Waste Not: Textile Scraps Recrafted into Covetable Products
US slow fashion brand Ace & Jig has an ongoing commitment to reducing textile waste. Its latest endeavour – a collaboration with four like-minded artists – sees leftover scraps of fabric transformed into beautifully crafted and covetable products.
The brand takes a responsible approach to the production and application of its material; its distinguished cotton textiles are custom designed, then yarn dyed and handwoven by artisans in India, while all fabric waste from the cut and sew process (anywhere from 10-30% of each metre) is reused or repurposed.
The recent Pieced & Patched project creatively makes use of these remnants. New York-based Thompson Street Studio created two unique patchworked curtains, while nearby studio La Réunion produced 12 one-off hand-quilted dresses. US textile artist Julie Robinson made an assortment of macramé knotted earrings from fabric scrap-covered cording, and Cincinnati-based creative studio Memor encased glass mosaic pieces in fabrics before embedding them in a series of exclusive vases.
Alongside artist collabs, Ace & Jig feeds its textile waste into other initiatives, including Project Thrive, a non-profit organisation that employs fair trade artisans – its Scrap Fellowships for schools and educational purposes – and patch kits, bundles of scraps for customers to buy and use in their own creative projects. These kits have subsequently inspired an online community with crafters sharing their creations using the hashtag #aceandjigscraps.
This union of sustainability, craft, collaboration and community is shrewd and taps into many key values we’ve been tracking recently, most notably in Analogue S/S 2021: Fashion & Product Update. While waste materials and deadstock provide commercial opportunities for new designs and products, the recent pandemic has reaffirmed the importance of social connection and domestic spirit, thus catalysing a desire for handcraft and ‘reclaimed’ narratives.