Textile production can be very wasteful. There are scraps, bits and ends in every step of the process. In my production process, I am working towards zero waste. It is easy to claim zero waste, but to actually live it is another thing! The methods I'm using right now bring value to my making experience and they aren't a burden. Some of my fabric and dyes are imported, so I work to source from companies who are focused on reducing waste throughout the supply chain.
Waste Reduction through Pattern Design
Planning for zero waste in the design phase makes a huge difference! This year, I was able to source a fabric with a width that worked perfectly with the pattern dimensions for my beach wear collection. Because I planned and worked out the math ahead of time, I ended up with almost no waste from this collection. It was also more economical and kept the COGs of my products down.
Creating Small Products with Scrap
I ended up with long, skinny scraps from a fabric bolt where my pattern was just slightly less long/width. I used these to test out a new product called Twillys. This was a great use of my waste materials and allowed me to try a new product with low R&D costs.
Loom waste Earrings
In weaving there is always waste at the beginning and end. This is because the threads have to be tied onto the front of the loom, and there is a point at which the threads at the back of the loom will no longer pass through the heddles. I've been using this loom waste for many things since I started weaving, but it currently is used for my fringe earrings.
I learned this amazing trick from Yvette at the Art Factory in Aptos, CA when I taught there. All of my small thread waste is contained in jars to create mini decorative pieces. Every single one is unique and brings happiness to any room.