Challenges

Explore the value of leftover fabrics for a circular economy

After a piece of clothing is made, where do leftover fabrics go? How can we turn these leftover fabrics into something valuable again to facilitate the vision of circular economy?

I proposed an idea that we can get students involve in another end of fashion manufacturing process, by curating the surplus fabric from quality garment factories and create a market to allow SMEs or NGOs in need to access quality fabrics at reasonable price.

Problems:

  • Overstocked fabrics sourced from quality garment factories, but the amount of are not enough for large fashion chain 
  • Damage to the environment  

Solutions: 

A feasible solution that allow business sustainability and scalability in different countries would be ideal. 

  • Building partnerships with SMEs or NGO who are in need of fabrics for production, and sell them in a reasonable prices 
  • Identify stakeholders 
  • Having design students voluntarily to run the online/offline platform 

 

(to be refined)

Comments (4)

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What can go wrong?
STEPHANIE LAWSON
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  • I discussed this idea with factories when starting a brand here in China and found that they already cut patterns to minimize waste so the problem is not as large as expected. The leftover scrap fabrics I received were too small too do anything besides use as stuffing for upholstery or similar/grind up to create regenerative textiles (which requires advanced technologies and is possible to do through third parties). Second, there are agents who deal with buying leftover fabrics from factories, or they are used for sampling.