By Maya Classen on 2021

Photo by Leila Emine & Zachasephoto
Photo by Romy Flamand
Photo by Leila Emine & Zachasephoto
Photo by Romy Flamand
Photo by Leila Emine & Zachasephoto

It’s the time of the year again; in a few days the week van de circulaire economie (“week of circular economy'') in the Netherlands starts. From the 1st until the 6th of February 2021 companies, entrepreneurs and frontrunners of the circular economy open their doors to share their experience and knowledge with newcomers, start-ups and of course anyone else who is curious and wants to learn more about the circular economy. The events are happening at different locations all over the Netherlands, but there are also lots of online events that you can comfortably join from home. The full programme can be found here. Although most of the events are held in Dutch, there are also some options for our English speakers: simply click on the filter ‘voertaal’, choose ‘Engels’ and you’re good to go!

Unravelau opens the (virtual) doors on Saturday the 6th of February 2021

At Unravelau, transparency is one of our key values. On our journey to full circularity, we share our efforts and obstacles with you because we know that as individuals we can be strong, but together we are stronger. That is why we are opening our doors for you to have a look behind the scenes and to explore how we run our business. On Saturday, the 6th of February 2021 you will get the chance to visit our Atelier in a virtual tour hosted by the Upcycle Center Almere. Join us here and ask our founder any questions you have about Unravelau!

The importance of circularity in the fashion industry

Every year, approximately 100 billion garments are produced worldwide. These garments require a lot of resources, from the arable land the virgin materials grow on to the enormous amounts of water that are used in the fabric production. The consequences? The fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to the climate crisis. But it’s not only the production of garments that contributes to this massive impact, it is also what happens after a garment has been bought. What consumers often don’t realize is the impact a garment has in the end-of-life or, better, end-of-use phase - because it’s life surely isn’t over once we have decided that we are not going to wear it anymore. In the best case, it gets passed on to friends or family; but in the worst case, it ends up in landfill - without even being worn once. In order to end this linear approach of “production, consumption, waste” we need to introduce a circular system that avoids the creation of unnecessary waste in the first place and guarantees the reintegration of used garments into the production cycle, thereby considerably extending its life span.

How do we implement circularity at Unravelau?

When we are designing a new garment, there are four main stages in which circularity is considered; the material choice, the design, production and the end-of-use phase aka the big question ‘what can our customers do with the garment once they are not wearing it anymore?’. So let’s get a bit more into detail.

Material Choice. If you already had a look at our Philosophy you may know that we only work with non-mixed organic materials or second-hand fabrics that we upcycle. From the circularity perspective this is important for three reasons: non-mixed materials are easier to recycle, organic materials can go back to their origin (nature) if composted correctly and using post-consumer fabrics can extend their lifespan by several years.

Design. In the design process, there are several things we consider. We almost exclusively work with zero-waste patterns in order to make the most of the fabric we have and to avoid any waste in the production. We also keep the future of the garment in mind: how can we design garments that are easily repairable? Most of our pieces are designed in a way that they can easily be taken apart. Either to repair them or to make something new out of them.

Production. For this, we have two core principles: don’t waste and don’t produce more than needed. That’s why we work the zero-waste patterns, a made-to-order system and collect all leftovers like little scraps or threads, to use them in future collections.

End-of-Use. Although the garment has left our atelier at this point and found a new owner our responsibility doesn’t end here. We want to ensure that our customers know exactly what options they have once they are not wearing a garment anymore; whether it is passing it on, creating something new, or disposing it correctly. On our website and social media channels we regularly post tips and tricks about this topic so be sure to follow us to stay updated.

Want to know more? Join us at Saturday the 6th of February by clicking here.