Fashion News: Monki Launch Upcycled Collection
Pre-consumer waste turned into a double-denim dream!
This week, fashion brand Monki (owned under H&M) have announced a small upcycled collection that uses only pre-consumer waste from production processes. The three pieces are a jacket, jeans and matching tote, as pictured above, and are made only from materials that would have otherwise been cutting room floor waste during production.
Reusing pre-consumer waste fabric cuts a large chunk of the carbon footprint of a garment: there are no new materials needing to be grown/made, no textile manufacturing processes and no treatment, dyeing or washing to undergo before it's a usable material. This is a positive step for fashion, as many waste initiatives focus on retail or post-consumer waste whereas real thought should really be going in at the design stage. "Traditional" pattern cutting has always encouraged using plenty of fabric and is said to have about 75-85% fabric efficiency; that leaves up to a quarter to go to waste! If you think about this in terms of making a meal, you wouldn't just leave a quarter of it and put it in the bin! Crucially zero waste cutting requires a lot more engineering than making a bowl of pasta, but in tackling this, we make reductions across several aspects.
Monki's Global Sustainability Manager Jenny Fagerlin has said: "This collection is a small step on our way to a circular economy. We love fashion and our planet, so we and the industry need to change to operate within the resources of the planet.”
Like the majority of fashion brands, Monki have a dedicated sustainability section on their website called Plant Power. It's more detailed than many, taking into consideration things like circular economy, materials and packaging, climate impact, and suppliers and factories. Here's an overview of the key points:
Since 2018 all Monki cotton is 100% sustainably sourced
Denim range is made with 100% certified organic cotton
Entire swimwear range is made from recycled materials (polyamide and recycled polyester)
All stores offer garment recycling schemes
All stores and offices are powered by renewable energy
Commitment to phase out hazardous chemicals within our textile supply chains by 2020
No use of rainforest products
No use of fur, angora, cashmere or mohair
Goal to use only recycled or other sustainably sourced material by 2030
Goal to become climate positive through the entire value chain by 2040
So what do we think about this? A good positive step? Too small-a-step? One of H&M's greenwashing campaigns? Tell me what you think!