How can we reuse fabric and prevent pre- and post-consumer textile waste?
The fashion industry, in particular the manufacturing of apparel, represents one of the most resource-intensive sectors that is employing a linear take-make-use-dispose logic in its mainstream. At present, more than 2/3 of a garment’s climate impact stems solely from the production of fabric: fiber, yarn, fabric and wet treatment (Mistra, 2019). With 53 M tons of fiber produced every year and 87% ending in landfills (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2017), the industry is polluting the environment and wasting precious resources. But what if we could prevent this and recapture value?
Client: Studio's social innovation project in partnership with the Chair for Interaction- and Comunication-based Systems, Institute of Computer Science, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.
Solved: The world’s first circular fashion collection revolutionizing the design and manufacturing paradigm
The Refashion collection is a proof-of-concept collection for a Circular Fashion System carrying the same name. Designed for a circular economy, Refashion is the world's first circular fashion system that increases the reutilization of fabric, preventing textile waste while recapturing value from limited resources. Using pre-designed multifunctional fabric blocks, it creates a multitude of styles using and reusing the same fabric with the help of artificial intelligence (AI).
The Refashion collection was created using three pre-designed multifunctional fabric blocks, made from Tencel and GOTS certified organic cotton, out of which over 10 different styles have been created: a top, four dresses, two skirts, a bolero, two jumpsuits and a reversible jacket. This showcases how versatile the fabric blocks can be. Moreover, each garment can be easily disassembled, redesigned and remanufactured into another style by us, after they are returned back to us by the retailer or end-user. Some of the styles can be found in our shop.
Novel design strategy & automated planning of manufacturing
To address the reutilization of textile fabric, the multi-disciplinary team has developed an innovative product design and manufacturing process that is based on a novel circular design strategy. We plan to implement this process through automated planning of manufacturing/recovery and AI-aided design processes.
Scalable circular economies for fashion
Together with the team from the Chair for Interaction- and Communication-based Systems, Institute of Computer Science, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, via Prof. Dr. Andrei Ciortea and Prof. Dr. Simon Mayer, we are expecting this approach to increase servitization in the supply chain and thereby to enable scalable circular economies in the clothing industry.
World's 1st AI-aided circular design strategy
The AI-aided circular design strategy will be the first of its kind, where human creativity is enhanced by artificial intelligence. The novel design strategy is today limited to the manual assembly and reassembly of styles. Future research will focus on exploring the potential of industrializing the circular design strategy via automation and AI.
All three pieces from the Refashion collection are made out of Tencel® fibers and GOTS certified organic cotton.
Tencel® fibers are botanical fibers made from wood such as eucalyptus trees and they are the strongest within all cellulose fibers. They are softer than silk, and cooler than linen. The fibers have unique properties that make the wearing experience very soothing. They absorb moisture and then release it to the outside, leaving a fresh feel after every wear. But that's not all, TENCEL® is also one of the most sustainable fibers ever made, as it has an innovative closed-loop process that transforms wood pulp into cellulosic fibers with high resource efficiency and low environmental impact. No harmful chemicals are used in the process, and the fibers are biodegradable.
GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified organic cotton fibers are produced in a farming system that sustains the health of ecosystems, soils and people. The fibers are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides (such as insecticides), or herbicides and GMOs (Genetic Modified Organisms). The GOTS certification ensures ecological and ethical labor conditions throughout the supply chain: processing, manufacturing, packaging, labelling, trading and distribution of all textiles.
Curious to learn more? Have a look here: GOTS
A truly closed-loop system is not just about designing the garments and selecting the right fabric but also designing the processes behind the circular value-chain. This is how the closed-loop system looks for Refashion.
We want the clothes to circulate responsibly and effectively through their entire life, at their highest utility and value, living multiple lives before being recycled into fibre.
In order to achieve circularity, we believe it is vital to care for clothes from the day they are born, until their last day of use. Therefore, we always create a life cycle that traces the garment's life from fiber to disposal. Follow the journey of your SOLVE clothes and be part of the amazing result*.
*in order to extend the life of your garments and dispose of them in the right way, please visit the care section.
Purchase, wear & return easily
Unlike our Omdanne collection, where you have to make the different styles yourself as an end-user, for Refashion you buy and wear the garment as you would any other piece of clothing. After some time has passed and you no longer want to wear it, just ship it back to us and we will take care of the rest.
Thank you to the team
Photography: Alexandra Petcu
Scenography: Vlad Osiac
Model: Diana @ Mandarina Models
Makeup: Tania Cozma