You know that sustainability is at the forefront of our ethos, but lets talk about how we are also an ethical brand. How can we be sure that we are contributing to a circular economy while being socially conscious and philanthropic as well? A.C.F has established a “by-product synergy” Charity Initiative. This consists of utilising waste fabric from our products and using it to make a new product. We aim to utilise 100% of our fabric wastage and use it for philanthropic purposes, reinforcing our brand ethos while giving back to the communities that we work with. We at A.C.F. look at the entire life cycle of our product. We believe in the importance of a circular economy; taking responsibility for our product for its entire life span, rather than just producing a product without thinking about how it is disposed. The same goes for the waste in our factories. In the average clothing factory, around 21.76% of the original material produced ends up as waste. This creates a large amount of by-product that is often distributed to landfills. In Hong Kong alone, around 253 tons of textiles are sent to landfills per day. The environmental impact of this can be detrimental when considering it takes 6 months for a cotton t-shirt and a frightening 200 years for a polyester t-shirt to decompose. The gases emitted from these fast-growing landfills are harmful to the environment and contribute to global warming. As we know, the issues of global warming are countless and we must do everything in our power to create a greener planet. We are filling landfills much faster than they are able to stand. So, how do we turn our waste into charitable products? Firstly A.C.F are creating cuddly stuffed teddies for orphaned children living in the provinces of China. These teddies are made and stuffed entirely with waste fabrics. This initiative involves utilising all of A.C.F’s fabric wastage to create bears that are donated to hospital patients and Dongguan City Orphanage. This orphanage is responsible for over 500 children. Out of these children, about 45 get adopted every year. Many of these children have been abandoned because they have special needs, often needing specialised care. Unfortunately, the number of disabled orphans is on the rise, with dozens of abandoned children reported everyday. Most of them will spend their entire childhoods in these orphanages, never being adopted or fostered. Although the orphanage feels like a community, it is hard to believe that all of these children grow up without a family. You can find out more about ‘Chinas forgotten children’ here. The small gesture of being given a teddy of their own will make a difference to their welfare, as the orphanage does not always have the finances to provide personal toys. This initiative avoids large amounts of fabric waste contributing to landfill, while making an important social impact. Another charity initiative that we are launching is “Paws & Pullovers” in collaboration with SPCA Hong Kong. Our leftover textiles are used to create warm doggy clothing or dog beds. This ensures that abandoned and surrendered dogs are warm and have a place to sleep when winter temperatures drop below 10 degrees and during adverse weather conditions. The SPCA saves dogs from Animal Management Centres, where around 7,000 dogs and puppies are destroyed each year. The SPCA temporarily fosters these dogs while finding them new homes. By producing dog beds and clothing for the charity, A.C.F will relieve the charity of a large cost. These funds can now be used towards HKDR’s Education and Training Centre that helps improves dog-human understanding and works towards reducing the number of pets being abandoned. Lastly, but certainly not least, we are using leftover textile waste for “Blankets for the homeless’”, a charity initiative that avoids disposing waste and helps a worthy cause. Collaborating with NYC Rescue, we will produce durable, fully recycled blankets for those having to spend winter outside. Around 63,343 people, including children, are sleeping rough on the streets of New York. This is rarely through fault of their own. Often suffering from mental illness these people are in desperate need of help. A.C.F’s contribution of blankets to NYC Rescue will contribute to financial relief of the charity. Therefore the charity can focus their donations towards ending homelessness, through employment workshops and re-housing as well as providing medical care. We hope that this contribution will result in rebuilding lives. A.C.F strives to be at the forefront of philanthropy, sustainability, and social change. Our charity initiatives give back to the communities that we work and live in as well as on a global scale. This “by-product synergy” commits to a circular economy and a more conscious society.