Reduce, Reuse, Recycle


At the good tonic, we are passionate about the lifecycle of the garments we sell.  We take great care in the brands we stock, discovering their ethos, garment construction and materials.  We look at their packaging and environmental impact, not only from their factories, but on the employee’s wellbeing and care.  We have sourced some amazing brands, Icebreaker, ReCreate Clothing, Untouched World & The Loyal Workshop who are all as passionate about their environmental impact as we are.

They have gone to great lengths to source and collaborate with others who share their goals and beliefs.

Circular Cotton

By joining us on our circularity journey, you ensure the softest possible footprint from the life of your garment — protecting our planet and those who live on it. Circularity shifts us closer to approaching a waste-free industry, reducing the carbon emission created through textile and garment production, and lessening the heavy toll on landfills.

We have 2 options for you at the good tonic:

1 – We’ve joined the circular fashion movement with AirRobe. Now, you can extend the life of your purchase by re-selling or renting your pieces back into a circular economy after you’ve worn and loved them. 

Keeping fashion in circulation creates a positive impact on our planet and natural ecosystems. This is the easiest way for you to re-purpose your purchases and feel good knowing you’re joining the Circular Fashion Movement with us. 

2 – If your garments have come to the endo of their lifecycle, We have joined Little Yellow Bird in their closed-loop cotton recycling project, Circular Cotton, we have a box instore, where you can drop off your clean cotton garments, and we will send these back too Little Yellow Bird, to be given a new life as recycled fibre. They have already diverted more than 8,000kg of textile waste from landfill.

So far, approximately 95% of what they have received in the Circular Cotton program has been sent on for recycling.  The process uses a chemical recycling process for our cotton returns in a fibre-to-fibre recycling method. Old cotton is shredded, turned into a slurry, made into a pulp and then fed back into the textile production chain. This fabric is then used again to make new clothing.

As part of the program, Little Yellow Bird occasionally receive products that still have too much life left in them to recycle. These products are sorted and then exchanged with a local op-shop for donated goods that are unable to be sold due to their condition, which are then added to our recycling pile. The saleable item goes on to a new home - a win-win for everyone.

Little Yellow Bird also work with with a network of designers and creatives who upcycle textiles within their own projects. They have worked with companies to create undergarments from brand new unused stock, one-off designs and pet toys.

We can accept any cotton products from any brand for inclusion in our textile recycling initiative, 100% cotton jeans, sheets, and clothing from any brand in any condition. We also accept all socks (regardless of composition). Please make sure your products are clean. We do not accept any undergarments at this time.

Meredith Dawson-Laurie, sustainability lead for ground-breaking sustainable fashion brand Icebreaker, was interviewed in a brand insight article in the NZ Herald by Goodman Property says there are steps individuals can take which will make a difference to our clothing carbon.

Consumers should understand if they are buying from brands that have sustainable practices. She also recommends taking greater care of clothing, including not washing them so much: "There's a lot of data now around how we over wash our clothes – we wear them once and it might not even be a full day and people are throwing things in the washing machine.

"Every time we wash garments, we use a lot of energy, a lot of water. All garments shed microfibres and our garments are shedding natural microfibres but when we wash synthetic garments, they're actually shedding microplastics."

The production volume within the apparel industry has just grown hugely in the last couple of decades, she says, and about 60% of it plastic-based clothing: "At the end of the day, synthetic fabrics are so much cheaper to produce, and, in turn, they don't get valued as much.

"I think as consumers, the best thing that we can do is try and value our clothing more...have higher expectations of how much we expect to wear that clothing, how long we want it to last for. If we value our clothing more, we actually will want to keep them for longer, we'll be more motivated to treasure them, repair them if they get damaged or pass them on to somebody else if we don't need them any longer."

closed-loop cotton recycling project, Circular Cotton

Some other worrying facts around the fashion industry are:

  • The fashion industry is responsible for 10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions – more than international air and shipping travel combined.
  • 80-100 billion items of clothing are made each year – but on average are worn only seven times. That will soon increase to 150 billion items.
  • New Zealand sends about 100,000 tonnes of clothing to landfill each year – about 44kg per person.
  • Textiles create about three times their weight in CO2 in landfill – so while they make up 5-6 per cent of landfill, they produce about 30 per cent of the carbon impacts.
  • The T-shirt you don't wear any more also took two-and-a-half years of drinking water to produce.

Join us at the good tonic & Little Yellow Bird in reducing unnecessary waste, and where possible, diverting all we can from landfill.


Little Yellow Bird