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Brief Published: 23 Jul 2018

Start-Up Repurposes Fashion Industry's Textile Waste

Pentatonic, New Clothes

As considerate consumption starts to gain traction in the fashion industry, more designers and brands are advocating innovative upcycling and waste-free production initiatives. Among them is the latest collection from a smart Berlin-based start-up that sees fashion’s textile waste transformed into homeware products.

With an estimated £140m ($183m) worth of clothing going into UK landfill each year (Wrap, 2018), this is an area that requires urgent action.

Furniture company and material innovator Pentatonic, which champions a circular economy model, is aiming to turn “landfill into lifestyle; trash into treasure”, as a way of changing consumption culture.

Its creative New Clothes collection cleverly repurposes the fashion industry’s returns, factory waste and damaged garments into furniture and home accessory products including chairs and clothes hangers. 

Fabric scraps are separated by colour, structure and material composition before being hand-arranged into collages and transformed into functional products, through a process of thermal lamination and 3D forming. As a result, each product is totally unique and can be re-recycled.

The start-up’s innovative technologies also allow other waste materials to be regenerated into new raw materials – for instance, yarn and 3D-moulded felt can be made from plastic, and glassware can be made using glass from discarded smartphones.

We noted a wave of waste-conscious initiatives at Milan Design Week 2018, including New York fashion label Eileen Fisher’s noteworthy upcycling initiative DesignWork, which turns post-consumer product into renewed textile pieces. Read more here.

For more on sustainable solutions in the fashion industry, see A Sustainable Journey, Fashion’s Sustainability Surge and Fashion’s Future Fabrics.