upcycling landfill-bound fabrics
What are landfill-bound fabrics?
Consider this: 15% of fabrics intended to be made into clothing never do. Instead, these fabrics are treated as waste and are sent directly to landfills. How does this happen? Think of a sheet of fabric like a rolled-out sheet of dough when making cookies. As you use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes from the dough, there will be dough leftover in between your shapes. In the same way, when mainstream fashion manufacturers cut out clothing patterns from fabric, there will be leftover fabric. Unlike extra cookie dough that can be re-rolled and re-used, the extra fabric is too small to cut additional patterns from so it is thrown away and adds to the tons of textile waste every year.
At laelap, we noticed early on that although these fabric scraps were too small to make human clothing from, they were the perfect size for dog clothing. We have since partnered with leading fashion manufacturers to purchase and upcycle their scraps, saving them from piling up in landfills. In doing so, not only have we found a source of high-quality fabric that does not require the use of additional resources in new production, but we are also bringing the notoriously wasteful fashion industry one step closer to a zero-waste future.