Upcycled, Green and Sustainable One Of A Kind Creations
Welcome back to One Of A Kind stories, a space where we look to celebrate our maker's creativity, diversity and passion for all things craft. This time we spoke to creators that 'Do The Right Thing' by making a conscious effort to reuse and re-purpose previously discarded and unloved materials and transform them into One Of A Kind pieces that will be treasured for generations to come.
Read on to discover their stories, processes and their passion for sustainability.
Sustainability is at the heart of everything created by Ellemairco. Lauren Mair, the owner and creator of the clothing company, told us why she chooses to re-purpose textiles to create her lines;
"There is honestly so much textile waste and so much sacred, beautiful, meaningful fabric, and clothing to be used. When you hold a vintage textile you know that was used, and loved and had many memories made wearing it. It becomes more than just a fast fashion garment. It becomes a story, something much more meaningful and special.
Supporting a local business that is doing their part to reuse the beautiful textiles that already exist is a perfect solution to fast fashion."
Take a look at the many creative ways Ellemairco re-purpose materials:
This is where Ellemairco pick through old clothing- a lot of their Indian textiles, sari's, vintage and denim are found here!
Ellemairco try to use all pieces of the textiles to create new and innovative products
Ellemairco's Denim Project Kimonos are salvaged from knit blankets and upcycled denim
Shop Ellemairco here.
One of the core values of ReFluff is sustainability and a circular economy. This is interwoven into their daily studio operations from product development, resource sourcing, production processes, packaging and shipping all the way to textile waste management. A lot of consideration goes into the environmental impact of creating their products, maximizing their lifespan and how they will eventually be disposed of after many decades of use and enjoyment. The combining of up-cycled textiles with new material to create their final products has been part of their production process from the beginning.
Roughly 3 years ago, ReFluff officially began their up-cycling program which involves partnering with local fashion brands, interior designers, surface designers and textile manufacturers to redirect unwanted viable offcuts, scraps, dead stock and bolt ends from landfill. These donations are used in the creation of ReFluff's products and nearly all the waste that is created throughout the design process is sent off for textile recycling. It's a mutually beneficial relationship that ultimately benefits the environment and future generations.
Take a look below to see an example of ReFluff's sustainable creation process:
Step 1: Pictured above is an example of the rolls of fabric used to create ReFluff's product line
Step 2: Collect and curate samples
Step 3: Swatches have been cut up into lining pieces
Step 4: The ReFluff Label is sewn onto the product for the finishing touch
Step 5: The finished product!
Step 6: Disposing responsibly. This image is of garbage that is left over after production- it is sent out for textile recycling.
Shop ReFluff here.
Scissor Guild up-cycles materials to give them a second life. Their limited collection is a prime example of this. By transforming festival banners into totes and backpacks, they give a second life to materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill. After working at multiple festivals in Montreal, Scissor Guild's founder, Thomas, noticed that the banners for the festivals were being thrown away once the event ended. Thomas saw an opportunity and got as many banners as he could carry at the end of his shift. This is how Scissor Guild started using banners as a shell to their products.
These festival banners are tough and made to be used outside to withstand harsh winds and rain. Sadly, this type of fabric has no way to be recycled in the traditional manner (like how plastic bottles can get shredded, cleaned and transformed into pellets to make new products) but it can be up-cycled into sturdy and fashionable bags! Because many festival banners have dates and times printed on them they won’t be reused next year. Scissor Guild now get calls from people or event employees wanting to offload their banners to be up-cycled by us because it is the more sustainable option for them.
Take a look below at some examples of this technique and the fantastic finished product:
"After gathering a large amount of banners, we lay them down on a large driveway, to be able to unveil its content and full size. The banners also need a proper cleaning to be production ready. One of the issues working with banners is that they can be dozens of feet long! We take the time to photograph and number each banner, to later be able to select one without having to unroll all of them."- Scissor Guild
"We cut the large banners into smaller sections to be able to fit on our 6’ wide fabric cutting table."- Scissor Guild
"When time comes to make a new batch of limited products, we will preselect some banners, varying colours and graphics, to have to widest selection possible. Then we put our product pattern over, trace, drill positioning marks and then cut. We try to do as many layers as possible to reduce the time it takes to do this whole process, usually we cut about 20 layers at once."- Scissor Guild
"Each bag we make with the banners is lined with a thin vinyl to ensure its strength and durability throughout the years. We use a wide variety of colors for our limited products, and while some are cut from the same banner, no two are exactly alike! So far we have saved over 900 pounds of fabric from entering landfills. In an age of mass production and fast fashion, our unique bags stand out."- Scissor Guild
Shop Scissor Guild here.
Be sure to check out our curated shop, featuring makers who do the right thing and ensure sustainability centres their creative process.