Recycled Cashmere: How It Works
If you’ve been into one of our shops or cruising our website or Instagram, you have probably heard us chatting about recycled cashmere. It’s something we’re super excited to have for AW19. Whenever we’re planning upcoming collections, we’re trying to figure out ways to reduce our ecological impact. Waste is a huuuuuge issue in the fashion industry, so we try to buy end-of-the roll fabrics, seek organic cottons, and use handknitting machines to reduce electricity used. Recently we’ve been seeing recycled knitwear popping up throughout the fashion sphere, and we knew this was something we needed to explore. Through our manufacturing contacts in Bulgaria, we were able to source recycled cashmere. Yay! We decided to do a test run on three jumpers. The Lowie Sophia jumper and our black and forest Jumpigans are made of 100% recycled cashmere, and can we just say that we are completely obsessed with them.
People have been recycling textiles for centuries. The history of recycling fabric into new garments dates back to at least the 12th century, and it’s probably fair to assume that for as long as we’ve been making textiles we’ve been able to repurpose the fibres into something else. On an industrial scale, makers have been recycling fabrics since the 19th century. But, it’s only recently that there has been a huge resurgence in recycled material. Members of the fashion industry and consumers alike are having to come to terms with the waste created by the current linear structure of fashion manufacturing and consumption. And there’s a push to do something about it. One way to reduce waste is by taking what may have otherwise been tossed in the bin and salvage the parts for something new—aka recycling.
Maybe at this point, you’re thinking: Great! But how does this actually work?
How is cashmere recycled?
Worn garments and factory scraps are collected and sorted by content and colour.
In our case, the cashmere garments are taken apart, leaving cashmere fibres.
All this cashmere is divided into portions that are similar to what would be shorn from an animal.
The portions of the wool are cleaned to wash out impurities.
After being washed, the wool is dyed to create a consistent colour throughout all the fibres.
Next, the wool is carded, which is a process that straightens out the fibres to make it easier to spin into yarn.
The dyed and carded wool is now spun into the cashmere yarn that will be used in the knitting of the jumpers.
From there, it’s business as usual. The yarn is sent to the factory where it is knit into some gorgeous new garments like our Jumpigans and Sofia jumper.
All made without new material and saving a ton of fibres from the landfill. How cool is that!
Take a peek at our recycled cashmere pieces below, or pop into one of our shops and feel the softness for yourself.
Recycled Cashmere Sofia Jumper