A CIRCULAR APPROACH TO DESIGN
“Closing the loop” is widely seen as the future of a more sustainable society. A closed loop system is one where products are designed, manufactured and used so as to circulate within society for as long as possible. In fashion this includes designing durable and biodegradable or recyclable clothing, re-using and reducing waste through repairs and customer take-back programs, and up-cycling existing materials. Designing in this way helps tackle fashion’s huge waste problem, and a reduced reliance on new materials helps with a whole host of associated issues like environmental and human impact of chemical use, soil degradation, use of resources like water and energy, and CO2 emissions.
MAKE are a Cardiff based brand taking a unique and imaginative approach to circularity through fabric-first, zero-waste design using deadstock materials. Founder Sam has been collecting fabric from a young age, and over his 20 years in the fashion industry he built a global network of friendships and connections for surplus materials across the globe.
Sam decided to create a deadstock fabric-first brand to help tackle the waste problem in fashion “Once I had become aware of the amount of surplus material that goes to landfill or incineration I decided to start a brand just using this fabric. Trend forecasting and commercial mechanisms in conventional design are becoming increasingly irrelevant and less interesting I wanted to do something new and positive.”
Find out more about MAKE and shop the collection HERE
Mia Larsson’s circular approach comes from a belief that nature, materials and humans are all connected. “I chose seashells recycled from restaurants as my material because it is an organic, decomposable, intelligent ceramic waste material from the mussel that are high protein food with low carbon imprints”
Mia combines the discarded seashells - which come from fisheries/restaurants that guarantee sustainable fishing practices - with recycled silver, to make truly unique jewellery. Mia offers free repairs to help keep your jewellery lasting as long as possible, and when it comes to the end of its life; the silver can be recycled, and the seashells will compost in the right environment.
Find out more about Mia Larsson and shop the collection HERE
Pat Guzik saw the impact of fast fashion in second hands stores, and was inspired to address this in her designs, “In Poland we have a huge second hand culture... A few years ago I realized that it's really hard to find real vintage stuff, now the secondhand are full of clothes from last seasons of fast fashion brands. That’s so so sad. So I decided to somehow use that alternative sourcing of materials to my collection.”
Pat asks you to send your unwanted and unwearable clothing - from any brand - to her. “I will make the best out of them, treat them as a material for new garments or samples while you will be able to enjoy 10% off your next purchase in my store. This way, together we minimize the amount of textile waste sent to landfill and help more garments stay in the loop.”
In Pat’s streetwear line, which you can find on PARO STORE, she incorporates textiles sourced from alternative sources like second hand garments, stocks textiles, and production leftovers where possible. Like this double sided jacket made of unwanted t-shirts from second hand shops.
You can find out more about Pat Guzik and shop the collection HERE
Each designer’s motivation and execution differs, but all see the creative and social opportunity in creating with what already exists, and are taking steps towards closing the loop. Very few brands are doing this fully yet; designing products that can be completely recycled is tricky, and so is providing the infrastructure for people to participate. But many brands are making moves in this direction, so look out for alternative sourced and up-cycled fabrics, and ask brands if your items can be repaired or recycled, and support brands who are thinking more circular, less disposable in their approach.
Explore the PARO brands who are passionate about circularity HERE.