Introducing: The Zero Waste Coat, made from 30kg of our offcuts and roll-ends and overdyed with natural dyes like kashish, indigo, and common madder. During our trip to India in February 2018, we stopped by a boutique in Jaipur and came across a coat made entirely from offcuts. As chance would have it, Bhaavya, the owner of IRO IRO was there to share about her collection. From there conversation beget collaboration.
Let’s step back for a bit. At its minimum, the world is creating 40 billion square meters of leftover textile every year. At its worst, the waste amounts to 120 billion square meters. These numbers alone take consideration only of the scraps made from garment production. We began with an intention rooted celebrating artisanship and sustainability, and textile waste naturally was a part of that consideration. Working with a minimal waste design approach, our production partners collect the leftover fabrics from every order. These offcuts are then repurposed to create our #mattermini range, hand-stitched into jute bags, or used as the basis of collaborations with like-minded brands and designers who want to spread the importance of reducing waste.
But almost 5 years into our journey, we knew we wanted to do more.
In an effort to extend the lives of our production offcuts and roll-ends, we decided to upcycle them into a limited range of zero waste coats. Here’s a quick look into the process: the majority of our garments are stitched in a fair factory in Delhi, from there any offcuts or roll-ends leftover are then sent to the artisan partners in Chomu. Odd and uneven pieces of fabric are then stripped into liri (hindi for linear), before they are rolled onto a bobbin to prepare for weaving. Once that process is finished, the offcuts along with recycled yarn go on the loom for weaving. The Zero Waste Coats are then overdyed with natural dyes like kashish, indigo, and common madder; a process that gives thought to the environment, dyer, and wearer. From dyeing, weaving, to stitching, there are 26 people involved in the making of these coats.
Every finished coat represents a twofold revival: of fabric that would otherwise have been sent to the landfill, and of a dying craft tradition.
The Zero Waste Coat is a jacket made for the in-between: for weather that’s one foot out of summer and one foot into autumn, and journeys spent on overnight trains. Detailed with wide set sleeves and a cocoon silhouette, it makes for the perfect layering essential. Plus it has pockets, of course. The nature of its making means that these coats can only be made when there’s a certain amount of offcut wastage, which is why they’re only available in limited quantities. Shop the Zero Waste Coat here, or read more about the artisan partners behind this limited range.