The Problem

The fast fashion industry is notorious for being one of the biggest contributors to waste. Globally, about 92 million tons of textile waste is created each year. That’s like having a truckload of clothes being burned or dumped into a landfill every single second. And guess where it all ends up?

In third world countries. Unwanted clothes end up polluting these countries’ local water systems while their landfills become so toxic that catastrophic fires will ignite at random. 

Anyone who thinks fast fashion is “fun” and “affordable” isn’t thinking about the cost of turning rivers black with waste. 

They’re not thinking about the fish and turtles literally being strangled by trash.

They’re not thinking about the people whose eyes burn and lungs hurt from breathing the fumes of the fires.

By 2030, researchers are estimating that more than 134 million tons of clothes will be thrown away annually. (BBC)

“I was raised by Asian immigrant parents who ingrained in me the skill of saving everything. They saved plastic grocery bags and used them as trash bags. They saved pickle jars and used them as tupperware. They saved clothes by evolving them! When my dress ripped, my mom turned it into shirt. And when the shirt was too tattered to wear, she turned it into a rag to clean the house with. To waste was a crime.” 

- Cassey Ho, CEO + Head Designer of POPFLEX

The Solution-in-progress

At POPFLEX, we are anti-fast fashion. We design and produce slowly and thoughtfully because we are conscious about reducing waste. Below are things we’re currently doing on our sustainability journey.

1. We make quality clothes that last.

The most anti-fast fashion thing we can do is make clothes with quality fabrics and quality construction. Why? Because making clothes that will last years (not days) in people’s closets is the first step in reducing the amount of clothing waste that’ll end up in the landfill. 

2. We design with you and only make what you want.

We love getting your feedback because it helps us design clothes that you actually want to buy. We don’t believe in producing blindly, as that causes a huge risk for unwanted goods. Unfortunately not every brand has an open communication with their customers like we do. (So grateful for you!) This ultimately causes the production of clothes that no one will buy, which means these clothes will end up in the landfill.

3. We use the "test first" model.

We are always on the safer side with quantities when it comes to production because we never want to overproduce something you guys don’t want! Once a style sells out and our waitlist grows, we are able to confidently make a bigger and more accurate reorder based on true demand. We know it’s frustrating how many of our styles sell out so fast, but we hope you now understand why!


Remember that thing we said about making quality clothing that lasts? Well it is our dream to have our clothes last multiple lifetimes and multiple closets! We created P♻PCYCLE as an easy way to swap clothes and breathe more life into your pre-loved POPFLEX pieces. Just because your size changed, your lifestyle changed, or you’re bored, doesn’t mean your clothes are done giving! They have SO MUCH MORE to give! Just download the BODY by Blogilates App on iOS or Android and head to the social tab where you can discover great deals while also shopping sustainably.

5. We use corn bags.

Yes, corn! We protect your garments in non-plastic bags made of fermented corn starch called Polylactic acid (PLA). Made from a renewable resource, our corn bags are also biodegradable, meaning it will break down under certain conditions into harmless natural compounds. PLA also uses 60% less energy than regular plastics to produce, it’s non-toxic, and it generates over 65% fewer greenhouse gasses! Pretty cool.

6. We love a good sample sale.

For POPFLEX, it takes around 1 year to design, develop, and produce 1 single style. (For comparison, fast fashion companies like Shein can often rip off a design and get it on their website in a matter of a couple weeks.) During that year we are fitting multiple prototypes on multiple fit models until we get the right fit. When the samples start piling up, instead of getting rid of them, we hold sample sales open to the community where you can buy these our prototypes for crazy low prices! Sign up for our newsletter to know when the next one is.

7. We ship like it's Tetris.

Have you ever received a big box with a tiny mascara inside? Don’t even get us started. Our shipping team is trained to pack your order in the most space saving way possible because 1) it saves boxes and 2) it saves us on shipping costs. But sometimes Tetris-ing an order isn’t good enough. We’ve even gone to the length of nesting your order (like putting a mini backpack in a big backpack Russian nesting doll style) because we love saving space like that.

8. We save bags so good it would make Cassey’s parents proud.

Because we all work remotely, the product development team is shipping packages to each other to check fabrics, lab dips (colors), and samples. Every member on the design team actively saves boxes and shipping bags for at least a second use when it’s time to ship!

9. We work from home.

During the pandemic, we closed our formal office and practiced working from home. And you know what? We realized that not only were we happier and more productive, everyone was so relieved to not have to sit in traffic and drive into work everyday. As we’ve grown our team of work-from-homers, we have unintentionally cut down on commute times and carbon emissions and plan to keep it this way! 

Wow, thanks for reading all the way to end! Our sustainability journey will always be a work in progress because this is an area we never want to stop improving in. We will keep updating this page as we learn more ways to reduce waste in our business🌎