized, and intentional manufacturing.” Beyond the revolutionary software that fits customers based on their 3D avatar,Unspun locally sources its materials, using low-impact fabrics and an on-demand manufacturing process.

This on-demand manufacturing process means that the brand has moved past the widespread issue of clothing brands wasting significant leftover inventory. Traditional industry methods lead to an annual production of 100 billion pieces of clothing, about 60% of which goes to the landfill within a year.Unspun notes that this current norm of production results in everyone losing: “The retailer juggles excess inventory, devastating markdowns, and waste; the factory gets pushed to make more and more for less and less; the consumer gets frustrated with having to find where they fit the product instead of where the product fits them; and the planet slowly (or not so slowly) gets destroyed by greenhouse gas emissions, never-ending waste, and toxic pollution.” Overall, Unspun has created a more productive business model that improves everyone’s shopping experience. 

While environmental benefits are at the core of Unspun, the company also acknowledges other issues with the fashion industry and addresses how its custom fit technology can improve these issues. On the topic of inclusivity and sizing, the company says the following: “Discrimination and bias are inherently baked into the fashion industry. Sizes are built upon the concept of assumption - assuming how a body should be. There is a lot of institutional and racial bias embedded in sizing, and we need to get rid of sizes altogether and instead custom-fit products around actual people in real time.” The idea that Unspun has considered how it can improve the issues in the fashion industry around inclusion and sizing is evidence of how it is truly a mission-based company. But with all of that said about how Unspun stands for such positive ideas, it is also worth noting that its jeans have an amazing fit because of the revolutionary fitting technology.