WHAT IT IS: There are generally two strategies for zero-waste fashion: creative pattern making that uses 100% of a given textile, and generating garments from remnant materials.
Brands like Tonle use a combination of the two: For instance, their Landscape Top
(above) was hand-woven from tiny scraps of remnant cotton jersey as part of their zero-waste process, which also includes incorporating even the tiniest scraps into original looks; their excess fabric strips are tediously hand cut and individually sewn back into yarn. The yarn is then knit and woven into new pieces; articles of clothing made from twice-recycled fabric.
Other brands, like Miranda Bennett Studio, use efficient pattern making to reduce the amount of waste generated, evident in the classic Knot Dress
Additionally, leather brands, including Eleven Thirty (below) use the entire hide when creating their bags so no waste is generated during production. This results in finished goods that can contain scratches or markings in the leather, which contributes to the beauty and one-of-a-kind nature of the bag.
Fellow Canadian designer Erin Templeton take it one further creating small leather goods, including the KISS AND MAKE-UPP make-up bag (bottom) from off-cuts and leather scraps from her accessories line.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT: With fashion waste increasingly in the spotlight, we continue to source and endorse companies actively trying to minimize waste. Currently, only 1% of textile waste is being recycled. Let's do better.