This is what I’m curious about lately — shredding and rebonding textiles. It started when I was cleaning my living room rug. I noticed the pad under the rug was made up of bits and pieces of salvaged foam. I’ve always liked the look of this material. It’s classic — like a quilted moving blanket or a cast iron pan.
One of the problems we face with the fashion industry is the amount of waste. What if we mined that waste and used it as a resource. We could grind up fashion that is no longer wanted and turn it into a new classic textile. Something that is so unique and performs so well that it could not be ignored.
Let’s back up and see how carpet padding is actually made? This type of padding is called rebonded polyurethane. This video shows how scraps of foam are ground into smaller bits. The bits are then bound together with chemicals and steam into something like a giant loaf of bread which can then be cut into usable slices.
Could we do something similar in a more organic way but with textile scraps instead of foam? Textile shredders already exist. What if each of our town dumps had a textile shredder that could grind up textile waste and resell it?
The shredded textile on its own could be useful as filling but let’s take it one step further. Could these textile scraps be rebound into a new iconic fabric? It seems like a solvable problem. In the end, we could end up with a gorgeous terrazzo-like fabric.
Instead of seeing bits of marble or glass we could see bits of jeans or flannel. The material could become a new classic like a herringbone or gingham.
To achieve this terrazzo look we’d need to make the fabric the way felt is made. If you think it sounds complicated just think about how silk is made.
What do you think? It’s crazy, right? I think it’s time. It’s time for a Fashion Revolution.
I was contacted via email by a researcher at the University of Helsinki about this short film on the Slow Fashion movement in Finland. The film is the result of academic research. It can be viewed in its entirely for free on Vimeo. Help spread the good word. #slowfashion
This research-based film explores how clothing designers and seamstresses in the Kallio neighborhood of Helsinki understand and practice sustainable fashion. It discusses contradictions of the concept of sustainability and emphasizes that sustainability should include responsibility towards nature and also towards people, including the designers and seamstresses themselves, who experience precarity because of tension between sustainability and profitability of their micro-enterprises.
An Elizabeth Suzannduster in black. This is a perfect layering piece for work. I’d wear a white button-down shirt under this. It has an art professor vibe that I love.
A skinny silk scarf to add a little color and interest to my outfits. Instead of buying a new scarf, I recommend just buying a vintage men’s necktie and just wrapping it around your neck, like so. Maybe alter the necktie by adding a little fringe as seen below.
I’m interested in these Everlane pants. They look like great everyday basics.
This fall I want to splurge on socks. And since I splurge on basically nothing this is really saying something. They have to be just right. These two below fit the bill. The pink socks on the left say – “My favorite salad is wine.” The photo is from an adorable Instagram account called ChinaTownPretty. The account was created to celebrate the street style of seniors living (and grocery shopping) in SF Chinatown. You should definitely follow. The photo below on the right is from The Sartorialist. It is from the Fall 2011 Dries Van Noten runway show. These pairs of socks inspire me to buy socks that add a little color or pattern and humor to my wardrobe. Just something that would make yourself or someone else smile when you sit down and cross your legs.
I need to wear comfortable shoes that I can walk in. I want a pair as seen in the image below on the right. I can’t find them anywhere. Zappos offers a couple of pairs that are kinda cool. I’ll probably keep looking.
What are you thinking of adding to your fall wardrobe?