We like to think that all our collections are unique. But this one had a special meaning because for the very first time, we didn't buy any new fabric.
There are many brands using deadstock and/or vintage fabric, which is definitely a step towards a better industry, but using rolls of deadstock or vintage fabric still don't address the huge wastage problem during clothing manufacturing. We are talking about all the bits and pieces that inevitably end up on the atelier's floor and later on, landfill. Given the nature of swimwear pieces, we took the opportunity to rethink how we could tackle circularity on our own production, using our own waste.
After only two collections, it was clear that waste was becoming an issue in our atelier. Even with a small handmade production, we identified that our fabric wastage was over 20%, a number that is considered "normal" in the fashion industry. Not for us. For our SS20 collection, we decided to embrace circularity in a very radical way, creating new swimwear with modular patterns to be able to use even the smallest pieces of fabric... literally all waste from our previous two collections.
Besides reducing our fabric wastage from over 20% to less than 2% ( measured by kg at the end of SS20 production), we started applying the same design and pattern-making practices we used to create this collection in all our creations.
The collection was named "Catch 22", to reflect the challenges we encountered during our creative process, which started with the fabrics and not with the designs as per usual. The result was shown during the Sustainable Fashion Show at New Zealand Fashion Weekend.
This collection is proof that fashion companies can tackle waste in the production stage using creative solutions (while unfortunately our circular textile options are still limited) and that they can be scalable. It's also a statement to consumers who think sustainable fashion is only "patchwork and quilts". Since day one, it has been very important to us to unlock the idea that products can be eco & ethical without compromising design, novelty, and also price.