FAQs

Need help? Find our frequently asked questions below.

FAQs:

Fabric Upcycling

Why do you upcycle fabric waste?
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It’s estimated that every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or incinerated and that every year, 92 million tons of textile waste is generated by the fashion industry. We want to capture some of this waste as our direct experience has shown us that so much of it is gorgeous, top quality fabrics that we know deserve to stay in wardrobes and not become waste. That is why we are focussed on rescuing and reusing these textile waste - instead of using virgin materials - to protect the environment whilst creating beautiful clothes that you will love.

How good is upcycling at protecting the environment?
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It’s amazing! We think upcycling pre-existing materials that would otherwise be wasted - instead of using virgin materials - is one of the most immediately beneficial and impactful methods of making the fashion industry more sustainable. And the numbers back us up! Thanks to our partners, RESET Carbon, we conducted a life-cycle assessment on our first collection, analysing the environment impacts of every step of our own production processes using waste materials - instead of using virgin materials. The results suggest that our typical upcycled jackets have a 60% reduced carbon footprint compared with one made from virgin materials, which is equivalent to diverting 14,882 plastic bottles from landfill. (Of course, not buying any new clothes would create the most amount of savings!).

What sort of fabric waste do you upcycle?
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We’re sophisticated and stylish textile waste savers! Currently, we mainly upcycle luxury brands, mills and manufacturers’ gorgeous, top quality waste that has never been used before, which is often called deadstock or pre-consumer waste. We also take in textile swatches (which are leftover textile samples from production), sampling yardage (which are factory surplus waste leftover from textile sample manufacturing) to unsold, brand new clothing. We want to rescue as much top quality fabrics as possible, including natural and man-made fibres.

Where do you get your fabrics from?
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We rescue waste from where its needed. We have incredible access to waste through our networks with the fashion industry, from luxury brands, mills to manufacturers. Through our partnerships, we provide them with solution for their waste - which many companies encounter despite running great businesses - whilst providing them with a unique route to get their quality fabrics back into the fashion loop. Believe us, they don’t want to waste their fabrics either. We spend time working with our fabric partners; they tell us what fabrics they can’t use and can’t dispose of elsewhere and we then swoop in to rescue them. We would love to tell you where the waste comes from, but for now our partners would like to keep this under wraps.

Are the fabrics in good quality?
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Yes, the fabrics that we rescue to reuse are in top quality condition and from reputable partners who themselves have quality supply chains and fabrics. We are committed to using quality fabrics only, because we value longevity and we only want to upcycle the best.

Do you inspect and test the fabrics?
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Yes! Our own team includes fabric experts - who collectively have spent nearly 100 years handling textiles - and so we first check the samples and their incoming test results, if we have them. We have a partnership with a world-leading testing and verification company who then retests our proposed fabrics for chemicals of concern and physical properties, like colour fastness, shrinkage and seam slip allowance, so that we only upcycle quality fabrics back into the fashion system. If our partners identify any weaknesses in the fabrics, then we do not upcycle them and instead we donate the fabrics to our charity partners, Redress.

Do you upcycle secondhand clothes?
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In the past, we have upcycled post-consumer secondhand clothing into new garments, which is very challenging and also so needed in the industry, because there is so much waste out there. However, for now, our core focus is upcycling industry’s textile waste, rather than consumers’ clothing waste.

Is there anything you won’t upcycle?
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Whilst we are avid upcyclers, we do not upcycle secondhand textiles, like curtains and bedding, or real fur or exotic skins. Even though we would love to reduce all types of wastage, we have enough selection to other waste fabrics to contend with.

Is my The R Collective product completely made out of waste?
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We strive to upcycle everything that comes in our path so that we reach as close to 100% upcycled as possible. Certainly all of the major components, like the fabrics and shell fabrics, are upcycled. Occasionally when it comes to a specific yarn, divs or zippers that we specifically need, we may need to source new. But we only do this when it is in the best interests of making your product stronger and more durable.

What’s different about your method of upcycling?
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We are passionate about genuinely reducing waste. So we do not buy waste from jobbers, or textile traders, because we believe that these textile traders already have a market for their fabrics via their pre-existing buyers. Instead, we only rescue fabrics from our brand, mill and manufacturing partners who, for many reasons, can not get rid of their fabric excess via any other routes. So the fabrics that we take are nearing the end of their life and are most likely heading towards landfill because, sometimes, brands, mills and manufactures are not able to find any other options for their unwanted excess at the right time.

Do you dye fabrics?
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Currently we are not dying our fabrics because we simply love the fabrics we use as-is and so we don’t need to add extra chemical process to them. In the future, we may explore dying, if the fabric waste we have rescued is calling out for it.

Why do brands and manufacturers have so much waste?
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There are a lot of beautiful fabrics that end up as ‘waste’ as a byproduct of fashion production. To give you an idea of the scale, it’s estimated that 15% of all fabrics ever produced never make it into the garment. Reports suggest that 92 million tons of textile waste is generated by the fashion industry every year, and this doesn’t even include consumer waste. Occasionally, unexpected events happen to a business that can result in huge spikes in fabric waste. For example, a business may downsize their warehousing, or a specific product line may be discontinued, or they may not be able to shift unwanted deadstock because of the time of year, or their usual range of jobbers are not looking to buy at that critical moment. That is why we rescue fabrics just in the nick of time to soak up our partners’ problems.

Sustainable Production

Who are your manufacturers?
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Our manufacturing partners are crucial to us as they make our dreams become reality. So we take selecting them seriously, in particular their social and environmental performance. We work closely with award-winning TAL Group, the highly successful and sustainable manufacturers with a long legacy of innovation and a deep commitment to their sustainable and ethical operations, who have their head office in Hong Kong and manufacturing facilities throughout Asia. We also work with two Hong Kong social enterprises, Sew on Studio and Splendid, who provide working opportunities to young mothers and elderly tailors.

How do you know your manufacturers produce responsibly?
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We know and trust our partners. We have been to their factories many times, we sleep onsite at their dorms and eat with their workers and so we have a trustworthy relationship with them. We are really proud knowing that we are partnering into socially sustainable supply chains in which workers and the environment are treated respectfully.

Supporting Talent

Who designs for The R Collective?
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We have our own in-house creative and design team who create our Main Collections and who also collaborate with various award-winning sustainable fashion designers from around the world. All of our designers in the collective are Alumni from The Redress Design Awards, the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competition that is organised by our sister charity, Redress.

Why do you specifically collaborate with emerging sustainable designers?
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We believe in empowering the world’s best sustainable fashion designers to bring their talent to market. For nearly a decade, through our work with Redress, we have witnessed how the next generation of fashion designers have fresh and fashion-forward ideas that can transform fashion. So we purposely scout the world’s best talent and then create the platform for them to unleash their ideas for a better future through their collections with us. This collective attitude of maximising shared values and brings about collaborative change.

Empowering Customers

How do you inspire consumers to think differently about clothes?
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We really want you to fall in love with clothes, and of course with The R Collective. Recently, we think clothes have become too throwaway and so we want to ramp up how much we respect and value clothes. The more you love your clothes, the better you will care for them, the more you will wear them and the more inspired you will be to style them over and over. We want you to keep your clothes in the fashion loop for as long as possible, to help reverse throwaway fashion trends. You can call us fans of SLOW fashion if you like. We think it’s simple. We hope The R Collective will be part of your conscious closet, but if not, that is also ok as there are already so many clothes out there and we don’t want to tell you to buy more!

How do I get my The R Collective product repaired?
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We do not offer a free alteration or repair service, instead we encourage you to support your local community and to visit your local seamstress to repair common wear and tear. We have created your The R Collective product with generous seam allowances to make some repairs easier.

Do you offer a takeback service for when I have finished with my R Collective product?
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We do have a take back service for our customers, if they really need it. But before you part ways with your R Collective piece, we encourage you to swap it with a friend or reimagine how you can wear it with your existing wardrobe pieces. If you have already tried styling it in new ways and you don’t want to swap it with a friend and you really wish to part with it, then please send us an email to hello@thercollective.com or to to arrange the take back. We will need to ask you to cover the shipping costs back to Hong Kong. Once we receive your The R Collective product, we work with our sister charity, Redress to ensure that it continues working magic in the secondhand market.

Returns & Shipping

What is your returns and exchange policy?
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REFUNDS

We do not currently accept returns for refunds. We encourage you to check our size & fit guide and carefully consider your purchases before you complete your order.

EXCHANGES

If the fit or colour is not right, you may exchange any item within 14 days after you have received your package. Any items returned to us for exchange must be unworn, unwashed and with all the tags still attached. We kindly ask that you are responsible for shipping the item(s) back to us, which means that you will need to cover the return shipping costs, and we recommend that you use a tracked delivery service. To exchange your item, please request a Returns Merchandise Authorisation number by emailing us at hello@thercollective.com.

Unfortunately we are unable to refund the initial postage costs on all domestic and international orders. Customs duties and sales taxes are non-refundable. Please allow up to 2 business days for us to process the exchange (dependent on stock availability) upon receipt of your returned item.

In the unlikely event that we are unable to exchange the item for your preferred size or colour, you will be issued store credit to spend online.

Please note:

  • All items must be returned new, unused and with all tags still attached within 14 days of receipt. Any returns that do not meet our policy will not be accepted and sent back to the customer.
  • We encourage you to carefully consider your purchase and strive to offer you the best online shopping experience to make your decision making easier. We do monitor the number of exchange requests made by customers and kindly request a limit of one exchange per item. Repeated exchanges for a single order may lead to refusal by our team.

What if my product is damaged?
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In the unlikely event that you receive a faulty item, please email us at hello@thercollective.com within 48 hours of receiving your order with clear photos of the damage. We take quality control seriously and hope you won’t have to experience this. Upon receipt of your email, please allow 1-2 business days for us to review the situation so we can advise on the next steps for your exchange.

How long will it take to ship to me?
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We process and dispatch all orders within 2 business days and ship around the world.

HONG KONG ORDERS

We offer free click and collect service from The Hive, Kennedy Town and ship to Hong Kong (1 to 2 days). The shipping fee is calculated at the checkout, which enables us to be completely transparent on shipping costs to you. Shipping rates start from US$2.50. All relevant delivery options available for your order will be displayed at checkout.

All deliveries can be tracked using the tracking link sent to your email address upon shipping confirmation.

INTERNATIONAL ORDERS

We offer express shipping worldwide (2 to 8 days). All orders are charged in USD. The shipping fee and taxes are calculated at the checkout, which enables us to be completely transparent on the costs of delivering your order. Shipping rates start from US$9.

Shipping costs will vary depending on the size, weight and destination of your chosen items. All relevant delivery options available for your order and to your destination will be displayed at checkout.

To ensure we ship to your destination, please check the shipping guide below:

 Shipping Destination Shipping Service Estimated Shipping Time Shipping Fee
Hong Kong Standard 1 - 2 days From US$2.50
China & Macao Express 2 - 6 days From US$9
Asia Includes: Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam only. Express 2 - 8 days From US$10
US & Canada Express 4 - 8 days From US$13
UK & Europe Express 4 - 8 days From US$20
Australia & New Zealand Express 4 - 8 days From US$16

Please keep in mind that our shipping times should be used as a guide only and are based on time from dispatch.

If your country or region is not listed, unfortunately we do not ship to your destination. We’re working on it! Please email hello@thercollective.com if you need more assistance.

All deliveries can be tracked using the tracking link sent to your email address upon shipping confirmation.

Do I need to pay for customs and duties?
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Yes. The cost of taxes and duties are calculated at the checkout. These fees are enforced by the destination country customs department at the checkout, we have no control over the customs, duties & tax charges. Unfortunately, we cannot take responsibility for customs clearance delays.

How do I change my shipping address?
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If you wish to change your shipping address after you have placed your order, then please email us at hello@thercollective.com as soon as possible with your order number and your updated shipping address. We will do our best to accommodate your needs. But once an order is dispatched we will not be able to change its destination.

How can I track my delivery?
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After you place your order, you will receive a confirmation email with your order number. We will then prepare your package for shipping. We dispatch all orders within 2 business days. Once we have dispatched your order, we will send you another email with your shipment confirmation details, which includes your tracking information so you can keep an eye on its progress.

What happens if my package doesn't turn up or is stolen?
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That is always frustrating when a package goes awry. Once your items are shipped, however, we cannot be liable if it is lost or stolen. If your tracking number shows that your package has reached its destination and signed for, The R Collective will consider the package successfully delivered. However, if you did not receive it, you’ll need to contact the courier for more information.

How do you limit the impact of shipping?
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Maybe you’ve heard of ‘food miles’, which is the distance food takes from farm to fork? Well there are ‘fashion miles’ too and we do our best to limit them. So we agonise over our supply chains for efficiency, use the best carriers as possible and we send our products, from fabrics to finished products, by land or sea as much as possible, instead of air. In rare fashion emergencies – if we need to get a sample back to our designers quickly – then we may need to use air, but this doesn’t make us feel good at all.

How do you limit the impact of packaging?
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We always strive to reduce the impact of our packaging - without risking damaging the product during transportation. Your items will be carefully wrapped in tissue paper and packaged in a cardboard carton or a shipping envelope depending on the size and weight of your items. We opt out of using any plastic poly bags when dispatching the garments to you to minimise our impact on the environment. However, we do use recycled plastic poly bags and waste poly bags given to us by manufacturers when transporting our goods from the factory to our fulfilment centre to protect the clothing during transit. We are working to look at alternative more sustainable options and strive to reuse the polybags wherever we can.