When it comes to waste in the textile or fashion industry, it’s common not to think about the amount of thread and remains that are discarded every day in the production factories. It may not be the biggest waste, but for sure it’s one of the most valuable, as from this very creative initiatives can be born. Orsola de Castro, one of the founders of Fashion Revolution, became world-famous even in haute couture for her scrap-based designs under the brand From Somewhere. These garments are not without exclusivity, since they are designed almost garment by garment due to the peculiar conditions that define them. On the other hand, we find initiatives such as reclaimed wool, which consists of shredding the said waste to re-form new threads with which to create the garments. It’s a much more democratic alternative, in the sense that it doesn’t require a specific design that uses dissimilar scraps, it rather allows to conceive relatively larger collections for reasonable prices.
The Spanish brand IAIOS, which reinvented itself during the winter of 2015 going for a truly sustainable model, doesn’t only use 100% recycled material, but also produces its entire chain in a radius of less than 100km, from the design to the making of the garments and including the regeneration of the wool. In addition, their designs involve a certain timelessness that tells you from the moment you see them that they will be your best friend for many years. Not only because of the design being conceived to accompany you in many of the adventures to come, but also because reclaimed wool is a very resistant material and does not shrink, properties that make these jumpers very durable garments.
We consider this to be a very beautiful and interesting alternative, so we want to share with you the fascinating process:
How a IAIOS is made
- Leftovers: the leftovers of the making of other garments are collected. Factories of the national territory keep this material, giving it to those who are in charge of picking it up. The factory in which IAIOS garments are made is one of them, producing a closed loop.
- Classification: the fabrics collected are separated by similar qualities and colors. The classification is purely visual, creating stacks until there is enough to put in the press.
- Shredding: once classified, the leftovers are shredded to get the “fluff”.The “fluff” is the material that emerges after the shredding process, some kind of wool fluff.
- Color: In order to find the right color, combinations of different proportions of fluff in different tones are tested.
- Rest: once the desired tone is found, the fluff is dampened and left to rest before putting it in the spinner.
- Spinning: the moistened fluff is placed on the spinner from which the wick comes out. This wick is twisted in order to create the reels of yarn to then weave.
- Weaving: With the reclaimed wool reels, the garments are woven as it would be done with new wool. With the advantage that this reclaimed wool is more resistant in general, it has not involved dyes or other added chemicals.
You can enjoy the process in motion in this wonderful video:
It seems like reclaimed wool is here to stay: other companies, such as the well-known Japanese brand Muji, are also implementing this system in their production chain, launching designs of exquisite taste. The Japanese have a specific term that describes their sense of saving: mottainai, “do not let anything get wasted”. They explain it in the launching of their collection:
For all this, we consider that reclaimed wool is not only an intelligent technology applied to the fashion industry, but a definition of the moment we’re living in. It symbolizes the retrieve of popular wisdom, re-appreciating the old values (and not even that old) that we have managed to lose sight of due to the enormous drunkenness that fast fashion has been for the last 15 years. It means, above all, to understand that power is no longer defined by how much can be squandered, but by the intelligence through which collections and collections of new garments are made with material that other factories consider surplus.This is the revolution we want to live, the one in which technological advances that are in our hands nowadays are applied to look over our history and recover all those incredible discoveries in an improved way.
It’s not anecdotal that the Spanish brand that’s accomplishing this is called IAIOS (in Catalan, grandparents): the brand directed by Gemma Barbany reclaims an old brand founded in the 90s in Granollers that had to close its doors due to the problems derived from the textile crisis in Catalonia. IAIOS recovers the values of jumpers made as they used to be. That’s why each jumper is named after an older person, “yayos” (grandpas) and “yayas” (grandmas) who claimed a different way of doing and seeing things according to their own convictions.
To conclude, we leave you some evocative photos that define the essence of the brand and its designs: