Bespoke Textiles has been co-creating bespoke textile and fashion solutions with beauty, ethics and originality for high-end brands because of their founder, Katie Young Gerald’s 25 years’ of dedication to saving waste. So much so, they have been chosen as finalists for the Sustainability awarded by Lloyd’s Banks National Business Awards for 2017.
Katie’s passion began with vintage fashion upcycling from charity shops at the age of 11. She transformed what, for many, seemed like tired, old, out of date garments, into heirlooms and inspiration for Designer collections. So naturally, Bespoke Textiles inherited Katie’s values on sustainability and ethical practice, and this has become embedded in the business. The global fashion market is at an all time high, with people buying more clothing than ever in history; made more possible by cheap manufacturers and labels like Primark and H&M. Fast fashion is a huge contributor to the amount of clothing that ends up in land-fills or burnt due to their customers wanting to buy cheap and throw away without thinking about the impact. The average textile waste ending up in landfills, per person in the western world is currently 70kgs. Throughout our uniform and textile design experiences, we have ensured that our dedication to ethical and sustainable practices remain firm and we want to share this practice with others in the industry by debunking myths about recycled textiles.
MYTH NO. 1
Recycling uses more energy than making something new.
This myth has been kicking around for decades and is completely untrue. All clothes can be recycled, even if they are passed their best - ripped or stained clothing, uniforms or textiles can be shredded and the fibres turned into new items. While recycling textiles is a much better option than throwing them away, if we reuse them in the first instance we avoid the industrial processes involved in recycling. There are ways of recycling that avoid the energy wasted in the industrial process of recycling, but it is important to state that even the industrial process requires less energy than making a new article of clothing.
MYTH NO. 2
Products made from recycled content are of a lower quality.
A few decades ago, products made from recycled materials were often deemed sub par. Recycled paper was grey and rough. Recycled plastic had a reputation as weak. Some people still associate recycled content with lower performance.
However, manufacturers have learned a great deal since the early days, and consumer and corporate demand for recycled products has risen so steadily that producers have made considerable strides in quality. Bespoke Textiles has extensive experience in sourcing sustainable materials and creating tailored supply chains for individual clients, but recycled textiles are always of a very high quality in our experience. It’s also currently not difficult to source high-quality recycled textiles, they are readily available and are at a reasonable price point!
Recycling textiles is something that needs to be invested in more for the future. There are great designers like Vivienne Westwood who make an artistic and poignant point of using recycled textiles in their clothing lines to bring light to attention demanding topics such as climate change. The results are not only fashion collections of excellent quality, but also garments that can be celebrated as being innovative, inspiring and ethical.
Bespoke Textiles are proud to be in favour of recycled textiles.