Some time ago I posted this video about two handbags that I made using embroidery techniques where tiny fabric scraps were arranged into intricate designs of kissing couple. It had really good response in general, but one thing that came out of that post was a very interesting collaboration.
I was approached by APIWRAPS founder Freyja Tasci who offered me their fabric scraps in exchange of creating another video of my creative process that shows what can be done with some industrial waste.
What is APIWRAPS? Apiwraps is a business built on a firm foundation of quality, ethics and care. They source the most gorgeous organic cotton fabric, coat it with a compound that is completely natural and free from chemicals, then it's packaged in hygenic recycled paper envelopes. As a fair trade employer, Apiwraps are made-by-hand by the founder FreyjaTasci herself and a team of amazing women who care a lot about what they do and why they're doing it. Apiwraps are a healthy, eco-friendly, sustainable replacement for plastic wrap, they are beeswax wraps that are thin and flexible, easy to seal and clean and are long lasting.
Of course I could not say no to that offer! And soon after I received a 500 grams parcel full of goodness together with a little present! 🙂
Now, the question is how much is 500 grams of fabric waste? Is it a lot? In textile industry roughly 9 to 10 million tons of fabrics intended for clothing ends up on a cutting room floor and eventually goes into the landfill. That is on a bigger scale and comparing to that my 500 grams satchel is not a lot. But each 500 grams eventually add up. So I decided to test myself and see if it is possible to use all the scraps I received throwing literally nothing into the bin.
What did I make from 500 grams of organic cotton fabric leftovers?..
1 - A dress.
4 - A wall art
UPDATE (15, Nov, 2018): The cat is now part of the private collection and you can view him at Smiling Sofia’s Musical Box Gallery in Melbourne. I made him a cylinder hat with a musical tool installed into it to make him a musical cat for that purpose! 🙂
I used every single piece of fabric. And the tiny leftovers went into the cat as a stuffing. So literally NOTHING is left.
Well, I did have something left… End of seam threads…
But I use them too! Sometimes I stuff smaller toys with them as they are rather soft and make beautiful stuffing. I make one of a kind fascinators, beautiful unique brooches and even a dress out of them. And the possibilities are endless.
It took me two months of part time work to create all the above. Is it a lot? Did it really safe the planet from some extra waste?.. I am not sure. It is really a tiny drop in the ocean of textile waste produced globally. Comparing to some big companies Apiwraps actually have close to zero waste production, their waste is around 500 grams of offcuts per month excluding selvage waste and it is all organic cotton that will decompose naturally and will not leave any harm behind. It is polyester and other synthetic fabrics that are a problem.
I believe that if more companies try to incorporate close to zero waste approach in their production on the first place and use the leftovers creatively out planet would be a better place to live for future generations.