On Wednesday, September 13, the time has come: with the establishment of the N.E.W. (Never Ever Waste) foundation, New Optimist takes the revolutionary step towards a deposit system on clothing. The deposit system enables 100% circularity and empowers consumers to ensure that their favorite clothing item eventually becomes part of the fashion circle of life once again. New Optimist will make the system accessible to other fashion brands in the near future. Clothing will never have to end up as waste.

Over the past 20 years, the amount of discarded clothing in Europe tripled from 550 thousand tons to nearly 1.7 million tons of textiles, as presented by the report from the EU Environment Agency (EEA) in early 2023. What’s clear is that 87% of this discarded textile is still exported to Asia and Africa today. The majority ends up in landfills or informal waste streams.

Recent research conducted by the Changing Marketing Foundation concludes that greenwashing is still quite prevalent. Clothing items that consumers dutifully submitted for recycling to various brands could be tracked using Apple Airtags. It became evident that three-quarters were incinerated, stored in warehouses, or shipped to impoverished countries.

According to the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for textiles, clothing manufacturers in the Netherlands are responsible for the textile products when they become waste, starting from July 1, 2023. Manufacturers must also organize the waste management of these products. The EU Environment Agency (EEA) identifies the shift in collection responsibility as a risk. Due to irresponsible collection processes in a significant portion of the fashion industry, the export volume of discarded clothing could only increase further.

N.E.W. Foundation (Never Ever Waste)

To counter the ever-growing textile waste mountain, New Optimist introduces the first deposit platform for clothing. This new system guarantees that your clothing will be recycled or given a second life. Moreover, you can track the entire lifecycle up to recycling through the QR code.

With a clothing item with a deposit, you make the fashion circle 100% circular and show everyone that clothing doesn’t have to end up as waste.

The N.E.W. Foundation is an initiative by New Optimist and manages the deposits for all clothing brands participating in this deposit system. New Optimist calls on other sustainable clothing brands to join the N.E.W. Foundation and use deposits to make clothing circular.


New Optimist, a pioneer in changing the fashion industry, has developed this digital deposit system in collaboration with Candour.Digital for the N.E.W. Foundation.

Candour.Digital is an IT startup focused on digital product passports. Through clever use of QR codes and blockchain technology, individual clothing pieces can be tracked throughout their entire lifecycle.

No circularity without you!

How does the deposit system work?

1. Product Purchase

When purchasing a New Optimist clothing item with a deposit, a small extra amount is charged. The deposit varies between €2.5 and €10, depending on the price of the clothing item. The amount of deposit on the clothing item is visible on the hangtag. You can also see this by scanning the QR label.

2. Returning Items

When the article is no longer worn, the clothing item can be returned to give it a second life. This can be done at affiliated stores or through a return procedure via New Optimist.

3. A New Life

It doesn’t matter in what condition the item is. New Optimist assesses whether it can still be resold secondhand (this can also be tracked through the QR code), but ultimately, the clothing is recycled and processed into new yarn. Nothing is lost. 100% circular! The circular route of each clothing item can be tracked via the QR code.

YES to deposits. No Textile Waste!