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SUSTAINABILITY RATING: 3/5
A relatively new brand, Nimble Activewear was launched in 2014 and has quickly built a cult following in its home market of Australia. The founders put great emphasis on sustainability, both in terms of fabrics and packaging materials.
Nimble uses custom engineered and made fabrics in much of its product line: MoveLite and COMPRESSLITE™. The material is a hard-wearing lightweight compression blend, that is made in a Taiwanese fabric knitting mill. These materials are created using used and recycled plastics. Since 2015, the brand has recycled over a million plastic bottles. When it comes to packaging, the brand is also taking steps in the right direction. Rather than using plastic bags, Nimble distributes products in poly bags which are industrially recyclable. The brand’s swing tags are made using recycled PET and organic cotton. What’s more, the company claims that its supply partner is‘committed to reforestation practices, planting new trees to recover the amount of paper produced.’
As already mentioned, Nimble’s final stage of production takes place in Taiwan, which is a medium risk when it comes to labour welfare issues. The brand is not listed as part of the Fashion Transparency Index, and so has no rating, but this is common amongst smaller companies. Currently, Nimble does not seem to have published any information regarding labour welfare, or whether employees in its supply chain are paid a fair, living wage. However, Nimble does trace a majority of its supply chain to both the second and final stages of production. There is room for improvement when it comes to transparency.
One of the brand’s biggest strengths is that it has a short supply chain. Nimble products are crafted from raw material all the way to completed products within an 80km radius in Taiwan. This allows the brand to reduce the overall carbon footprint of its manufacturing. Nimble is making moves away from virgin polyester and towards recycled materials for their products. Creating polyester from recycled materials emits 54.6% less carbon dioxide than using virgin materials, stated one of Nimble’s founders in a recent case study.