“Every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or burned and, if nothing changes, the fashion industry will use up a quarter of the world’s carbon budget by 2050.” Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Nov 2017
Textile products are now everywhere - from covering our bodies to populating our homes and workplaces. They are the perfect consumables for multinational giants who have entrenched themselves in perpetually creating product at the lowest price-point for re-consumption. Textiles and cloth items are being treated like consumables: consumed in their very first short life from fibre through to disposal.
Minimizing Textile Waste
Wasteless-Kiwi re-entered the fashion and textile industry with an understanding of these underlying issues. We care about the planet and have a deep respect for cloth. These values underpin our approach to minimizing textile waste and creating authentic enduring textile products that reduce the need to consume. We believe in authenticity, and that transparency in the clothing industry is essential to combatting the issues and consequences produced for both the people and the environment.
The end of a garment’s fashionable life does not necessarily equate to the end of a garment’s structural integrity or physical usefulness. In our multi-pronged approach to enduring design, we make it to last beyond the first wearer, by carefully considering all future possible reuse of the textile at the outset. We design classic styles that are fluid and size inclusive, enabling the garment to fit across a range of body shapes. This both enables the garment to accommodate future fluctuations in the wearer’s size and possible reuse by multiple wearers in the future.
Wear and tear damage is a natural and inevitable expectation for textile items. Everyday washing of clothing items creates an environment of friction and leads to deterioration through change or loss of the fibres on the surface of the textile. Wasteless-Kiwi garments are designed for wearing in a way that reduces the need for laundering and therefore extends the usable wearable life of each item.
Component Reuse & Design for Reuse
However there inevitably comes a time when a garment is no longer wearable. But again, that should not equate to the end of the textile’s physical usefulness. Component reuse is an upcycle technique that allows the textile to last beyond the first iteration i.e. reuse the textile within a new second-life style. And if the textile has deteriorated, it is still possible for the fibre within the textile to be recovered. The following table is a good guide for determining the next lifecycle path for a textile item:
Nevertheless, the upcycle process comes with some limitations: second-life styles are totally reliant and restricted by the diminishing size of the sewn panels within the first-life garment. Wasteless-Kiwi anticipates this future constraint through Design for Reuse: strategically rationalizing the pattern/panel shape of any garment style that will be cut from virgin textile. Specifically, shapes are engineered to retain panels at the largest possible size. Therefore, as much of the original textile area as possible, is preserved intact, and thus providing the largest possible size second-life fabric to allow for reuse of the textile in the future.
In this way offcuts are minimized or intentionally dimensioned for further purposes. For example, specific offcut dimensions may be purposely designed to be cut alongside an engineered style to provide input for a secondary product. These targeted leftovers are collected and stored for future use in supplementary products like belts & protective bags for example. Wasteless-Kiwi also salvages all the textile and fibre trimmings for eventual reuse within a future paper/felt product.
Wasteless-Kiwi's micro solutions for future proofing the fashion textile industry.